There are so many tender moments I would love to place in a bottle and save for later....
I love to take walks with my camera, noticing all the flowers, insects, and other little wonders. On our walks together, Mini Me likes to walk and take pictures, too. It was her idea that we should make a flower book together. She had a very elaborate plan. However, in trying to be just like Mommy, she turned the extended lens of her camera....which doesn't work so well for a point and shoot. She was devastated.
Fast forward through the tears and wailing ...on to Plan B...Let Mommy take the pictures and you can pick and press the flowers, and we will put them together in a special book. Plan B was a brilliant success.
Though we made our book in the late Winter and early Spring, this project would work well in the Summer and Fall, too!
You can use a flower press, but I chose to keep things simple and used a manageable sized book when were out on our walks. Carefully place the picked flower or leaf in the book so the petals will be well displayed later. Practice makes this task easier. If the plant you are pressing is plentiful, press a few different samples.
Once you are back home, you can transfer the pressed plants to a larger book. I used a Physicians Desk Reference...which is huge. Phone books also work well. I found that placing the plants on a sheet of paper and then placing them in the book makes it easier to remove the plants later. The sooner you place the plants in the larger book, the better. When the plants are still fresh you can gently move the petals and leaves a bit so they are arranged how you would like them.
Stack some more books on top of the one where the plants are being pressed, or place another heavy object on top to weight the book down. Wait for a few days...we waited a week.
There are several ways to preserve and arrange plants after they are dried...the internet is full of ideas...this is how we made our flower book....
I cut squares of acid free paper. I used Bristol board because it fairly thick, and I knew could handle the moisture in the following steps.
We arranged the plants of our liking. To hold them in place I used a small amount of acid free glue behind the larger parts of the plant.
Next, we carefully painted on Acrylic Medium. I think Mod Podge would have worked just as well, but I had Acrylic Medium handy. We found it most successful to paint out from the center of the flower. This took a little practice, and some trial and error.
Finally, we set the plant and paper above the radiator to dry. The Acrylic Medium only took a few hours to dry to the touch, but I let them sit over night for good measure.
After the plants and papers were dry we placed them into a special photo album. We arranged the dried plants on one side and a photograph of the same plant on the other side. I wrote the botanical name, common English name, and the common Italian name next to each plant.
The book is our special treasure. A store of fun times spent outdoors together, and fun times spent indoors working on projects together.