Saturday, May 8, 2010

homemade herbarium

The C.M. Barker covered knitting box made me think of this herbarium I made for my daughter some years ago. This is really the easiest thing to make, but here's a little how-to. It makes a great gift for a little friend as summer is approaching.

You'll need:

  • two heavy pieces of cardboard about A4 size 
  • decorative paper/cut outs or the like
  • glue stick
  • Stanley (or other sharp) knife
  • satin ribbon
  • contact paper

First, cut your cardboard to two A4 sized pieces, or a different size of your choice. You will make two identical pieces; the front and the back.
Make 4 small cuts to each piece (see photo). This will be where the ribbon will go. The ribbon is used to tie the herbarium  together.
Decorate as desired. I chose to glue pretty paper to one side of the cardboard (using glue stick), just wrapping around the corners, and some heavy white paper to the other side, which hid the corner folds.
Cover both cardboards with transparent contact paper, making sure that every fold is neatly done. Cover both sides. This is to protect your herbarium from moist.
Find the four cuts you made with your fingers (easy, as the cutting will leave textured 'wounds' that you will feel through the paper), and cut through the contact paper and decorative paper as well. The reason why I do this in two steps is that it will look much better, with minimal 'cut wounds'.    

Use the tip of your knife to push the ribbon through the cuts. 'Weave' the ribbon in and out of the cuts as shown, thus connecting the two cardboard pieces. Look closely at picture no. two, and you'll see the ribbon that constitutes the back of the herbarium. It's not glued or fastened to the cardboard in any other way, as it's meant to expand with the content of the herbarium - so make sure you cut the ribbons  long enough!
Place 10 - 20 pieces of heavy paper inside (grainy paper texture is better than smooth), fold, tie the ribbon - you're done. The rest is up to the lucky recipient!

Here's a picture of the prototype I made (which of course ended up being my daughters' - 'the pretty ones' are always leaving our home as gifts, like the knitting box. She thinks it's bloody unfair. I agree.)

When you attach your pressed flowers, do not cover the whole page with contact paper (as I was taught at school when I was a child) - use only small pieces of transparent tape or contact paper and fasten here and there. Or else, the whole flower will soon turn brown. 

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