Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pressed Flower Ornaments

Last fall during the first few weeks of using Oak Meadow's First Grade Curriculum, we pressed what very little flowers were left in our garden and have kept them tucked away in a book not really knowing what to do with them. Recently I came across the most beautiful tutorial found at Twig and Toadstool for pressed flower ornaments as well as a wonderful recipe for white clay (which I'll be using more of in the future) and despite being nowhere near Christmas, I needed to make these pretties STAT! 
Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch 
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • Rolling pin
  • Pressed flowers
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brush
  • String or Twine
First you need to start off by making your white clay following the directions below.
In a medium sauce pan, combine the baking soda and corn starch, then add the warm water. Over medium heat mix all of the ingredients.  
Bring the mixture to a boil. Stir constantly.
The clay will begin to bind and pull away from the sides of the pan.  When the clay begins to resemble play dough, remove the pan from the heat and allow the clay to cool.  
Next you will shape and bake your ornaments.  
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. 
Once the clay has cooled, kneed the clay, form it into a ball and roll the clay out on a flat surface using your rolling pin, about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in thickness.  

Once the clay is rolled flat, cut out your circles by using a round cookie cutter or the top of a mason jar (which is what we used).  
Place the cut-outs on a lined baking sheet and create a hole in the top using a straw (we used a skewer).
Bake your ornaments for about 1 hour at 200 degrees and allow to cool before decorating.  
Lets Decorate! 
After your ornaments have fully cooled, brush a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top. 
Before the Mod Podge has a chance to dry, carefully place the dried flowers on top. It helps to have a set of tweezers for this. Once the flowers are in place, carefully brush a second layer of Mod Podge over the top of the ornament and set aside to dry. Once the Mod Podge has dried you can string your ornaments.  We used twine, but fishing wire or a thin string would work as well! 

We are days away from spring and have no tree to hang these beauties from at the moment, so the kids and I found a nice branch outside and strung it up in the front window to hang our ornaments from.  

Don't forget to press your flowers this fall, come Christmas they will be ready to be turned into beautiful ornaments and will make such a wonderful gift for those that you love!  

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