A festival is coming your way
It’s your friend’s birthday
Touch someone’s heart
Send a creative card.
In these fast paced times, people have no time to write letters, let alone send expensive cards. However, many of us still appreciate receiving cards during festive seasons like Hari Raya, Deepavali, Christmas or Chinese New Year and others send wedding invitation cards and cards with messages of congratulations or condolence.
Computer savvy people send e-cards, which are hassle-free, convenient and reach recipients faster. However, e-cards are transient and after some time, the novelty wears off. Besides, you cannot keep, reminisce or mull over them!
Would you like to brighten up someone's day for a special occasion? Or maybe even start a home-based business selling your own homemade cards? Any card made with love and thought will bring more happiness than an expensive store bought card.
Making cards from pressed flowers is a “green’ hobby. It requires patience and diligence but you will derive a lot of pleasure and satisfaction from the process as well as give joy to the recipient.
Here are some simple steps:
1. Pick flowers and leaves from your garden on a warm, sunny day after the dew has dried off. This is essential as the material for pressing must be dry because dampness on the flowers and leaves cause mildew when pressed. Choose small coloured petals (like yellow, red, blue or purple) and include a selection of leaves and ferns to add colour, shape and texture to your composition. You can also press flowers bought from the florist.
2. Press gathered plant material quickly, otherwise they will wither. Using small scissors and tweezers or fine forceps, place the petals and leaves between blotting papers (paper towels or newspapers can be used too), making sure that they do not overlap.
3. Place the blotting papers between pages of a heavy large book (eg. an old telephone directory). The blotting paper when folded in half should be smaller than the pages of the book. You can place more books on this homemade press but make sure that the weight is distributed evenly.
4. Label the type of flowers and the date you pressed them. Leave this in a dry place in a room for at least five to six weeks. You can check if it is dry after a month.
5. When the pressed flowers are completely dry, sort them into flowers and leaves.
6. Arrange them creatively on a prepared white rectangular paper (width 9 cm, length 14 cm). Once you are happy with your arrangement, use glue to make it permanent. Let’s call this (a).
7. Next cut a rectangular coloured cardboard (width 20 cm, length 15 cm). Fold this card into two, giving you a foldable card (10 cm by 15 cm) with a front face and two interior faces. Let’s call this (b).
8. Place the completed design (a) on the front face of (b), with double-sided tape or glue.
9. Write simple words like “for someone special” “thank you” “happy birthday” or “just for you” on (a) using creative fonts if you like. Vary the size of (a) and (b) for variety.
10. The next enjoyable part is writing your personalized messages. Pen fascinating phrases, poems or jokes on the two interior faces. Add extra sheets of paper (white or coloured) to include a photo or other creative ideas if you like.
11. Your pressed-flower card is ready.
Use recycled paper, drawing paper or foolscap paper for (a) and recycled greeting cards, plain colour covers from magazines/ company share reports or coloured textured papers bought from the stationer’s for (b).
For envelopes, you can buy ready-made ones from the stationer’s. If you want to conserve the environment, use entirely recycled paper for (a), (b) and envelopes as this will help to save trees.
Pressing flowers is a simple way of preserving the enchanting beauty of nature, and making pressed-flower cards is a fun and absorbing pastime. This hobby will also make you aware of the abundance of beautiful flowers around and help you appreciate your garden more. Working with such delicate material will undoubtedly give you a feeling of tranquility and a sense of accomplishment
You will find it a captivating and delightful hobby. Start by taking a walk in your garden. Collect flowers that you like and preserve their beauty in cards. Let your creative juices flow and make a floral art gift from the heart for someone special.
Who knows, one day you may turn this hobby into a home-based business.
Source: Article contributed by Katherine Kuan