With Spring just over the horizon,
I thought I would share a sweet botanical craft
using those first spring blooms and pretty sprigs
that we tuck into the pages of books as mementos
of walks in the garden and forests.
Creating handmade cards
preserves these charming gifts of nature
to be passed on to special friends and loved ones.
With just a few simple supplies,
you can spend a lovely afternoon creating treasured keepsakes.
A large work surface is needed to spread out your supplies.
Use a protective surface, such as a cutting board, for using glue.
Gather blank cards and assorted scrapbook papers.
Large, heavy books serve as presses for flowers and then later, for the finished cards.
To press flowers, simply gather flat, thin blossoms and leaves on a dry, sunny morning and immediately lay them flat in the back pages of an old telephone book or heavy volume that is not Great Grandfather's memoir or some other precious tome that you wouldn't want to damage.
Mark your pages with strips of paper labeled with the date and other information you might want to save.
Store in a cool, dry place for at least 3 weeks under heavy weights. A stack of books is fine.
Or use a flower press as I have done here.
Pressed flowers will keep for several years
if stored in a flat drawer on slips of paper in a very dry room.
Those little packets of silica gel that you find in certain new items,
can be thrown in the drawer to absorb any moisture.
If you plan to store your flowers this way, place them on sheets of paper before pressing.
Stamps and ink are fun to use.
These can embellish the finished card in customized ways.
Word stamps and alphabet stamps can be used to make your own sentiments.
Scalloped edge scissors add a bit of 'fancy'.
I found a package of small, solid colored blank cards to use as the top layer.
These are sold as 'invitation' cards.
It was fun matching the scrapbook papers to the cards and pressed plants.
This is 'Dusty Miller'.
These dry nicely.
Tweezers are used to handle pressed plants.
A toothpick is used to apply the glue.
A small paper cutter comes in handy for the smaller cards on top.
Pour a dab of glue onto a plastic dish,
and holding the flower with the tweezers by the stem,
simply dab a bit of glue to the back using the toothpick.
Drop the flower onto the card and lightly, ever so lightly,
press down along the edges of the flower here and there
with a clean and dry toothpick to adhere it to the card.
Bits of fabric, lace or small buttons and charms are sweet, too.
Just remember that if you are sending these through the mail, these need to be very flat.
Once the card is finished, it will need to be pressed flat for a few days.
Make a waxed paper sleeve by folding a length in half, insert the card...
and slide it between the pages of a large book.
The waxed paper prevents any wayward glue from sticking to the book.
Weigh the book down once you have all of your cards placed inside.
This will keep the cards from curling.
Tied into pretty bundles with ribbon or string,
these make lovely gifts for someone dear.
Don't forget to include the envelopes!
To protect the finished cards for storing or mailing,
insert each card into folded waxed paper, cut to size.
You can scallop the edges, if you like.
I hope this inspires you to make your own garden keepsakes to share.
A bit of nostalgia from a lovely spring day spent outdoors.
Awake, Thou Wintry Earth -
Fling off thy Sadness!
Fair Vernal Flowers,
Your Ancient Gladness!
- Thomas Blackburn -
Linking with: Stone Gable
Linking with: Stone Gable