Online resources for pressed flower newbies?

matriarchy(6 in PA)February 8, 2008

I've made some dried flower wreaths in the past, but not worked much with pressed flowers. My kids and I pressed some flowers in an old phone book last year, and got very nice results with violets and violas.

We want to do more with dried flowers and leaves in the coming year. We thought we would collect flowers and leaves throughout the growing season, to have a big supply to make holiday cards and art gifts in the fall and winter.

I see there is no FAQ for this forum. Would folks mind posting some links to good resources for pressing techniques? We have questions like this:

We've been pressing flowers between paper towels in phone books. Is that that an OK method?

What are suggested ways to store pressed materials, but still be able to see what we have when it's time to use them?

What kinds of general materials should we have on hand when it's time to start make pressed flower art?

How do we press the bulkier flowers, like roses? We see them in other people's art, but we don't know how to press them nicely.

We hear that keeping autumn leaves is hard - they fade and turn brown. We've seen that even when we iron them between sheets of waxed paper. Is there a way to keep the brilliant color? We saw one artist that scanned the leaves and used the images instead of the leaves, which is interesting, too.

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Josh(z8a)

Pressing in phone books is fine...I don't use paper towels, just place flowers/leaves and turn a few pages. Old paperback books are handy in car for little weed flowers and grass seedheads...you and your children will start noticing the most delicate little bits of nature along sidewalks and roadsides.

As to labeling, sometimes I mark with tiny post-its as index tabs in phone book but often I just "wing it"...LOL ... I love being surprised. Or staple a sheet to front and list what's inside. I've sometimes removed something like red Japanese Maple leaves and put them in ziplock bag...just be sure all moisture is gone and store in completely dark place. I had hundreds and the phone books were taking up too much space. I usually just leave in phonebook until used.

As to autumn leaves, yes, they eventually turn once exposed to light. In fact dried flowers gradually fade or sometimes darken but if they have good form or intricate shape they're often still attractive. Or you can just enjoy them for a season or two and then enjoy making new ones.

Your kids have probably made dioramas for school...it's fun to use a shallow box and make a "florist's window" or a forest scene...or Jurassic park with toy dinosaurs. Just have fun.

josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Dried flower links

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:02AM
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Josh(z8a)

Another link...

Here is a link that might be useful: Riverhaven

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 8:31AM
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jpressed

Hi matriarchy,
I have been pressing flowers for a while now and can help you a bit.
Using a phone book certainly works with a number of flowers and leaves. If using paper towels, make sure to only use Viva brand as they are the only ones without an embossed design on them (that could show up on thin petals. I usually use computer paper to dry petals like hydrangeas, pansies, leaves, etc. Rosebuds should be sliced in half first as they are too bulky whole, and you get 2 buds for the price of one! With full petaled roses, I take the petals off and press each one individually, then reassemble some to look the the original. The point is that the flowers must be pressed under weights until completely dry. Never press a damp or wet flower or leaf. Know that some flowers will change color during pressing. The fresher the petals, the better.
Some people use microwave presses, solar presses,or air presses, but all presses require wiights of some kind to flatten out the piece.
I have pressed many fall leaves, and most are just as bright several years later.
Storage- you can store most dried petals in the phone books themselves, in baggies, between sheets of computer paper. At Michael's or AC Moore, you can buy cans of silica which can be reactivated as needed. Put some in the bottom of a bin, lay on the layers of computer paper with flowers, then put on a tight sealing lid. Moisture and light cause deterioration.
I started making cards with pressed flowers, and still do, but also, I now use the petals and leaves as paint, and do many scenes. I will try to upload some later.
There are several processes to seal pictures to keep out moisture and sun, but that's too complicated to explain now! What kind of projects are you interested in doing?
jpressed

    Bookmark   February 11, 2008 at 2:36PM
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almskogen

Hello,
I found this blog out on the web while searching for information about flower pressing:

http://familycrafts.about.com/cs/flowersandgarden/a/072400a.htm

I hope it may be useful to someone ^.^

    Bookmark   August 5, 2008 at 1:43AM
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sonshine_tn(6TN)

www.pressed-flowers.com ans www.sonshinecrafts.com both have info on pressing, etc. also there's an egroup on pressed flowers at yahoo, and if you are really interested in learning LOTS, check out www.wwpfg.org!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2009 at 4:27PM
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