Monday, November 18, 2013

DIY: Dried & Pressed Flowers

O!  Be some other name:
What's in a name?  That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes...
-Romeo & Juliet, Act II Scene II


Even with the holidays around the corner, I am always in the mood for flowers. There is just something about a garden rose, or a dahlia, or a cherry blossom, or...  Flora have long inspired songs, poems, paintings, names...but they have such a brief season, especially when cut & brought inside.  Growing up, my Mother & I used to dry & press flowers together.  She has made some gorgeous wreaths, cards, & gifts with her long-lasting blooms, and it's a tradition I've tried to continue with special flowers & plants.

In case you've never given this a try, here is a quick & easy tutorial for both drying & pressing flowers.  If you have tried either in the past, please share!  I'd love to hear what you've made.

I hope you enjoy!

Until Soon,
Sara / "Jane" xx


Drying Flowers:

Pretty specimen in a jar,
Hanging with treasures on a wall (Image 1, 2)

Suggested Flowers:
-Roses
-Lavender
-Yarrow
-Hydrangea
-Craspedia ("Billy Ball" / happy yellow fluff balls)
-Mustard
-Baby's Breath
-Scabiosa (the pods)
-Holly & Berries

Suggested Greenery:
-Eucylptus
-Thistle
-Reeds
-Herbs
-Twigs
-Wood Roses

1.  Gather flowers/greenery by stems, hold with rubber band or twine.
2.  Choose a dark & dry place (closets/pantries are perfect) with hooks.
3.  Hang stem-up and leave for 3+ days.
4.  Check on flowers after several days have passed.  Gently check for dryness.  Stiff stems are a great indicator of readiness.
5.  Cut off band and place in a jar or vase, OR hang in groups for a lovely effect!


*Tips:
-Keep away from direct sunlight to help dried flowers retain color.
-If you are looking to dry an arrangement, it's best to arrange before drying to avoid breaking off pieces.



Dried flower garland brightening a white wall
Hydrangea & Scabiosa garland, (Image 1, 2)


DIY Potpourri: Dried flowers + essential oils (Image via)
Use in lieu of confetti or toss at an outdoor wedding (Image via)



Pressing Flowers:


Pressed flower embellishment on a wedding invitation,
Framed pressed flowers (Image 12)

 Phone case via Etsy
Pressed flower art, w/just a little editing!! (via)
You can lay out your flowers both face-down and sideways (Image 1, 2)

Suggested Flowers:
-Wildflowers
-Bachelor Buttons
-Pansies
-Small Roses
-Daisies

Suggested Greenery:
-Ferns
-Leaves
-Herbs
-Clover

1.  Purchase/pick/harvest flowers or leaves with good pigmentation
2.  Dust off your old phone books or even notebooks work well.
3.  Vary your technique: Snip off stems & leaves as desired, lay some flat, cut specimens in half, etc.
4.  Lay flowers flat in the middle of your book, & gently close the pages.
5.  Weight with several heavy books, leave for at least 3+ days

*Tips:
-When peeling flowers from pages, use care with the leaves and petals.
-You can use any type of craft glue, be sure to use a small brush to thinly apply directly to the bottom of the pressed petals & stems.  Small tweezers may be a very useful tool.



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