Monday, October 13, 2008

Easy Homemade Gift - Plant Press Tutorial

Two of our nieces celebrated milestone birthdays this past week and so we wanted to make them something super cool to celebrate. A number of ideas floated around, but the one that stuck was a plant press - you know those things to flatten leaves, flowers and other cool finds in. We thought - what better gift to celebrate fall, the dropping of leaves and the collection that all the beautiful colors and shapes always inspires?

A plant press is very easy to make and one that we often carry around on outings.

Step 1 - Gather your materials:
newspaper or other scrap paper (we used an emptied bird seed bag)
corrugated cardboard from old boxes
scrap wood (any good portable size)
utility knife
old belts that are cinchable

Step 2 - Size (& cut if desired) your wood scraps.

You want two pieces that are roughly the same size. For our nieces, Steve cut two wine box scraps he had in two for a total of 4 pieces since we wanted two presses. These ended up being about 6.5 inches wide and maybe 7.5 inches tall. (Make sure you use wood for the outside pieces. It provides needed rigidity.)

You can make your press larger or smaller or with small boards of wood that are nailed together, which is how I made mine a number of years back:

Step 3 - Add decorative touches to the wood pieces if desired.

I used Steve's soldering iron to burn the words Plant Press onto the front board and the girls' initials on the back board. You could also paint on the wood or leave it plain.

Step 4 - Cut your newspaper or other recycled paper of choice and cardboard to fit inside your wood pieces.

We put about 16 sheets of paper in each press and 3 pieces of cardboard. You can add more cardboard for more rigidity.

Step 5 - Stack your cardboard and paper in between your wood pieces.

We put one on the top and bottom of the paper and one in the middle. What you are doing here is creating a place for leaves or flowers to lie flat and not touch one another so they can dry out and be used for other craft projects or to just remember the outing by.

Step 6 - Cinch your press tight with a belt or two depending on size.

Step 7 - Enjoy!

Take your favorite kid or yourself outdoors, collect some of your most favorite leaves and flowers (taking care to not gather any material that is home for some other critter), press them flat, let them sit for a couple of days in a warm place and use them for whatever you desire.

Here are some photos of our nieces enjoying their presses (artistic photos compliments of their father) ...

1 comment:

  1. You are just sooo crafty:) Thanks for linking to us both! You rock!


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