Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Thing to do this Summer so You can do Something this Winter: A Tutorial

Ok, if that title wasn't confusing enough, let me confuse you a bit more.  I am doing a little tutorial today.  However, you won't be able to do it until this winter, yet you have to start now.  Now are you really confused??

Ha-ha! I do love confusing people... Just kidding.


My tutorial today has to do with flowers.  Flowers, paper, printers, and picture frames. Even more confusing?
I don't really know what this is called.....

So, let me gather my thoughts here so that y'all can follow without your brains spinning and your eyes lolling.

Pressed flowers. 

That is what you need.  If you do not know how to press your own flowers, let this simple tutorial help you out.

What you need:

A stack of heavy books (dictionaries, encyclopedias, phone books, etc)
Paper towels
A box of tissues
The flowers you are going to press.  (*note, if your flowers have a very large catalyst-the part that holds all the petals together at the base-, try to trim the stem as close to it as possible.  These will also take a while longer to thoroughly dry.)
A lovely cup of tea, cocoa, or coffee. (A true necessity, in my opinion!) 



Once you have gathered all of these things, here's how to put them to good use. ;-)
Take one of your books and open it towards the back.  Put down a layer of paper towels, being sure to cover the whole area of the page.

Then do the same with the tissue (the tissue is smooth and therefore will not leave imprints in the flower's petals.)

Next, begin laying out your flowers, being sure to leave a bit of room for them to lay out flat (don't crowd them).
(These are some petals from my Vinca plants.  Aren't they lovely? I love the white ones with the dark pink center best.  Also some other low ground cover plant with delicate purple flowers... Broacha or something..)
It's also great to get some leaves to press as well.

After you have laid all the flowers down on your tissue, gently press each one with your fingers so help them begin lying flat.

Now, take some more tissues and lay them over the flowers. Do the same with another layer of paper towels.  Put your hand on top and press downward to get them started.

Now, take a good portion of pages from the front and flip them 'backwards' (as if you were reading the book from the back to the front) on top of the flowers.  If you have more flowers to press, continue the process.
(if you love history stuff or just learning things in general, you might want to go with a phone book so that you don't start reading the pages and forget about the flowers!)
Once all your flowers are pressed (or your run out of book), close your book gently, making sure not to upset any of the layers of flowers.

Place the rest of your heavy books on top of the book with the flowers.

This will add the weight you need to get the flowers flat.  Now you just need to leave it for a couple of weeks.  (on larger flowers, or ones with large catalysts, leave for a month or two.)

So, now what do I do with my flowers?

As soon as your flowers have dried, you may now do an assortment of things using this simple technique.  Now, I say you can do this this winter because you might as well let your flowers dry that long, and it gives you something to do if you happen to get snowed in or something. :-)

One of the prettiest things I have seen done with pressed flowers is arranging them on a piece of paper.  Typically the piece of paper has a little saying or perhaps a hymn or Bible verse printed on it.

For my Diddly (as I just named this little project, though I know it probably has a proper name... "Ellie??? Help?!"), I chose one of my favorite hymns, "What a friend we have in Jesus".

I have printed it slightly off center to give it a more interesting look.

All you need to do now is arrange your flowers along the border of your paper.
 (A lovely rose petal and a spray of baby's breath against some leaves)
(I chose a large red daisy for my top left corner, and then some smaller things along the other edges.  See how just leaves can make it look lovely? It adds character as well as gives a softer color for your eye to rest on)

Once you have arranged them, there are a couple of options to make them stay there.  I used a hot glue gun for mine, but I have also seen them kept in place with some laminate.  Doing the laminate is slightly harder, so you'll want two people for that, but it is also the way to do it if you are making cards or something else.

Ok, so after my flowers were glued in place, simply place it in the frame, put the back on, and voila!  All done.  Now display your piece of work. :-)
(I will more than likely find another frame for this... probably one made of 'rustic' wood or something to compliment the flowers.  Personally I think it looks too 'stiff' in this one, but I only borrowed the frame for pictures. :-) )


Other things you can do with this are:

Cards
Book marks
Scrap books
Etc.

When doing these, though, you will need to laminate them.  For the scrap book pages, I don't think you would need to, especially if you are putting the pages into a sleeve. If they are exposed pages, though, you would probably want to laminate them.

There ya go!  I hope you enjoy going out and finding some lovely flowers to press (though it might be a bit late for the seasonal ones, you can always find a few hidden here and there!)  And weed flowers are great, too, because they will lose their smell after a long time of drying.  Also get some leaves! Green leaves, pretty leaves, even leaves that might not be perfect will add character to your Diddly.  Then, get some lovely red, yellow, and gold ones this fall.  Leaves don't take as long to dry and will definitely be done by the time you are ready to sit down and do this.

In Christ's Service,
Sarah

7 comments:

Ellie said...

Beautiful tutorial my friend! A lovely project to do on these woderful rainy days that we have been having. I thought that this was very well put together, after you scared us all with the round in circles comment. haha!! Very lovely.
Love ya!! MLE
~Ellie

Jessica said...

Sarah, that is so very cool!!! I've done pressed flowers before but I never know what to do with them. And when I press them, the flowers make the pages of whatever book I'm using all wrinkly. Then I get in big trouble. But maybe if I put the 'tissue' (as you call it lol up here we just call it kleenex even if it isn't that brand) in the book it wouldn't happen? I'll have to try it!

Lilac Bud Gal said...

Ellie,
Thank you!! Now, what is the proper name for it?? I had hoped maybe you would remember, as it was at your place that I first learned it.. ;) Oh, don't you just love it when I confuse you like that?? lol!!

Jessica,
Yeah! now you can do something with those lovely flowers. I always liked the idea of pressing flowers because it was so old fashioned and 'romantic' (?). But never knew what to do with them.
KLEENEX! That is what they are called!!! Actually, when I was doing this post I was sitting there trying to remember what they are called (we call them that too, even if its not the brand!). However, my brain just blanked on me when I was trying to remember the name.. so, I just used 'tissue'. haha!!! But, yes, if you use the paper towels, and the kleenex, you should be good to go! :)

Wildflower Cottage said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I have always wondered how people did flower pressing. Now, I'll have something to do this winter, tee hee. :)

I like how you arranged your flowers around your favorite hymn. That's a real nice idea. It's very pretty as well. :)

Ellie said...

Ha, I think its just called flower pressing, but I really do not know!! I wasn't the one who was teaching!!! lol!!
MLE!
~Ellie

Samantha said...

Very nice tutorial!
This reminded me of my great aunt. She had a beautiful flower garden and created all kinds of amazing pressed flower keepsakes. They were so beautiful!

Lilac Bud Gal said...

Aw, I would love to have a huge flower garden like that. :) How wonderful that must've been to see. :) Thanks for the comment, Samantha!