Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Framing Pressed Leaves

Now that Christmas is over and presents have been opened I can share these with you.

For my mother-in-law who misses the colours of the maple leaves in fall
In fall we went collecting leaves.  I can't resist the pretty colours as I go walking through the woods.  My pockets inevitably are filled.  What can I do with all these leaves though?  Some years I have created little vignettes around the house.


This year though the bounty was laid to dry and then sprayed with DMP - Dried Material Preservative - to preserve the lovely colours, protect the leaves against UV rays and make them more pliable.


Once sprayed I layered them in paper and popped them into heavy books for 2 - 3 weeks.

Frames were bought at the dollar store.  Picture mats and acid free paper from a craft store.

These frames were purchased for approximately $5 each
In addition I collected some flowers from the garden.  Following the same procedure I sprayed them and laid them flat in books for pressing.

A single peacock orchid bloom from my flower bed
With my materials arranged and instructions at hand (this site was particularly helpful) I then proceeded to play with flowers for several weeks.  Picking through leaves and flowers, trying to find the right combination.  In the end I decided simple was the best route for me.  Two contrasting leaves in one frame, a single bloom in another.

A packet of silica gel, to keep moisture at bay, some aluminum foil and tape to seal it all together and I had several Christmas presents to give away.  A gift from my garden with love.

35 comments:

  1. What lucky people to receive such a gift. I think these are beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Lisa, I thought they turned out really nice.

      Delete
  2. What a fabulous idea! They are beautiful and I think handmade gift from the heart are the very best!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Handmade really says a lot I think, you know someone really thought about the gift beforehand.

      Delete
  3. That would be a lovely gift to receive.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh, Marguerite! I have been making these for presents for years but you have definitely given me some great tweeks. I mount the dry leaves between 2 pieces of glass and just use copper foil tape to finish them off - no frames. Hooks for hanging are whatever the latest gadget is at the craft store. Mostly I make them flat for laying on a desk or dresser.

    DMP is definitely on the shopping list for next year. I just told my recipients to keep them out of the sunlight so they would not fade.

    The phone books at our house (big ones here in the metroplex) are off limits as one never knows what I have drying in them.

    That peacock bloom is beautiful. I bet folks were pleased with their presents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love the copper edging! A girlfriend used to make drink coasters like that. I ended up using phone books, plant encyclopedias, and then piled them all high on top of each other. I was surprised at how quickly they dried and flattened out. I had to use tweezers to handle some of the more delicate blooms.

      Delete
  5. Awesome! What a creative way to preserve your garden.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have one set aside for myself as well, I like the idea of keeping a bloom to remind me of my garden.

      Delete
  6. Charming Christmas presents, and beautifully made.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Laurrie, they were a lot of fun to put together.

      Delete
  7. What a thoughtful gift! And a nice way to extend your garden into the home as well. I love it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't resist flowers no matter what form. It's nice to still see some colour in winter even if it's in a frame.

      Delete
  8. They do make pretty Christmas presents, ones that last a lifetime. I used to make, draw and paint Christmas gifts, but the family members (married into) that I gave them too wished they got something purchased and expensive. I was so hurt that for the past two years did not attend their Christmas dinner. I just send them flowers, and I know they don't even like them either (told me so) because they will not last. Some people don't know a good, heartfelt gift. The spirit of giving is lost on some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your comment feeling sad, as I have had similar experience...especially regarding the flowers. "Just give me money". Hard to bear but on the bright side, sharing from the garden with those that really appreciate it's splendour,and seeing their joy of receiving a packet of seeds, or doing a walk about arm in arm in summer, makes up for those that find no beauty or love in the garden's bounty.

      Delete
    2. Donna, I too was sorry to hear you've had such a negative experience with your gifts. Hard to believe someone would actually say they didn't like your gift, seems the act of giving has been lost on some. Thankfully your fellow garden bloggers are here to share the joy of your garden, we always appreciate your wonderful creativity and your posts.

      Delete
  9. You are very artistic. What a great buy on the frames! Am always on the lookout myself for those kinds of deals.

    The recipients must have been thrilled as there is no gift as special as one crafted by hand, from the heart.

    Happy New Year and all the best for a new growing season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brenda, don't know if you have them in NS but the store is Christmas Discounters. They always have great deals on picture frames. I stocked up :) Ironically my mother called and asked what kind of flower was in her picture, said she couldn't find the label. Oops, I forgot to mention I made it myself, she thought it was store bought! LOL, good news she was pleasantly surprised to find out it came from my garden.

      Delete
  10. These pictures are lovely! I tried to Google ‘Dried Material Preservative’ but I can’t find it here in Britain, couldn’t find it on Amazon either though, could you please tell me who produce the spray? I have used hairspray in the past on dried flowers, not so sure if that will protect against direct sunlight, but it firms and makes the flowers easier to handle.

    I can’t believe people are unhappy with homemade gifts, and are even telling you so! I usually make all my gifts and cards for friends and family and they are well received and I see them using/displaying/eating the gifts, so it’s not just something they are saying to be polite. Don’t get upset with those few that don’t appreciate your efforts, they are just being silly and ungrateful, I bet you have lots of other friends and family that are more than happy to receive your presents :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helene, this is really strange. The product is called "DMP", and is made in the US. The company website is listed as www.gardproducts.com on the bottle but when I did a quick search the website doesn't work. Nor can I find any reference to it online. I purchased it at a craft shop called Michaels after having read about it on a flower preserving website. I don't know you would have Michael's in Britain but perhaps you could talk to someone at your craft store and find an equivalent?

      and don't you worry, my mother and mother-in-law were quite happy with their gifts. I think my other reader was referring to her own experience.

      Delete
  11. What a beautiful gift! I have tried the wax paper route of pressed leaves but I'm going to try your new idea at preserving the leaves. I bet your mother-in-law was very happy with her gift.
    Wishing you and yours a very happy gardening season ahead.
    You always have great idea's and your blog is always a real joy to read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, I'm glad you keep coming back! I'm not sure if the spray was absolutely necessary but it was recommended and couldn't hurt. I wanted the leaves particularly to retain their colour so thought this would help.

      Delete
  12. My gifts are made at home gifts from my sewing room or from my knitting needles and I think they are appreciated. If not I have had the fun of making them. A friend of mine has a label she puts in her handmade gifts.It reads,'This took a long time.'

    Jennifer, I have so enjoyed your blog over the past year.
    Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I love that label!! Gets right to the point doesn't it? Part of the joy of gifts is the giving of them and in this case the planning and making. Makes every part of the act a special one.

      Delete
  13. I haven't pressed leaves and flowers since I was knee-high to a rabbit, but I used to love it! I love the intensity of the color of the leaves you chose. I've been considering pressing some smaller flowers for candle-making, but I love them framed too! Beautiful job! Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's something we all did as children wasn't it? I too haven't pressed a flower in years but I bought a second hand book and what fell out. It got me thinking. Candle making Clare, is that another new project to come? can't wait to see the post on that one. I wonder if the flowers would impart fragrance as they burn?

      Delete
  14. What a lovely idea. Have a fabulous New Year Marguerite. I look forward to reading more of your blog, and enjoy your new camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Melanie! Best wishes in the new year to you too.

      Delete
  15. How lovely - lucky people, a beautiful gift with meaning behind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, it was funny, I started putting this together for my MIL and then during a phone conversation she asked if we could send her a few leaves. Turns out I was making just what she wanted.

      Delete
  16. Marguerite I think your framed leaves and flowers are beautiful, I love the colours of autumn leaves,

    re your previous post, I think you have done amazing things with your garden, especially now I know how big that front bed is, some people have a whole garden not much bigger, I think like me it's having such a large garden there is always more to do than has been done!

    your veg beds are a good size, I've heard not to make them wider than you can reach to weed without treading on them and paths wide enough for a wheel barrow, you have acomplished this, Frances

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Frances, I like the colourful leaves best. that was exactly what I was trying to achieve with the veggie garden. No stepping on the beds and yet lots of room to walk between. It works well but takes up a lot of space I've found.

      Delete
  17. Wonderful gifts Marguerite, very nice.

    ReplyDelete