Saturday, January 25, 2014

Making Pressed Flower Bookmarks

I use a number of techniques when creating my pressed flower bookmarks. In order to make them functional, you must use some type of protection.  I normally use hot laminator pouches which are run through a laminator to seal them.  You can purchase the pouches in different thicknesses.  I normally use 3 mil pouches for my bookmarks but others may use 5 mil.  I have also used iron on laminate, such as Drytak or Thermoweb which do not require a laminator.  You can also use laminate which uses a sticky background instead of heat to seal the contents (e.g. contact paper or cold laminate).   

You can find reasonably priced laminators and laminator pouches in craft stores or even Wal-Mart.  However, office supply stores have the greatest variety.  My first laminator was a Scotch brand.  I later purchased a Fellows Saturn 95 brand laminator which was on sale.  I like this one better for bookmarks as the paper can be loaded horizontally and is less apt to shift. It is also great to take with me to classes.  Many members have purchased Purple Cow brand laminators with good results.   I recommend that you look for an option for both 3 mil and 5 mil laminating and the ability to load a full sheet (e.g. 8-1/2 wide).

Creating Your Bookmark:

1)  For the best results, use thin flowers and leaves for your design.  The flowers can be glued onto cardstock, cut into strips suitable for bookmarks (e.g. 1-1/2 to 2wide x 5 to 7 tall).  You can also add ribbons and/or decorative paper to the surface.

2) Lay out your pressed flower design and glue the flowers to the card stock. Be careful to apply only a small dot of glue to the center of the flower or leaf.  Less is better.  I like acid free tacky glue (available at craft stores) as it dries quickly. Since it is not water-based, it can be used on most flowers without turning them brown.  I use a toothpick to apply my glue. 

3) Let the glue dry completely.  Sometimes, I will place my in process bookmarks under weight to hold the flowers in place until the glue has dried. 

4) If using iron-on laminate, cut two pieces to cover both the front and back of the bookmark. Then, cover the bookmark with a soft cloth and apply the heated iron (medium heat) on the surface until the laminate is set.  If using Drytac brand laminate, make sure the tiny holes are fully closed. 

5) If using laminator pouches, you can place 4-5 bookmarks onto the surface, making sure there is a small space between each one.  I apply a tiny dot of glue or 2-sided tape to the back of each bookmark to prevent them from shifting.  Run them through your laminator and then trim them to size.  When trimming, make sure you leave a small border of the laminate around each bookmark so you do not break the seal. 

6) If you sell your bookmarks, you can add a small label to the back before laminating them. 

Bookmark Making Tutorials

I did a Google search on pressed flower bookmark instructions and have added some links below for you to check out. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Pressed Flower Class - February 8, 2014 at 1 p.m. - $20 registration

Post Note February 11, 2014:  The class was a great success. I'm always amazed by the variety of results achieved by the various students when provided with the same material.  My next class -- creating pressed flower pendtants -- is scheduled on March 15th at the Village Country Store.

I am honored to be offering a pressed flower class at Village Country Store on February 8, 2014 from 1-3 PM.  Participants will learn how to make this beautiful framed original pressed flower framed art just in time for Valentines Day.  Participants will learn:
-- basic pressing techniques
-- how to take apart flowers to minimize bruising
-- gluing techniques including the best glues to use on pressed flowers
-- how to safely store and handle pressed flowers.
No prior pressed flower experience is required.  To register, stop by the Village Country Store, Main Street, Waterloo NY (Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or contact me at .  All materials will be provided with the registration fee of $20. Payment is due upon registration.

The project design is being shared with permission from pressed flower artist, Annie Fentz of The Pressed Garden ( .

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pressed Flower Conference - Anaheim, CA

I leave for Anaheim, CA on Wednesday morning to attend the Worldwide Pressed Flower Guild Conference being hosted by Kate Chu.  Over thirty artists from the US, China, Taiwan, Brazil, and the UK will be participating in this 3-day educational event.  The classes include Traditional Chinese Flower and Bird Design, 3D Casting and Pressed Flower Magnets, Pressed Flower Teddy Bear Design, Pressed Flower Garden Design, Pressed Flower Rain Forest, Pressed Flower Jewelry Design and more.  There was also a pressed flower competition and participants will be able to view the amazing art which was entered.

There will be some time for sight seeing before and after the conference.

Memorial Pictures

I finished a set of three memorial pictures last month.  The order came from a dear friend following the loss of her Mother.  She wanted the flowers from the service preserved in the form of three 11 x 14" framed pieces for her and her two sisters.  The white pom pom mum daisies were a challenge to press.  They just didn't want to dry and some were starting to turn brown.  Finally, I placed the press in my oven after warming it to 170 degrees and then turning it off.  After a few cycles I saw a dramatic difference.  I mounted each picture in a simple black frame and my customer was extremely happy with the results.  I've posted two of the three (unframed) pieces below.