Resin is the way to go if you are wanting to make real flower jewelry. However, some of you are hesitant to try two part epoxy resin. So here is a solution - an easy no resin real flower and leaf jewelry tutorial! It is a glass tile and decoupage style technique which is not difficult at all.
The glass tile and matching bezels were courtesy of Nunn Design. I used the 24 mm square and 32 mm round glass tiles. You can use any size so long as they fit the pressed flowers and leaves you have!
You will also need a water soluble sealer and glue such as matte Mod Podge for paper as well as a spray adhesive and sealer - any kind so long as it dries clear. I happen to have Kamar varnish but Aleene's all purpose tacky adhesive spray, which is a lot cheaper ,will also work.
You will also need scrapbook paper - this project is great for using up your bits and pieces. Sharp scissors, paintbrush and tweezers are also needed.
The next few steps are the same for pressed flower resin jewelry (see links below). Pick flowers and leaves after the morning dew has dried off. The wild weed, Queen Anne's lace, was actually picked by a common pathway late last summer and pressed. Otherwise all the flowers and leaves were from my own garden. (I actually did the work for this tutorial last summer but only just got round to sharing it! It makes sense to do so now when so many gardens are blooming!)
I use a microwave to speed up the pressing. Why wait weeks when 50- 60 seconds will do? Check out my past tutorial for full instructions on how to microwave press flowers. You do not need a bought press as you can make do with lots of paper towels and glass dishes for weights. I used a ceramic press from Lee Valley (below left). But you can also use other commercial microwave presses like this one from Microfleur.
Make sure that the flowers and leaves are thoroughly dry before you use them. This is important whether or not you use resin. If they are not dry, they will continue to decay and rot inside whatever you encase them with.
I placed the glass tiles upside down and pressed them into a small round of blue tack. The blue tack keeps them in place while I applied a thin layer of spray adhesive. As you can see, I have a makeshift spray box made from a cut up cardboard box. There is no need to tape white card - I only did so for visual contrast for this tutorial.
I prefer to use spray adhesive at this stage as it is less messy than Mod Podge. The spray adhesive is just tacky enough to hold the material - you will have time to reposition if you wish. Remember that dried material can be quite delicate, so be careful. Also note that you will be placing the flowers and leaves upside down if the glass tiles are domed as is the case with the round ones I used.
The stalk of the Queen Anne's lace was handy as I did not need the tweezer!
Once the spray glue has dried, trim off the bits that stick out. Then find a suitable scrapbook paper you like.
Apply the Mod Podge over the glued materials. You may need to use dabbing motions with the brush.
Once a generous amount of glue/sealer has been applied, press down - hard - to attach the glass tile to the scrapbook paper. Let the glue set before trimming the paper around the tile.
The results can vary depending on the type of natural materials you use. So you do need to experiment. This yellow flower effort showed a lot of darker shades of yellow rather than the bright yellow I wanted. Yet, I liked the effect on the leaves that I did (see close up - second last picture below).
Then apply more Mod Podge to the bezel.
And press the prepared tiles into the bezels. Let the glue set.
Finally, attach a jump ring or bail to connect to a chain necklace and you are done!