Tuesday, September 10, 2019

We Made Pressed Flower Bookmarks!

I am absolutely enchanted by this nine-year-old tutorial for making pressed wildflower bookmarks, even more so because the author states that the tutorial was originally found in a 1950s Boy Scout manual.

And now here's me interlibrary loaning a bunch of old Boy Scout manuals from our university library (You know I already interlibrary loaned all the old Girl Scout manuals and read them years ago)...

The kids are working on earning the Wildflowers of Ohio fun patch--each of them has just one more activity left!--and one of the steps asks girls to "make something" with wildflowers.

Obviously, that's my favorite step!

I gave the girls some options, including inventing their own wildflower craft or looking through Pinterest to find something that appealed to them, but I also showed them this particular craft that I've been wanting to do for a while, and I asked if they might want to try it with me.

They did, and so we did. And it turned out amazing!

Our first step was to spend an afternoon collecting and drying a bunch of flowers, some from a neighborhood wildflower walk, and some from my garden:

Fun fact: if you're not drying your flowers in the microwave, you should be!

We completed the tutorial pretty much as instructed, except that I collected several templates--playing card, bookmark, business card, 8x10 cardstock--and we traced the template that we wanted onto the wax paper first, so that we could arrange the dried flowers prettily in the space. Syd make bookmarks, and Will got quite invested in one 8x10 piece that she can use to embellish a journal cover:

I actually really like painting the single ply of tissue over the flowers. It's fussy and it takes a while, but it's easy and you can listen to music. Here, we listened to the Hadestown Broadway soundtrack and I interrupted it every six seconds to expand on the theming, wax rhapsodic about the choreography, add context, and basically blather on endless annoying interjections.

Just as the tutorial states, we then let them dry for a day, backed them with watercolor paper and sewed the fronts and backs together, and dabbed on matte medium. We let them dry for another day, and then they were absolutely perfect.

Here's my bookmark!

And here are some pieces the size of playing cards that I made:

I'd originally intended them to be handmade business cards, because I am ALWAYS in need of more handmade business cards, but now that I've made them I might love them too much to simply toss them in someone's Pumpkin+Bear order (unless you ask me to--then I happily will!).

Instead, I'm kind of wondering if I could use them as permanent, reusable gift tags for our family holidays. If I got Matt to write a recipient's name on the back very prettily, and we were quite careful, couldn't we use the same tag for a gift to that person on every holiday?

Of course, I'd need lots more if I wanted to cover, say, an entire Christmas worth of gifts to every person, but over the course of several years it would surely be a more eco-friendly option than gift tags that are used and tossed every year, especially if I also found a reusable gift wrap solution.

Any excuse to make more of these dried flower cards, I suppose!

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