Saving flowers as memorial keepsakes is nothing new, nevertheless it’s even simpler now for gardeners to protect their stunning, recent blooms by incorporating them into easy artwork tasks they will treasure ceaselessly.
“For me, the attraction of it’s preserving nature. Taking time and preserving it ceaselessly in time and area,” stated jewellery artist Tai Ferreira Eliades. “I’ll return and have a look at one thing I made six months in the past and there it’s in good, pristine situation. It’s feeling.”
Throughout quarantine final Might, Eliades began her Etsy store at AntiStandardCo.com, the place she sells jewellery made with flowers and foliage she’s collected. Working from her residence studio in Hillsboro, Eliades stated having this enterprise through the pandemic has helped her to push her artistic boundaries.
Anybody can craft with vegetation, nonetheless, and florist Jeremi Carroll and farmer John Peterson stated place to begin is simply by trying round your backyard.
“See what you’ve gotten. What aesthetic would you like? What are you making an attempt to construct?” Peterson stated. “See what textures you would possibly need to incorporate into no matter you’re making.”
Homeowners of Pollinate Flowers in Newberg, Carroll and Peterson began a dry flower program at their store final 12 months. They create preparations and wreaths comprised of flowers they develop and dry on their farm, and even promote wreath kits at their retail store.
Carroll stated which you can dry something, however some flowers are simply naturally simpler to work with than others. Roses, yarrow, statice, Gomphrena, amaranth, marigold, hydrangea, grass seed heads, feverfew, celosia and strawflower are all varieties which are thought-about dry after they’re alive, he stated, so they’ll dry simply and maintain their form effectively.
“They have already got a crispy texture to petals, so after they dry they don’t change construction or shade,” he defined.
There are a number of methods to dry flowers, however the three commonest strategies are hanging the other way up, utilizing silica gel and urgent. Carroll stated the normal means is to bunch flowers collectively and cling them the other way up in a dry and darkish area. He beneficial drying them in the home away from a window, the place humidity is low.
That technique works for a lot of flowers and grasses, however for daisy-like flowers, corresponding to black-eyed Susans, drying works higher with the petals and heart of flower drying face-up, Carroll stated. Once they cling, the gravity will shut up the petals across the heart, so Carroll beneficial drying these flat with both a flower press or silica gel.
“Actually, it’s nearly experimenting,” Peterson defined. “All the things dries in its personal distinctive means and it’s extra concerning the private aesthetic of what they’re drawn to.”
Eliades prefers urgent her flowers utilizing parchment paper and a stack of books, which takes about six to seven days for the flower to totally dry. Urgent makes the flower one-dimensional, which works nice for jewellery, playing cards and glass or resin paintings.
Silica gel, alternatively, absorbs moisture from the flower and permits it to carry its form. Peterson stated that utilizing silica gel is a good technique for greater flowers like dahlias which have buildings of their petals that might go away with out moisture. The gel granules fill within the cracks when the natural moisture dries out.
Chrissy Henry, a Portland-based artist who owns CC Henry Designs, purposely planted flowers in her backyard that she knew she needed to include into her jewellery. Relying on the flower sort, she both makes use of silica gel, the hanging technique, or urgent.
“It is determined by the feel,” she stated.
Foliage requires a unique technique. Drying foliage the other way up will normally crinkle the leaves, so Carroll advised utilizing vegetable glycerin. It darkens the leaves, but additionally makes the leaves extra pliable.
Regardless of the misunderstanding of dried flowers being lifeless flowers, flowers ought to truly be harvested of their prime, Peterson stated.
“[People] assume dried flowers are spent ones, however you really want to reap them such as you would recent flowers,” Peterson defined. “They’re nonetheless growing old after they’re minimize. So in the event you harvest them at peak bloom, you’ll have one of the best dried flower versus in the event you harvest them close to the tip, perhaps the petals begin to fall off or the seeds drop.”
Each Henry and Eliades use resin to include the flowers and make jewellery with it as soon as the liquid has cured, however jewellery is only one of many crafts that may be made with resin. For novices who need extra steering in utilizing resin, Henry beneficial shopping for a resin jewellery package as a result of it comes with all the pieces wanted for the craft. Resin molds and different kits are additionally accessible to buy, for these concerned with studying learn how to make greater than jewellery. Eliades advised buying molds in silicone as a result of it’s reusable and extra eco-friendly than utilizing plastic for all the pieces.
One other simpler resin technique for novices could be utilizing a UV resin, Eliades stated, as a result of it cures inside minutes in any UV gentle — together with daylight. Henry advised searching for a non-yellowing resin, as a result of some cheaper manufacturers will yellow the tint within the solar. Eliades prefers a two-part artist resin, which is “a bit of bit tougher to work with nevertheless it’s undoubtedly price it in the event you’re promoting merchandise.”
“However there are such a lot of manufacturers which are extra inexpensive,” Eliades defined. “Begin out not shopping for the most costly, go cheaper since you’ll make errors. I bought cheaper issues at first, and it helped me study with out feeling like I used to be throwing cash within the rubbish can.”
The artwork resin Eliades now makes use of comes with the resin and a hardener, of which she makes use of equal elements for 3 minutes till the combination is totally clear and the glaze is gone. She then makes use of backless frames and tapes up one aspect and places the flower on the opposite, pouring the resin in layers over the flower so it gained’t float.
“A typical mistake is filling up the body with the flower and strolling away, and the flower has risen to the highest,” she stated. “Simply understand it’s a course of, and it takes a couple of step.”
One other widespread mistake is setting a plant in resin that both hasn’t dried all the way in which or is a waxy plant. Henry stated that in the event you work with an oily leaf, it can have an air pocket that mould can get into, turning your stunning plant souvenir right into a mould showcase.
Prioritizing security can also be essential. Eliades stated crafters ought to put on latex gloves when straight dealing with the resin and work in a effectively ventilated space. In some instances, it might be essential to put on a respirator that’s authorised for filtering fumes and dirt, notably on bigger tasks or in areas with poor air flow. (Examine producers’ directions.) Eliades additionally advised working in an space that isn’t chilly, as a result of resin gained’t remedy correctly in cooler temperatures. Henry added that humidity impacts resin and to not work with it when it’s raining or there’s a number of moisture within the air.
The No. 1 factor to recollect, Eliades stated, is to permit your self to make errors as a result of, “Everybody messes up the primary time.” She advised checking again in on the work each quarter-hour to reduce potential errors.
“I didn’t do it at first and would stroll away and are available again 4 hours later to a mistake I couldn’t repair,” she stated. “Some bubbles would possibly rise or if the flower shifts you may poke it into place. It’s like a Tamagotchi,” she added, referencing a ’90s digital pet toy that required each day surveillance and care.
Though it takes some experimenting, Eliades encourages everybody to present the craft a shot: “It may not be your factor, however even if in case you have only a couple items on the finish, you continue to have one thing on the finish of it,” she stated.
Simple crafts to make with dried flowers
Chrissy Henry of CC Henry Designs stated that every time she tries out a brand new plant or flower for a chunk of knickknack, she is going to “simply throw it on a magnet” to get an thought of the way it appears.
To make your personal dried flower magnet, you’ll want a sheet of magnets with sticker adhesive, dried flowers, resin (both UV Resin or artwork resin will work), tweezers, latex gloves, and both a paint brush or a mould.
First, ensure the flowers you’re working with have been totally dried. Henry is a giant fan of utilizing forget-me-nots, which she dries and presses in her jewellery. Relying on the flower and aesthetic you want to obtain, flowers will be hung to dry for 2 weeks, pressed for per week, or preserved in silica gel to make them simpler to work with.
Henry stated the mould will be any form you want. Should you choose to work with out a mould, resin will be utilized on to the flower itself. If working with a mould, put the dried flowers within the solid template utilizing both tweezers or your hand. Subsequent, pour the resin on prime of the flower in layers, making certain that the flower gained’t rise through the course of. After ready the producer’s beneficial time (it can fluctuate relying on the kind of resin you employ, UV takes minutes and two-part resins take round 4 hours), the product can come out of the mould and a magnet sticker will be utilized to the again of the piece.
A mould isn’t essential, nonetheless, if you need a unique search for your magnet. Henry stated that you may as an alternative hand-paint resin on the back and front of a flower and as soon as it cures, connect the magnet backing to it. Newberg florists Jeremi Carroll and John Peterson of Pollinate Flowers stated it could give the flower a “glassy” look.
Henry warns that the crafting course of takes time, particularly as you’re drying flowers, and to not anticipate a fast 15-minute craft — except you’re utilizing a UV resin. That is the type of craft that makes an ideal weekend afternoon exercise.
Past magnets, it’s comparatively simple to make different easy crafts with resin and dried flowers by buying molds of various shapes. For novices who need to get a style of resin crafts with out spending some huge cash on provides they aren’t certain they’ll use once more, Amazon sells resin kits with options for jewelry making or starter kits with colors to play with. For kits, costs vary from $13 to $42.
Regionally, artwork shops like, I’ve Been Framed and Blick additionally promote resin kits from $9 as much as $46. For molds, Etsy has inexpensive choices in the event you’re searching for one thing explicit like dice, coaster, goddess figurine or bookmark molds. Costs vary from $2 to $15 relying on the mould type.
For individuals who need to experiment with dried flowers with out resin, preparations or wreaths manufactured from dried flowers are additionally a enjoyable and exquisite solution to protect flora. Carroll and Peterson advocate combining blooms with totally different grasses or ferns to make one-of-a-kind collections. Foliage can be picked year-round to play with splashes of shade. For instance, this previous 12 months Carroll and Peterson experimented with strawberry leaves when fall hit and inexperienced leaves turned pink.
If the concept of crafting with dry flowers sounds interesting however you don’t essentially need to do the drying your self, Pollinate Flowers additionally sells wreath kits with flowers included to make crafting much more accessible.
— Aliya Corridor, particular to The Oregonian/OregonLive