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Pressed Flowers - Two methods for creating your own natural embellishments

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Pressed flowers can be beautiful natural decorations for notecards, greeting cards, scrapbook pages and other crafts.  Yes, you can buy a commercial flower press, if you plan to get into pressed flowers in a big way. For the rest of us who want to press flowers occasionally, here are a couple of "home-made" methods.

Traditional Pressed Flowers

Using common blotting paper, newspaper and heavy books, you can press all but the most bulky flowers.
  1. Pick several delicate flowers at the peak of their bloom, as well as some leaves.
  2. Lay a piece of blotting paper on top of several sheets of newspaper on cookie sheet. (For very succulent flowers, use more newspaper to absorb the moisture).
  3. Place the flowers and leaves on the blotting paper without overlapping them.
  4. Cover them with another sheet of blotting paper and several more sheets of newspaper.
  5. Place heavy books, phone books, or a bowling ball on top.
  6. Let sit for 3-4 weeks in a cool, dry place. Check the flowers every few days for the first week, and once a week after that. Using tweezers or a craft knife, carefully peel the flowers from the blotting paper and reposition them to prevent them from adhering. Replace the newspapers at the same time.
  7. After four weeks, the flowers should be stiff and dry and the paper should feel dry. If not, leave them for another week.
Microwave Pressed Flowers

This is more like it: fast and easy.  Just keep the microwave power on medium or low to avoid toasting your blossoms.
  1. Lay a piece of blotting paper over 3-4 paper towels on a glass pie plate, microwavable dinner plate, or the glass turntable.
  2. Place the flowers and leaves on the blotting paper without overlapping them.
  3. Cover them with another sheet of blotting paper and several more sheets of paper towels. Place another glass pie plate, or a flat microwavable pate, on top.
  4. Heat on medium (or medium-low for dark flowers) for 3 to 4 minutes. Check at 1-minute intervals to strighten any flowers or leaves and check for dryness.  The flowers are done when they feel stiff and the paper towels feel slightly damp. Leave them in the microwave for a few minutes with the power off to finish the drying process.
Now, your dried, pressed flowers are ready to embellish your geeting and note cards, scrapbook pages, or other crafts. Use tweezers to handle and position them on your surface. When you like your arrangement, glue them down with white glue using a small paintbrush, being sure to glue all edges. Let them dry for a day, pressed under a piece of wax paper and a heavy book to prevent curling. You can protect your final work with a spray of clear polyurethane, a coat of decoupage medium, or laminating.


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