Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Hard Pressed and Loving It

We've been compiling a pressed flower notebook. These pictures do not do it justice. The effect is quite beautiful and delicate. What a fantastic activity for the summer! By adding to it through the year, we will have a pressed flower book highlighting each season. Some of the plants are a challenge to identify, but the search is half the fun!

Here's how we do it. During our nature walk, we pick whatever draws our attention, making sure to stay away from our neighbor's prized blooms. We study our treasures at home and try to identify them by use of a flower guide book and the Internet. Then we place the flowers between folded paper, put them in a heavy book, and place under a basket full of weighty this and that.

They become flat and dry in one month. The flowers shown above were picked in early May.  Flowers and leaves picked and pressed today are tucked away until July.
We then glue the pressed flowers onto watercolor paper using rubber cement, date the page, and label the specimens with their common and scientific names. (We do the best we can.)  Matte board makes a nice sturdy cover. We may decorate it, but then again, we may not. A pretty ribbon ties it together and can be untied to add more pages.

Separating the pages with tracing paper is a nice touch and helps keep the flowers intact.

The Real Deal is that I had no idea how to do this when we started but it has become a favorite activity with our girls. We will continue it through the year, making a beautiful keepsake as we improve our powers of observation, and gain some knowledge about the plants of each season.

Happy picking!