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After pressing foliage and flowers, use them to embellish note cards. Graceful in their designs, the cards showcase the classic shapes and vivid colors of wildflowers and cottage-garden plants. To replicate the pressing methods and design your own line of cards, follow the step-by-step instructions below.What You Need:
1. To make a flower press: Drill a 1/4-inch hole in each corner of two plywood squares. Connect the squares with bolts and wing nuts. As shown, you can sandwich several flowers in a single press; the length of bolts depends on how many layers you press at a time. Cut squares of cardboard, blotting paper, and garden fabric to fit the press, trimming corners to allow room for the bolts.
2. To prepare flowers for pressing: Harvest flowers after the dew has dried so they will be moisture free. Use a fine paintbrush to tease out bugs. If you aren't going to press the flowers right away, stand them in a vase (with water) until you're ready. Before pressing, snip off the stem of each flower.
3. To press flowers: Sandwich a cardboard square, blotting paper, garden fabric, flowers (facedown), another piece of garden fabric, blotting paper, and cardboard. Place in the press and adjust the wing nuts. The press should be tight, but not viselike. Log the contents and dates on the press; place in a warm, dry place with low humidity. Tighten the press slightly every few days. Check the flowers occasionally (view them through the garden fabric).
4. To prepare flowers for cards: With tweezers or a crafts knife, position a pressed flower facedown on a ceramic surface, such as the back of a plate. Brush glue on the flower, being sure to cover the entire surface.
5. To decorate a card: Use a brush to lift the flower and set it in place on a card. (Be gentle; once a flower is coated with glue, it becomes especially fragile.) Press the flower in place, blotting excess glue with a tissue. Arrange additional flowers as desired. Let dry overnight. If the edges of the flowers aren't adhered, ease glue under them with a small brush. Send the finished cards for special correspondence, or frame them, placing them out of direct sunlight.
Download the free chart of flowers for pressing. (Downloading requires Adobe Acrobat software.)
All Purpose Garden Cover Gardener's Supply Company 800/955-3370