Use Flower Drying to Make Great Embellishments for your Altered Book

 

Flower drying and altered book artists go together like sugar and spice.

dried flowers

In this spread, I have added dried flowers to both pages. They are home dried, and cold laminated with clear shelf liner.


And why not? Pressed flowers are natural, beautiful, economical, and easy to make.

4 Methods of Flower Drying

First, avoid picking flowers when they are wet from dew or rain. Thin flowers and leaves dry best, although I have seen some lovely dried rosebuds.

  1. Buy Them Ready Made
    Many craft and scrapbooking stores sell small packages of dried flowers,already arranged and laminated. This method is fast, easy, foolproof, but not necessarily economical.

  2. The Old Fashioned Way: Press Them in a Book
    Find some small flowers or leaves. Place them between the pages of a book. An old telephone book is great for this. Close the book, and weight it down with a heavy object. Leave for six weeks, or until the flowers are completely dried. This method is extremely economical, easy, almost foolproof, but not fast.

  3. The Low Tech Method: Dry Them in a Microwave Oven
    There are various methods of doing this, including covering the flowers with silica gel or dust-free cat litter.

    This is what I used to do:

    1. Place a few layers of paper towels on a flat, microwave-safe plate.
    2. Place your flowers on the paper towels. Do not allow flowers to overlap.
    3. Place a few more layers of paper towels on top of the flowers.
    4. Place something flat and heavy on top of the second layer of towels. A heavy plate or pizza stone is fine.
    5. Nuke at high heat for about 30 seconds. Inspect your flowers. If they are not ready, nuke again for 20 seconds. Continue nuking in small bursts until dry but not brittle. Remove carefully and cool on flat surface.

  4. The High Tech Method: The Microfleur
    The Microfleur is a wonderful gadget that is used in flower drying. You put your flowers in the gadget, clamp it together, and put it in the microwave for a short while. I purchased the Microfleur last summer and the brilliant colors of the dried flowers impressed me tremendously.

    It's made in Australia. Check the FAQ page on the manufacturer's web site for dazzling examples of flower drying.

    Amazon carries the product online. They're selling it for about half of what I paid when it first came out. Such is life.

How do I Attach my Flowers in an Altered Book?

Since your flowers are organic, they will rot your pages unless you seal them well. Heat laminating will probably destroy the delicate blossoms, so instead look for a method of cold lamination.

This is what I do:
1. Cut a square of clear shelf liner, the kind that is sticky on one side. (We used to call this MacTac, remember)? Put your square of shelf liner on a surface, sticky side up. Weigh down the corners with something to prevent the liner from curling up while you work.
2. Carefully arrange your dried flowers on the sticky side, leaving a border all around.
3. Cut a second piece of shelf liner, the same size as the first.
4. Working carefully, put the shelf liner, sticky side down, over the flowers.
5. Seal the edges of the shelf liner together, ensuring there are no unsealed edges. The pressed flowers are stuck safely inside.
6. Mount your arrangement on card stock, frame it, or embellish as desired, then attach your flower drying project to your layout.


Flower Drying With A Microwave: Techniques and Projects Titia Joosten

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Altered Book Home Page.