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Pressed flower notecard tutorial

Make a pressed flower notecard inspired by museum collections

Introduction

This post is part of our #stayconnected series. Rediscover the joy of sending a handmade card in the mail with tutorials inspired by the Cultural Centre’s collections

Tutorial by Shannon Quigley,
Curatorial Programming Assistant


Inspired by the collection

A young Illa Welch painted these watercolour studies of local plants in the 1930s. She also made notecards and posters for local events and holidays. We hope these lovely studies from almost 100 years ago inspire you to look more carefully at wildlife that surrounds us today


Make your own pressed flower notecards


Materials:

  • wildflowers and leaves
  • wax or parchment paper
  • a book to press flowers
  • a blank card or cardstock
  • glue that dries clear
  • a paintbrush to apply glue
  • tweezers (optional) to arrange your flowers
  • x-acto blade to trim flowers (optional)

Step 1:

  • Gather your wildflowers on a sunny day
  • Make sure they’re dry for best results

Step 2:

  • Put wildflowers in between parchment paper or wax paper and press them in a book
  • Leaves are less delicate so I put them directly in a book with blank pages

Step 3:

  • Put your book under something heavy (more books)
  • Leave for a week or longer to dry out

Step 4:

  • Get a blank card ready or mix it up by adding a drawing
  • For instructions on how to make a card out of scrap or recycled paper, see Step 1 in last week’s tutorial
  • For this card, I’ve drawn an empty mason jar on the front for my aunt who collects antique jars. I found an image of a jar online and traced it onto plain paper. I cut the jar shape out to create a stencil, traced around it with pencil and drew over it with marker

Step 5:

  • Glue your flowers onto your card
  • Arrange them on a spare piece of paper until you’re happy with the design
  • Use the paintbrush to apply a bit of glue to the back. of the flower
  • Place the plants on the card one at a time and leave to dry
  • Tweezers can be helpful to get small pieces in place
  • Check to make sure all the delicate pieces are glued down, and add a small amount of glue on top if necessary

Step 6:

  • Press the card again to re-flatten if necessary
  • If the glue made your card wobbly, place it in between parchment paper (after the glue has dried) and put it back inside a heavy book to press flat
  • Wrap the finished card in parchment paper to protect the flowers

More card designs you can try

Glue all over

  • Cover the card with a thin layer of glue
  • Place dried flowers onto the card
  • Leave to dry and re-press if necessary (see step 6 above)

One Big Fern

  • Glue the back of a fern, with parchment paper as a working surface
  • Peel off carefully and place on card
  • Experiment with different colours of paper and recycled cardstock

Laminated cards

  • Laminate your cards to make them last
  • These cards and bookmark were made by Evelyn Trepanier, who used a laminator to preserve her work. Evelyn was an avid gardener and grew plants specifically to make pressed flower artwork. Thank you to Mary for sending in these photos!

Share your card in the #stayconnected online gallery!

We’d love to see what you make! Email a picture to Shannon at museum@mindenhills.ca, tag us on facebook / instagram or use the user submission form on the #stayconnected page. All handmade cards welcome!

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