Pressed flower cards are a beautiful way to express love and appreciation to friends and relatives who appreciate gifts that are aesthetically pleasing. Pressed flower cards have a long life cycle when the flowers are protected by wax paper and can be made into stunning artwork for the wall when matted and framed. Children love selecting flowers and leaves, pressing their finds, and arranging the pressed flower cards with the assistance of an adult. The Japanese call the art of making pictures with pressed flowers and plants "oshibana."
Things You'll Need
Fine permanent markers
Flower press paper
Images of real flowers
Light colored towel
Gather flowers, leaves, and stems or flowers on a thin stem with leaves to press. Flowers, leaves and stems that are thin dry and press faster and easier than thick ones.
Arrange the flowers, leaves and stems on absorbent flower press paper or on sheets of newspaper, paper towel or standard paper. Make sure the flowers are not overlapping unless you desire the final design to be overlapping in that exact manner. Cover the flowers, leaves and stems with another sheet of the same material that they are lying on.
Place heavy books on top of the covered flowers to press. Use books or phone books that have a completely flat surface. It may be necessary to stack several books or phone books on top of the flowers to efficiently press them.
Leave the flowers for a few days up to 2-4 weeks to completely dry. The speed of drying will depend on the air temperature, the moisture content in the flower, the humidity in the room, the weight of the books pressing the flowers, and the absorbancy of the material the flowers are lying on.
Pre-dried flowers that are fairly flat can be used in lieu of pressing your own flowers. Or realistic photographs and images can be used in lieu of pressed flowers. Realistic photographs of flowers that can be printed and used to make pressed flower cards with wax paper for personal use can be found at heatherinks.com/travel or through websites offering royalty free images for personal use.
Place a sheet of solid color paper down to serve as a background for arranging the flower art. Using fingers or tweezers arrange the flowers, leaves, and stems as desired into a beautiful arrangement.
Cut a square or rectangle of wax paper that will leave a border roughly 1 inch around your final design. Cut a second square or rectangle of wax paper that is exactly the same size.
If the arrangement has multiple layers, it is helpful to take a digital photograph of it and then place another paper over it to sandwich it prior to flipping it over so that you can access the background flowers, leaves, and stems first. If the arrangement is very simple, a digital photograph will be helpful but flipping it will not be necessary.
Put a drop 1/4 to 1/2 wide of glue on a scrap sheet of paper. Use a toothpick or a small tipped paint brush to smear a small amount of glue on 1 sheet of the wax paper in the proper placement. Using your fingers or tweezers, continue arranging and overlapping flowers until complete.
Add any final designs, sparkles, or enhancements to the floral arrangement. Paper punch cut leaves or tiny bows can be added if desired. For some designs, add stems or leaves using markers or colored pencils directly on the wax paper (see image for detail).
Place the unused matching square or rectangle of wax paper on top of the pressed flower design. Place the entire unit on a light colored towel or piece of material for ironing. Cover the entire square enclosing the flower design with a thin towel or piece of material. Iron on a low to low-medium dry setting. The edges around the entire square will appear sealed when the ironing is complete. The towel or material will prevent the wax paper from sticking, melting, or leaving residue on your iron.
Print the message for the inside and outside of your card on the card stock. This step can be completed by using a card making program, a word processing program, or design software. Make sure that your card dimensions match the program and printing preferences. This step can also be completed by hand using crayons, markers, paints, or colored pencils.
Create the folds in the card stock if they are not already there.
Using a toothpick, paintbrush, or the fine tip of a glue bottle, smear glue on the card in the appropriate spot for the sealed packet of pressed flowers in wax paper. Use glue that dries transparent. It might be necessary to cut the glue with water, two parts glue to one part water or one part glue to one part water for smooth bump free application.
Trim the sealed wax paper holding the pressed flowers to the desired trim length and shape. Gently press the pressed flowers in wax paper onto the card. Add final effects, which could include a border to create a frame effect around the flowers, ribbon, trim, sparkles or other embellishments.
Place a white piece of material and a heavy book over the face of the card while drying to prevent wax paper, ribbons, or trim from rolling up while the glue cures. Most glue cures completely in 24-48 hours; see the instructions on the glue bottle for specifics. If you cut it with water, this can affect the drying time.
If mailing the card, add an additional sheet of wax paper or white paper in the envelope on top of the pressed flowers to give it additional cushion to protect it during shipping. Use white material or a white towel when you iron and to protect the final card from the heavy book or phone book while drying.
Don't iron directly on the wax paper as it can stick to older irons that don't have a non-stick plate and it can leave a residue or stick to nonstick irons.