‘I have enough craft supplies, said no crafter ever’ – this is one of my favorite craft quotes. You will understand how valuable craft supplies can be once you become addicted or passionate to crafting.
To us crafters, no matter how small or inexpensive a craft supply is, it is as valuable as any expensive supply. Our craft supplies are like our treasures!
3 years ago, I wasn’t a craft addict. I used to craft only during my spare times and just for fun. When I started crafting I had to buy all the basic supplies one by one. And that’s when I realized that I already had so many craft supplies all around me! I feel so bad thinking about how many supplies I’ve sent to the trash – empty cereal box, old magazines, newspapers, toilet paper rolls, empty cardboard box, scrap papers, brown grocery bags and much more.
Anyways, I will talk about recyclable and reusable craft supplies later. Today I am going to talk about the craft supplies I collect from my garden, but for now let’s start with flowers!
“Flowers are the music of the ground
from earth’s lips spoken without sound”
Pressed and Dried Flowers and Petals
In old times, dried and pressed flowers were kept as a reminiscence of a special moment. But this pleasing tradition is being practiced by very few people these days. We don’t usually see someone keeping a flower pressed inside a journal or dairy, but if you do find someone, be inspired and try to do the same when you get the chance to.
But do keep in mind that whether you dry or press flowers, the natural color will change but don’t worry, it gives quite an artistic touch. I’m much of a rustic fan. I love stuffs with rustic finishing.
How to Dry Flowers
Dried flowers are perfect for handmade cards, wreaths, bouquets, center pieces and other decoration pieces. It might take days or weeks to perfectly dry and press flowers for crafting purposes, but it’s worth the wait! Here are some tips to dry flowers-
- You will have to collect flowers which are not fully bloomed and have lots of layers (petals), such as rose, dahlia, peony, chamomile etc. Better to collect half bloomed flowers.
- Also do not collect already stiffed flowers for drying purpose, the flowers should be fresh.
- If you want to dry flower with the stem you can hang the flower upside down in a cool and dry place, this is an old and traditional technique for drying flowers. You can group a bunch of flowers, tie the stems together lightly and hang them upside down in a cool-dry place. A dark (no direct sunlight), dry and cool place inside your house could be perfect.
- Wait for 2-4 weeks. After a few weeks the flowers will stiff to the touch and change color. Once dried spray some hairspray on them to strengthen them. This method really works.
There are some naturally dried flowers, such as – holy basil flower. Once the flower is dry it remains dry forever, doesn’t shrink, stiff or die. These flowers are great for making wreaths, bouquets, rustic decoration pieces.
How to Dry Petals
Drying flower petals are also fun, especially rose petals. Here are some tips for drying flower petals-
- To prepare dry flower petals collect flowers with relatively large and less fragile petals. I have rose and bougainvillea plants in my garden and they are perfect for drying petals.
- After collecting the flowers carefully take off the petals. Spread the petals on a piece of paper (just to keep them safe) and keep them in a dry, cool and safe place. This will take weeks.
- After a week the petals will start to shrink, stiff and change color. Once you notice that the petals have stopped changing colors it will mean that they are completely dry and ready to be used as craft supplies!
I love to dry flower petals rather than flowers. Dry flower petals are pretty handy for my craft projects. I use them a lot for making cards and wreaths.
How to Press Flowers
Now back to pressing flowers. There are several ways to press flowers but I am going to share the 3 techniques that I usually follow to press flowers.
- Pressing Flowers in Books: This is the easiest way of pressing flowers. Select a heavy book for pressing flowers. It’s better to use books which are not read frequently. In order to avoid stains on the book pages from the pigmentation of flowers keep the flowers between 2 extra sheets of papers and then place it inside the book.
- Pressing Flowers in Press: I don’t have a press but using flower press is obviously better than using books, because there’s always a risk of getting your book pages stained.
How to Press Petals
- Pressing Petals in Books: Carefully take off the petals and place them on a paper sheet. The petals shouldn’t overlap, keep small gaps between each petals. Place the sheet inside a heavy book and then place another paper sheet on the top. Close the book and wait for a week.
- Pressing Petals in Press: And of course you can always use a flower press to press the petals as well, too bad I don’t have one.
- You can also place the petals between sheets of art paper and iron them in medium-low heat, this is a quick process.
- You can also use flower press for pressing the petals but I suggest using heavy books. This might take a while but the petals turn out perfectly pressed!
How to keep the color from fading
Pressed and dry flowers (or petals) usually fade and change colors. There are several ways to keep the original color for a while even after the flower or petal is pressed. Pressed and dry flowers, petals start to change colors after a week. You can apply a coat of white glue : water 50:50 mixture on the pressed flowers and allow the glue to dry entirely. This can prevent the color from fading.
There’s another way – you can also use hair spray! It works fine, keeps the flower from fading color for a long time, more than months!
Pheeew! So much for one day! I hope the tips are helpful.