While doing a bit of reorganizing of some bookshelves I came across the book "The World of Christopher Robyn" printed in the 50s and given to a young boy for Christmas in 1960. I'm not sure exactly where this book came from, the name of the boy and the person who gave it to him are not ones I recognize from our family, so my best guess is that my mom found it in a book store and sent it my way (I do like old things).
The Kid and I flipped through the book and she was absolutely amazed when we found several perfectly flat, colourful leafs carefully pressed between the pages.
I explained to her that this what people used to do, save leaves and flowers in books as a memory of summer and places that they have been. Then I also told her about a flower press I had as a kid. I'm not sure what happened to my press so we decided to make one of our own.
I did a quick google search and a memory search of what my press looked like and came up with the following supplies:
- 2 pieces of light wood, cut in a square or rectangle about 6x6
- four bolts and four wing nuts
- cardboard cut slightly smaller than the wooden pieces
Initially I thought I could find some scraps of wood and cut them to size myself. Then I came to my senses and realized that was probably complicating the process and just went to Michaels instead where I found precut pieces of wood.
After Micheals I went to Home Depot and wandered around until I found the bolt aisle (I just couldn't bring myself to ask any of the people working there where I could find wing nuts.)
Once home I cut myself some pieces of cardboard from an old box and I was ready to construct.
First step was drilling the four holes. Pretty easy, I had to change the drill bit twice before I found the right size. Fortunately I started using a bit that was too small. Second step was re-cutting my cardboard. I had forgotten that the card needed to be small enough that it wasn't in the way of the bolts.
Once that was all complete it was time to find some flowers to press. Still early in the growing season out here close to Edmonton though so we started just with some pansies. We also decided to try to press one of the roses we are growing, it's flat like an Alberta Wild Rose so it should work out ok.
Final step in pressing to stack the card board on top of each other and then use the wing nuts to tighten the pieces all together.
The Kid is away right now, so when she comes back we'll open the press up and the think of what to do with her preserved flowers. I'm thinking we could make book marks using clear mac-tac paper, or possibly ironing them in between waxed paper. We'll just have to wait until she comes home to decide.
Looking for more crafts for kids?