Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Pressed Flower Bookmarks: Mother's Day Gift Tutorial

We made bookmarks out of our pressed flowers for our Mother's Day present this year. But I thought it would be a good way for you to save those bouquets you got from your family!
Go from fresh and lovely flowers... to pressed and still lovely! 
I love pressed flowers because the few I have mean something to me. For example, in my scriptures I have a flower that was from my Grandmas Funeral. Everytime I see it I think of her. But it took a long time for that flower to get pressed and dry out in my book. We're talking months folks! 
But you can do this a quicker way. And I actually like this way better because the flowers don't loose their color!
What You'll Need...
Paper Towels
Parchment Paper
Ironing Board and Iron
Fresh Flowers
Colored Baker's Twine

Step 1: Turn your iron onto medium/high heat. Take a stem and place it in a paper towel. Fold paper towel over flower. Now place the paper towel with the flower inside and place it inside a folded piece of parchment paper. Iron the flower by pressing the iron gently on top and holding down as firmly as you can. You don't want to moved the iron up and down like you would when working with clothing.  {This can cause the petals to fall off.} Simply smash the flower in place. Flip the wrapped flower over and iron from the other side. The paper towel should be soaking up any moisture from the flower. Continue this step until all of your flowers are pressed. {*Side Note: Some flowers with less petals flatten up super easy. Others with more layers and thicker stems take longer and need more ironing.} It takes about a minute to do each flower. But assuming you will be making a bunch from your bouquet the time will add up. 
Step 2: While you work on ironing out more flowers, place the one's you have already worked on in between two paper towels so that any moisture can be absorbed.
*The following is optional... probably not necessary, but it does help. You theoretically could laminate these now. But they still may have a bit of moisture in them.  If time allows, you can take it a step further and place the flowers in a press of some sort. You might have to get creative. A good idea would be to place them underneath a stack of books with a weight on top etc.  I had Sophie stand on an upside down stool with already pressed flowers underneath while she ironed new ones. Once they are all ironed flat you can leave them under your concocted press for a bit. {really it depends on how much time you have. If you aren't in a rush you can also hang them upside down to dry them out more. The flatter and the drier the flowers the better! {Although, you don't want to dry them out too much because they will lose their color! But half a day should be fine.}
Step 3: Arrange the flowers how you want them and then run them through a laminator. I don't have a laminator so I headed over to Kinko's. I did a few with the regular lamination sheets. The stems worked fine as long as they were not too thick. The laminations without the stems and only the flowers turned out practically seamless and looked the best. 
But Kinko's had these pre-cut Luggage Tag Lamination sheets. They were perfect! So I made several of those too. They ended up being my favorite! I love the rounded corners and the little slot for tying the twine. 
Step 4: Punch a hole at the top of your bookmark. Tie on a doubled piece of twine {About 16 inches long} by placing it through the hole and pulling it through itself. Pull it tight. String on a few beads. {This was actually Sophie's idea and I think it was the perfect touch!} Use the end of the twine on your bookmark to wrap the center part of your tassel. Fold over the tassel and wrap with another piece of twine to create a neck. Tie a knot to keep it secure. Lastly, cut the end of the tassel to make it even. You can follow my Tassel Tutorial for a better explanation!
{I know the lamination is hard to see. Sorry about that!}
And you are all set to go! Now go find a much deserving mother or friend to share one with! 

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