We were given the challenge by Red Ted Art to make a craft using pressed flowers or leaves. Were we up for this challenge? YES, we were! The past couple of years we’ve been pressing flowers here and there to bring out when the time was right to use them for crafting. And that time was NOW
We decided to do some up-cycling by using some spare glass bathroom tiles we had in the attic, and a little felt to make some pressed flower tile coasters. Some of our flowers were picked from our own yard, and others were brought home by the children while out walking (but never picked from places they shouldn’t have been).
We used a Posey Press that my mom gave to us when Phil and I went on honeymoon in case we wanted to press any flowers we saw along the way. This press actually belonged to my grandma and you can tell how old it is from the dates on some of the newspapers within it.
With this particular flower press, when you find a flower you’d like to press, you carefully pick it and put it between the sheets of newsprint in the press. Lie it carefully down and gently arrange the petals, stem and any leaves so that they will be as you’d like them to be later. Be sure that there aren’t any pieces hanging over the edges of the paper. Don’t put too many flowers on the same sheet of paper, if you need more space be sure to leave several sheets of newsprint between the layers.Carefully replace the rest of the newsprint on top of your posies and put the cover on your press and gently tighten it down using the washers and wing nuts, or whatever closures your press may have.
If you don’t have a press, not to worry: you can simply dig out one of those old-fashioned telephone books, place your chosen flowers in there, close the book, and place a few other heavy books on top. The newsprint helps to absorb the moisture from the flowers but it will still take some time for the blooms or leaves to dry out enough to be used for crafting. This is why we have used flowers from previous years.
When you are ready to use your pressed flowers, carefully open up your press or phone book so that the petals don’t catch on the paper and tear.
To make our pressed flower tile coasters we used items we had already from other projects:
- pressed flowers
- glass kitchen/bathroom tiles
- clear varnish and a paint brush
- felt and some craft glue
These pressed flower tile coasters were so simple to make!
First I gave the ties a little clean and shine to reduce the chance of fingerprints showing up.Next the children chose the flowers they wanted to put on their coasters and they decided their patterns. They removed the blossoms and they covered the tile with a layer of clear varnish.They put the pressed flowers back onto the tiles gently pressing them down but being careful not to twist them as this will result in torn petals. Another layer of varnish was smoothed over the pressed flowers and tiles to seal them in and we set them aside to dry.A couple of days later we added another coat of varnish as some of the flower were a little thick and weren’t completely covered by the first coat.We cut some felt to size and used craft glue to hold them onto the back of the tiles so that they don’t scratch the furniture.I think these have turned out quite well and add some personality to our table. And the big secret is that each pressed flower coaster cost under £0.05/£0.10 in total to make! Beautiful, frugal, and re-cycled, all the things I love best! I would suggest that lighter coloured tiles be used as the air bubbles in the varnish showed up quite a lot on the dark blue tile, as you can see. But crafts are all about trial and error, and it still looks fine in person.
I have had some terrific ideas shared with me about ways to use these coasters and I don’t think it’s fair to keep them to myself. Anthea of Zing Zing Tree suggested, “Your coasters could also be stuck on walls as art using glass sticky pads and the idea could also be used to jazz up plain tiles in a kitchen or bathroom :)” Awesome idea! It would certainly cheer up our bathroom, we may have to make another set.
Tanya at Mom’s Small Victories had a way to make them more memorable, “very unique and beautiful! great way to commemorate special flowers we get from weddings, births of babies or just because from someone special!”
This craft was part of a Google+ hangout arranged and recorded by Maggy at Red Ted Art. If you don’t have G+, you can watch the video via YouTube here. There were another dozen flower and leaf ideas shared and here they are!
Maggy of Red Ted Art shares 3 projects; Poppy people artwork, leaf tea lights, and dandelion crowns. I must conquer the crowns before Kallista is too old for them!
- Kids Chaos has been arty in Andy Goldsworthy style with petals and leaves.
- Zing Zing Tree made some ‘wild’ masks, as well as some framed artwork using seed heads and googly eyes.
- The Fairy and the Frog made some rock messages and a fairy wand using lavender.
- Domestic Goddesque has made beautiful thank you cards using helicopter seeds.
- Here Come The Girls has made a lovely card using pressed flowers.
- Me And My Shadow had a technical difficulty, but her watercolours made from flowers looks amazing, and something we will certainly be doing!
If you like frugal crafting as much as I do, try my garden stone pendant or sea shell necklace. or check out our Mother’s Day page, summer fun page, and Nature Activities For Kids page for more inspiration.