Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Project time again! Homemade flower presses

With the kitchen remodel lasting forever, I haven't been able to get into the crafting supplies to whip up something fun...
Until today:

Last school year I taught a gardening class for our homeschool co-op. We made some wonderful hands-on projects- this flower press is one of them. I was able to create this project with materials I had on hand with the exception of the rubber bands (I purchased a bag of them at Walmart).
I taught the class both semesters and had sixteen students total. Each flower press has 6 to 8 pieces of cardboard. I cut up a lot of cardboard. I remember getting hand cramps from the cutting. We purchased a couple of put-together book cases and I scavenged a lot of my cardboard from those two big boxes. If you're only making one or two, you should only need one cardboard box.
This project should take you about twenty minutes, providing you don't have to spend a ton of time scrounging for materials.

Hunt around the house for the following:
pieces of cardboard (6 to 8 all the same size)
scrapbook paper
white card stock pieces
rubber bands
tissue paper
Glue stick

Cut your cardboard pieces into desired length. The ones I cut for my gardening class were 5 3/4 in by 5 3/4 in. Today's project is 6 1/2 in.by 4 1/2 in. Why the difference? Because that's what I had on hand (these were the scraps from cutting the gardening class's square pieces). [I did create a template for tracing purposes for my class and would recommend doing the same if you're making more than a couple of these.]

Today's project is all about using what you have on hand. I went through the scrap papers lickity-split and pulled out a paint chip card and piece of blue paisley scrapbook paper.

I needed to trim the paint strip to fit, then I glued it onto the top piece of cardboard. I then glued the blue paisley paper onto the paint chip.

After that I made my label:
from a scrap of white card stock. Of course I embellished it with a few freehand flowers.
After I was happy with the design, I glued it to the paisley paper and rubber banded all eight pieces together like so:
Depending on the amount and thickness of the leaves/flowers you wish to press you may need to add more rubber bands.

You can cut some (acid free) white tissue paper to fit, two pieces between each layer of cardboard for your press. I didn't do this though. Above are some leaves I pressed about a year and a half ago in this homemade press.
I didn't use tissue, they didn't bleed through the cardboard and they look lovely.
However, if your gonna smoosh flowers you might want the tissue paper.

The square flower press is the one Sassafras made in my gardening class.
I love it's quirkiness.

This is a super easy and fun project to make with the kiddos.
Make sure you make time for a nature hike beforehand or after because if your kiddos are like mine- they'll want to use it right away.

Tip Junkie handmade projects


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