Decorating with Pressed Flowers
Decorative Uses for Pressed Flowers
Drying and pressing flowers from the garden is an excellent way to create things to give as gifts or to make your home more attractive. Right after they are in full bloom is the time to collect the petals, leaves, and grasses. You could preserve them and take the dried materials out to use when you're ready to make them into something.
Flowers That Are Good for Pressing
Rose petals, chrysanthemums, Johnny-jump-ups, holly leaves, an assortment of variegated leaves, stems, blades of grass, and several lobelia blossoms are just some of the recommended ones to use. Geranium buds and leaves and the last of tall-growing plants are best gathered in the fall. A few ferny looking plants in your yard can be used for making Christmas cards.
How to Press
Pressing the old-fashioned way is the easiest. You just lay the components on a piece of paper towelling, cover using another piece, and place between books. Pile more books on top, or weight it down using bricks and leave it for a week. So, if you can begin way before you need them you'll be satisfied with a bounty of garden blossoms, albeit flat, dry ones, when you're ready to do some crafting. It's an excellent way to enjoy the fruits of the garden twice over.
Rose Petal Box
For some projects, you will need various pressed materials, craft glue, and something on which to set the items. A rose-petal covered box would be a good project. Start by painting a wooden box using latex or acrylic paint. Carefully put the petals on the box in a pleasing way. To glue the thin petals to the surface, dilute white craft glue with water, 50-50 ratio, and brush it onto the box with a sponge brush. Tweezers are great for ease in handling delicate petals. You could use a pressed stem and leaves or cut these elements from paper and glue them in position to make a design on the box. Allow this to dry overnight. Protect using several coats of clear, quick-drying varnish. To finish the box, line it with pretty wrapping paper or wallpaper.
Framing a Wedding Picture
It is easy to personalize the way you frame a wedding photograph by decorating the matte with a range of tiny rose petals. Use a toothpick to make dots of glue throughout the matte. Then carefully place the petals here and there on the glue. Cover with the glass and frame.
Making Creative Cards
Use your pressed material to produce a nature scene on the front of a blank card. When arranged, press a piece of clear Contact paper over the front of the card so it stretches beyond the edges. Press down. If needed, use a rolling-pin or a drinking glass to roll over the Contact and get rid of all the air bubbles. Trim the edges so they're even with the card stock. You could make your own colorful cards using construction paper or poster board as well. Make sure to cut the cards so they fit in a standard-size envelope. For Christmas cards, you may set up two holly leaves, for instance, in the comer of the card. Use a red pen to draw the holly berries then put your message using a gold pen. Or, make a leaf border all around the card.
Kid's Photos and Drawings
Grandparents love to get photographs of their grandchildren, or the kids' drawings as gifts. Dress the cover of a photo album using pressed flowers and fill with photos you have taken throughout the year. Or, use the pressed flowers to dress the edges of the photos on every page. For instance, if you took pictures of the kids jumping in the leaves last fall, press a few fall leaves and add them to the pages of the photo album.
Natural Place Mats
You may want to make your own nature place mats using your pressed flowers. Use poster board cut to size. Then set the pressed flowers in a pleasing way and apply clear Contact paper overall. Turn over and put on Contact paper to the back too. Trim all around edges.
Decorate plain candles using pressed flowers. As the wick burns down the center the flowers appear to glow from behind. This is an excellent way to create expensive-looking candles for pennies. This is how it's done: Place a block of clear paraffin (available in hardware stores and supermarkets with canning supplies) inside an empty coffee can. Put this in a pot of boiling water to melt. Carefully dip the candle into the hot liquid and remove. At once, while the paraffin is soft, use tweezers to place the dried flowers around the outside of the candle. Allow the candle to cool for a minute or two and then quickly dip it into the melted paraffin again to coat the flowers and outside of the candle. Remove right away and let cool until hard. Use a range of colors to achieve different effects, or use all green on a white candle.