Make favourite flowers and foliage last all year long with these decorative ideas, says craft and home editor Esme Clemo

Decoration ideas with pressed flowers

The traditional method

You will need

Time to make: 3-4 weeks to dry

✤ Flower press (try Tesco for similar – visit tesco.com)

✤ Blotting paper

✤ Flowers for pressing

✤ Tweezers

1. Gather flowers that are at their best bloom and free of rainwater. Trim the backs of the flower heads to avoid bulk.

2. Sandwich the leaves and buds in between two pieces of blotting paper.

3. Label the blotting paper with the date of pressing, so you can keep track of how long the flowers have been drying.

4. Place inside the flower press and tighten the corner screws. Leave to dry for 2-4 weeks and remove carefully with tweezers once stiff.

Esme’s Tip

If you’re trying flower pressing for the first time, opt for flatter flora, individual petals and leaves, as they are easier to press

The iron method

You will need

Time to make: 40 mins

✤ Iron

✤ Blotting paper

✤ Flowers for pressing

1. Repeat Steps 1 and 2, as above.

2. Make sure there’s no water in the iron and set to a low heat. Press the iron over the top sheet of blotting paper for 10-15 seconds, making sure to keep the iron over the pressed flower.

3. Allow the paper to cool for 15 seconds, then repeat until the flower has dried out completely.

Notebook cover

You will need

✤ Notebook

✤ Thick, textured paper in a colour of your choice

✤ Double-sided sticky tape

✤ Pressed flowers and leaves

✤ Acid-free glue

✤ Green twine

✤ Tape measure

1. Open the notebook so the cover is flat and measure the length and width. Add an extra 8cm to the width measurement. Cut the paper to these dimensions.

2. Fold the piece of paper around the notebook, turn the excess lengths under the notebook’s cover and secure with double-sided sticky tape.

3. Arrange the pressed flowers and leaves on the paper and glue in place when you’re happy with the arrangement. Allow to dry.

4. Cut a length of twine to wrap around the notebook and knot to secure. Just slide the twine off when you want to jot something down, and back on once you’re finished.

Decorate notebooks with pressed flowers

Gift tags

You will need

✤ Plain coloured gift tags

✤ Pressed flower heads

✤ Green twine

✤Acid-free glue

1. Glue three or four flower heads in a straight line down the centre of each gift tag and allow to dry completely.

2. Thread and knot a piece of twine through the hole at the top of the tag, ready to tie on to a gift with matching ribbons.

Frame display

You will need

✤ Frame

✤ Foam board

✤ Brown and white acid-free paper

✤ Pressed leaves

✤ Tweezers

✤ Acid-free glue dots

1. Carefully dismantle the frame and cut out a piece of foam board and brown paper to fit the back of the frame. Use glue dots to stick the paper to the board.

2. Cut the white paper slightly smaller than the brown paper and snip off the corners using the photo as a guide. Stick the cut-outin the middle of the brown backing piece.

3.Using tweezers, gently arrange your favourite leafy pressings on the white paper. Once you’re happy with the layout, use small glue dots to stick the leaves down. Pencil the names of the plants on the paper. Reassemble the frame.

✤ Display your frame out of direct sunlight to prevent the leaf colours fadixng.

Jar labels

You will need

✤ Pressed flowers

✤ Sterilised jam jars

✤Thin white card

✤ Acid-free glue

✤ Pen

✤ Hole punch

✤ White hole reinforcers

✤ String

1. Cut thin rectangles of paper to fit around your jam jars. Arrange the pressed flowers on the paper and glue in place. Allow to dry completely.

2. Cut out a smaller piece of card and write a label for your jar. Glue in the centre of the floral piece.

3. Using a hole punch, make a hole at each end of the flower card and stick hole reinforcers over the top.

4.Cut a length of string and knot it through the holes. Tie around the jam jars after they’ve been filled with your curd or preserve.

Decroate jars with pressed flowers