Flowers for Keeps


Dried, pressed flowers and leaves can make a colorful picture, card, or bookmark. Parts of the dried flowers or leaves can also be used to make different shapes, such as fish, birds, or insects. It is best to use simple flowers and leaves that can be flattened easily. Daisies, pansies, and violets are good flowers to work with. Fern and clover leaves press nicely. You will also need: four paper towels; a heavy book or several books; a board or other hard, flat surface; heavy paper, such as a paper sack; scissors; tweezers (optional); clear-drying glue; and clear adhesive-backed paper (for the bookmark only).

  1. 1.

    Make sure the flowers and leaves are not wet.

  2. 2.

    Put two paper towels together and fold them in half. Repeat with two more paper towels.

  3. 3.

    Find a place to put the board where it won’t get bumped.

  4. 4.

    Put one set of folded paper towels on the board.

  5. 5.

    Place the flowers and leaves on the folded paper about 1″ (2.5 cm) apart, then straighten the petals and leaves.

  6. 6.

    Lay the second set of folded paper towels on top. Carefully place the heavy book on top.

  7. 7.

    Simple flowers and leaves should dry in five to ten days. Check yours after five days. If any stick to the toweling, rub your fingers lightly along it until they loosen.

  8. 8.

    Cut the heavy paper to the size of the picture, card, or bookmark you want to make.

  9. 9.

    Decide how you want to arrange the dried flowers and leaves on the paper, and put them in place.

  10. 10.

    Carefully pick up each piece (with tweezers, if you have them), put a drop of glue under it, then put it back in place.

  11. 11.

    Let your creation dry for at least a day. If parts fall off after this time, glue them on again and allow them to dry. If you made a bookmark, cover it with clear, adhesive-backed paper.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki