Summer is in full bloom. From fragrant rose bushes to colorful petunias and graceful ferns, nature is putting on a beautiful show for us. Why not preserve a little bit of summer by collecting some flowers or leaves and pressing them to create dried botanicals for use in a craft project?
- Choose appropriate flowers. Full flowers with lots of dimensionlike roses or peonies won’t work well. Instead, try flat,single-layered flowers such as cosmos, pansies, verbena or bluebells. Intricately patterned leaves or delicate ferns also workwell. Pick unblemished blooms that aren’t damp from rain, wateringor morning dew. Pressed flowers can fade over time, so choosebrightly hued blooms. If you don’t have a good source for pickedflowers, use a bouquet purchased from a local florist or farmer’smarket instead.
- Gather the flowers to be pressed and two pieces of plain whitepaper to protect the book because the colors in the flowers maystain slightly. Arrange the flowers on one piece of paper in themiddle of the book, cover with another piece of paper and close thebook. Leave the book undisturbed for a week to 10 days-nopeeking!
- After 10 days, slowly open the book to check on the pressedflowers. They should be completely dry. If they aren’t, close thebook and give them a few more days. Dried petals and leaves arevery delicate so use care in removing them.
- Once your dried botanicals are ready to work with, use yourimagination to create a project that best fits your child’s age andinterests. Here are three kid-friendly project ideas to get youstarted:
- Selection of flowers
- A heavy book, such as a phone book or dictionary
- Several sheets of plain white paper
- Tweezers (optional)