How about making your own greeting cards this Christmas? Use pressed flowers to make some personalised, natural (and almost free) greeting cards. Clyo explains how to to get creative.
This year I have a long list of people I would like to send my best wishes to, so I thought I’d use some pressed flowers to make some greeting cards.
I collect flowers during the year, obviously in winter there is a limited choice of flowers, however during November and December I’m on the lookout for pansies, cyclamen, winter jasmine, and bellflowers. You can also use small leaves: they may have some interesting and very decorative shapes and by this time of the year, they are so colourful and perfect for a craft project!
how to dry your flowers
The best way to do it, without a flower press, is to use a big heavy book, some paper towel (or kitchen towel) and maybe a magazine or a journal you don’t mind spoiling during this process.
I usually place a fresh flower on a sheet of paper towel – trying not to overlap any flowers and keeping them separate and flat.
Then I cover those with another sheet and press them between the pages or under a heavy book. The tissue paper will absorb any moisture, it also helps to avoid staining the pages of your book with colours coming off from your flowers and leaves.
As extra protection I place the flowers and the tissue paper inside a magazine before pressing them under a book. This is again to protect the pages of the book from the water the flower may release.
The drying time for your flowers and leaves may depend on the species you have collected and the temperature of your room, but I would suggest to let them dry for at least 5 to 7 days.
Here are some tips for choosing easy-to-dry species:
- Avoid succulents, juicy leaves or flowers too thick in the centre.
- Choose papery-like petals or flat flowers.
- Dissemble the flowers with many layers and dry the petals as single pieces.
- Choose simple shape leaves, they’ll be easier to glue on your card.
- The colour of your flowers may change when they are dried – some dark colours become lighter and light ones may become more intense. Try to have a mix of shades.
- Now you have your collection of dry flowers, let’s start the fun part:
How to create your greeting cards
- Dry pressed flowers and leaves
- PVA glue
- A brush
- A carton sheet or blank card
- Choose the flowers or leaves you like the most and start choosing some colour combinations.
- Arrange each piece of your selection to fit the layout of your card. This is very personal, you can arrange them in a central composition as a bouquet, but you can also be more abstract or minimal, and think of your flowers as paint strokes.
- Once you have decided your layout: grab the glue, a brush, and pick one flower at the time.
- Gently brush the back of the flower with some glue and stick it to your card.
- Repeat with each flower, reproducing your layout on the card
- Leave it to dry for a couple of hours or until it is ready.
- Write something nice inside your card, put it in an envelope and send it.
Extra tip: you can use dried flowers to decorate candles, homemade soap, gift wrapping, jars (lovely with a tea light in) or glass bottles. The best gift comes with your creativity!
For more Christmas themed crafts and recipes check out our Eco Christmas ideas blog. Also take a look at our very popular Wenderful Christmas booklet with home made gift ideas and recipes.
Clyo also has lots of seasonal recipes you can try on her Live Well recipes blog
CLYO PARECCHINI, ex-LIVE WELL COORDINATOR
Clyo used to head up Wen’s Live Well cooking and food growing courses in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. Classes explore in a practical way how diet and lifestyles has an impact on the planet. Attendees learn and try new plant based recipes, spend time in the community garden and enjoy a delicious lunch.