The leaves are changing, and the colors of fall are taking form. Instead of letting the colors turn to brown and disappear, give them a new life! Pressing leaves and flowers is a great way to preserve the beauty of nature.
Tips for Pressing Flowers and Leaves
Materials: hardcover book, thick rubber bands, assorted binder clips, tissue or wax paper (optional)
There are many different techniques when it comes to pressing plants, but one of the classic methods is using a book. Pick a hardcover book at least an inch thick for your flower and leaf pressing. Start pressing flowers at the beginning of the book, and leave two or three pages between pressings. Clip together all the pages with flowers, and as you add more pressings, add those pages to the clip. If you want, protect the pages of the book by placing tissue or wax paper between the pages and the flowers. Place a rubber band around the book horizontally and another vertically to keep everything tightly secure. You can even record where you picked the flowers on the page of the book. Another option is to purchase a flower press for your projects. These methods take a few weeks for your plants to be fully pressed.
Turn Them Into Art
After you have accumulated a collection of pressed flowers and leaves, there are many options to create a unique work of art for your home or as a gift.
Materials: glass picture frame of any size, wrapping paper
Transferring your pressed flowers to a glass picture frame is a time-honored way to display preserved flowers and can be a meaningful memento if they come from a significant occasion. There are a few different ways to go about this. One way is to use a regular picture frame with one glass side and a cardboard back. Add a piece of solid-color wrapping paper to the back of the frame.
Arrange your pressed flowers and leaves on the glass part of the frame so the most attractive side faces outward. You are essentially working from the back of your piece. Once everything is exactly the way you want it, put the cardboard back of the frame in place and secure it. Flip it over and admire your work. If adjustments need to be made, you can easily flip it back over, take the back off, and make your desired changes.
Frames with glass on both sides create another beautiful look!
Materials: resin kit, silicon mold of desired item, heat gun, wooden craft sticks, gloves, tweezers
Resin creations are all the rage, and the options are only limited by your imagination. Coasters are a fun way to incorporate pressed flowers into your daily life and home décor. To start, heat your resin according to the instructions in your kit. Add a small amount of resin to your coaster mold and use the heat gun to remove any bubbles. Using tweezers, submerge your flowers and leaves in the resin so they stay in place. Fill the rest of the mold with resin, use the heat gun one last time to eliminate any remaining bubbles, and place the top on the mold. Let it set for at least 24 hours or as long as the resin kit instructions advise. Once it’s ready, remove it from the mold and enjoy!
Materials: scrapbook, decorative tape, hot glue, hot glue gun
Add pressed flowers to your scrapbooks to bring them to a whole new level. Try to make a habit of picking (where allowed by law) and pressing flowers from vacations and important days. You can later add them to your scrapbook as a special touch for that special memory. Use decorative tape to secure the flowers for a rustic look or, for a clean and seamless look, use a small drop of hot glue. Make sure the glue has fully dried before closing the book or turning the page.
Materials: bakeable clay, rolling pin, ribbon, wax paper, watercolor paint, paint brushes
Create ornaments to decorate your walls all year round! First, form a few pieces of clay into golf-ball-sized spheres. Roll each one out onto wax paper, just enough to where you have a flat side to work on but still thick. (This won’t work if you roll it out too thin.) Pick out the pressed flowers you want to use and arrange them on the flat clay. Once you have them where you want them, lightly roll them into the clay with the rolling pin enough to make a good imprint.
Peel out the flowers, then use a knife to cut a small hole where you want the hanging ribbon to go. Make it a tad bit bigger than you want it since it will shrink slightly in the oven. Pop the clay into the oven and bake according to the directions that come with the clay. After the baking and cooling process, it’s time to paint them! Fill the impressions with the
colors of your choice and let dry.
String a ribbon through the hole and display your new ornament on a wall or your Christmas tree. These make great gifts!
This can also be done with fresh flowers.
Materials: clear packing tape, scissors, ruler, tweezers
This is an easy and simple craft that is especially great for young kids because it allows you to steer clear of any baking or drying process. First, measure and cut one 4½-inch strip of tape and set it sticky side up on a table. Then choose the flowers and leaves you would like to display. Using tweezers, arrange the flowers and leaves how you would like onto the tape. Once you complete your design, make sure your flowers are firmly attached to the tape. Cut another 4½-inch strip of tape and place it directly on top of the other piece, encapsulating the flowers. The best way to avoid air bubbles is to start at the top and slowly work your way down, pressing the two pieces of tape together.
Once the two pieces adhere, you can use it to keep your place in your favorite book and enjoy!
Pressed flowers can also be used as table decorations for weddings or special events. You can save them to use as additions to holiday and birthday cards that are sure to put a smile on your loved one’s face.
BONUS: Fresh Flower Tie Dye
Materials: fresh flowers, rubber mallet or dead blow hammer, washcloth, light-colored clothing, or another fabric accessory
Try this fun alternative to tie dye! All you need are fresh colorful flowers and white or lightly colored clothing, a bandana, tote bag, or any other accessory you want to dye. The process is simple. Place the fresh flowers (front side facing down) on the item in the pattern you want. One at at time cover each flower with a washcloth, and lightly strike the flower a few times with a mallet. This will force the pigments in the petals to transfer to the fabric. Do this to all the flowers and let them dry. Voila! You have a fun and unique piece dyed naturally with flowers!
Where to get supplies
144 Wyatt Dr.
Frame & Art
1100 S. Main St. #108
Calhoun Flower Farms
86 Haasville Rd.
Calhoun Flower Farms in Anthony offers volunteer opportunities during the picking season from May through October. You can spend a day in their flower and lavender gardens helping with whatever needs to be done. This is also a great local source of fresh flowers.
Story and photography by Olivia Belcher
Additional photos courtesy
Originally published in Neighbors magazine
Posted by LasCruces.com