Introduction: Dry Flower Earrings
Handicraft is my passion. One of my favorite craft technique is dry flower craft. I'm always trying to experiment with it. Trying to press different flowers and leaves on various canvases. What I love about this technique is that with just a simple process you can capture nature's beauty, freezing it in space.
Here's one of my latest experiments. Hope you enjoy making it as much as I did!
- ply wood x 2 pieces of size 25 cm X 25cm X 1cm
- nuts X 8
- bolts X 4
- washers X 4
- Sheets of Paper ( printing paper / news paper / tissue paper)
- Sheets of hardboard
- Assorted leaves and flowers : Various kinds of flowers and leaves can be used. But keep in mind that leaves which are very thick and leathery can't be pressed. As for flowers, some just lose their color and turn black after they have been pressed. Some flowers which work very well are: rose, bluebells, cosmos, ixora, bougainvillea. As for leaves the ones I like to use are: wild grass, tender neem leaves, jasmine leaves
- craft glue
- 1/4 inch flat paint brush
- handmade paper
- Brush with plastic bristles ( to fluff up the string ends)
- earring hooks (you can buy them here) https://www.amazon.in/Earring-Golden-Antique-Jewel...
- Some patience and creativity
Step 1: Making the Flower Presser
To press the leaves and flowers you could use an old book or a diary. But as I press flowers and leaves regularly, I found it inconvenient to use a book or diary to do the job. So I made a flower presser.
I have used ply wood of size 25 cm X 25 cm X 1 cm. But you could make it of any size you like. First drill four holes around 1 or 2 centimetres away from each of the four corners of the plywood. The diameter of the holes should be around 1 mm more than the diameter of the bolts. After drilling the holes both the plywood pieces should look identical. Put the four bolts through the holes of one of the planks. Put on washers and then tighten the nuts completely until they are touching the plank. This is so that the bolts don't shake and remain fixed to the planks. Place the second plank over the first and bolt it down and your flower presser is ready to be used.
Step 2: Pressing the Leaves and Flowers
Before you begin pressing its very important to make sure that the flowers and leaves are dry. If you don't do this they'll get fungus. So leave the flowers and leaves under a fan for about half an hour. Not all leaves and flowers retain their vibrant colors after pressing. You can play it safe by using the flowers and leaves that's I've mentioned in the materials section or experiment with some other flowers. I would choose the latter.
Carefully separate the petals of the flowers with your hands or a pair of scissors and place them on the paper sheet. The purpose of the sheet is to further absorb the moisture . The size of the sheet should be such that it can fit in your book/diary or flower presser. Then place one more sheet on top of the petals and insert the sandwiched leaves and petals between the pages of your book/diary.
If you are using the flower presser you'll also need thick hardboard sheets of the same dimensions as the paper sheets. You need to put the petals and leaves which are sandwiched between absorbent sheets in between two hardboard sheets. Then place this composite stack of layers of hardboard, paper, flower petals and leaves in between the planks of the flower presser and tighten the nuts. If you are using a book/diary you could put it under some heavy books or your mattress. For those using the flower presser tightening the bolts should suffice. Leave the flowers and leaves under pressure for three to five days and then you can finally begin to use them to create some beautiful designs.
Step 3: Making the Earring's Shape
Before you begin you must first prepare all the materials and your environment. If you have a fan running in the room, switch it off and if you are working beside an open window close the shutters. This will ensure that your precious petals and leaves don't get blown away.
Start off by drawing the shape of the earrings on hardboard. In the video I have chosen to make them shaped like leaves. Cut out the shapes. Place them on a piece of handmade paper of your choice and trace the outline of the shape.
Step 4: Making the Floral Design
Now coming to the most fun part. You could begin by lightly marking the basic form of your design within the outline you drew on the handmade paper. Then place the petals and leaves on the paper and see how they look. When you are happy with the design carefully pick each petal and leaf one by one, applying a little glue to one side and sticking it back in its place. Don't use your hand to lift the leaves and petals. That might damage them and spoil the design. Just dip the tip of the brush in art glue and deftly lift the petals and leaves using the tip and stick them back . Once you're done with the design coat it with a layer of craft glue. This will farther protect the leaves and flowers from pealing off and from moisture.
Step 5: Making and Attaching a Border String
While the glue dries, wrap a colored string around a piece of hardboard around 30 times. Choose a color that matches the flower design.The hardboard length needs to be around 10 cm longer than the perimeter of the shape you have drawn. No need to be precise, just eyeball it. Once you've wrapped the string remove it and twist it to make one thick string. Cut out the flower designs along the outline you drew on the handmade paper. Stick one of them on one side of the hardboard cut-out and the other on the other side. Slide the hoop of the earring hook over the string and stick the thread along the boarder of the hardboard keeping the hook at the top of the earring.Tie the ends of the string with a a piece of string of the same color. Use a brush to soften and fan out the ends. Roll another string like you rolled up the border string. Pass the string through the hoop and knot it in the middle. Slide some beads of your choice over the string ends and knot the ends so that they don't slide back out. Instead of bordering the earrings with a coiled string you could also border them with beads like in the images above.
Using a pair of pliers secure the earring hook to the earring. Repeat the same process to make the second earring and voila your floral design earrings are ready to be worn.
Step 6: Come Up With New Designs
Be creative, experiment and have fun! Above are images of some more earrings I have made to give you ideas.
This instructable is part of the 'Jewelry Challenge'. So if you enjoyed it please drop me a vote!
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