Using pressed and dried flowers

Anything that can be done with pressed flowers can be done with dried ones, too. And sometimes more successfully, as dried flowers need not be flat – you could, for example, build up three-dimensional flower pictures – but can be pressed flat if necessary for say, table mats.

Collage pictures made up of pressed or dried flowers are very attractive, and whereas a book of pressed flowers may be put away and forgotten, a picture is a permanent reminder of a holiday or weekend. Choose a backing material which will harmonize with the flowers – plain or coloured paper, linen, silk, hessian – and mount it on a backing board. To fix the flowers to the backing dab a very little latex adhesive onto the back ot the flower – if you use too much adhesive it will soak through and discolour the flower-head – then gently put the flower into place in the collage. Use a soft paint-brush or a pair of tweezers to lift flower petals.

If you want to protect your finished picture with glass remember to fix a beading behind the frame to lift the glass so that it does not flatten the flowers.

Attractive door finger plates can be made by cutting white cardboard to the size of a perspex finger plate, sticking pressed flowers to the card and then covering this with the perspex. Table mats can be similarly made. Use a backing of felt and a top surface of perspex, or glass cut to size by a glazier, of a thickness recommended to resist heat. Seal the edges of the mats with a strong adhesive tape. Glazed screens or windows, matchbox tops, and even book covers can all be decorated with pressed or dried flowers. And when wrapping presents you could give them an original finishing touch by adding small garlands or sprays of dried flowers or pressed leaves.

A collage of dried wild flowers and plants is easy to make and brings a breath of country air into a town home. The flowers are stuck with a little multipurpose glue to a board; glass is mounted over them and framed. Butterflies give extra charm – you can catch them yourself or, more easily, buy them from a dealer.

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