How to Dry or Press a Fresh Bouquet of Flowers

I absolutely love fresh cut flowers and the beauty they bring to a home or office. Usually, that fresh bouquet of flowers is a gift from my husband or a loved one and I want to preserve them for memories sake, to use in a craft or for decorations.

When I receive a fresh bouquet of flowers, I am already planning the first flowers that will be dried or pressed. The bigger thicker flowers I like to dry and the smaller flowers are perfect and more easily pressed.
A day or so after your bouquet arrives, snag the flowers that haven’t reached their full bloom. Some flowers do open more as they dry.

How to Dry Flowers:
Probably the easiest way to dry flowers is to hang them. I like to do the following:
  1. Divide your bouquet into small groups; buds, roses, babies breath, etc..
  2. Put those groups into small bunches.
  3. Tie with twine, yarn or string.
  4. Hang in a dry cool place.

These dried flowers can be used in wreaths, permanent bouquets, and other beautiful DIY crafts. Here some amazing examples I found on Pinterest.

Now, How to Press Flowers:
I like to start with the smaller more dainty flowers and work my way to the bigger ones.
Gather your supplies, I like to use tissue paper, wax paper, paper towels, and newspaper. Also, decide on what you will use as the press. The smaller flowers can easily be pressed in smaller books, but you’ll need something more heavy duty for the bigger flowers. Try a large phone book or a larger book. I like to use my cast iron skillet as a weight, but you can use a rock or something else.
  1. First, divide your flowers into small groups.
  2. Cut a piece of cardboard or recycled food box the size of the book your using.
  3. Cut out pieces of tissue paper (or whatever type of paper you're using) the same size as your book.
  4. Add flowers to the top of that, making sure they are not touching.
  5. Add your tissue paper, another piece of cardboard and closed book.
  6. Press for at least a week.

Now you're ready to begin making beautiful arts and crafts using your pressed flowers. Pressed Flowers look amazing all by themselves in a frame as wall art or on homemade gift cards and other crafts. My girls are avid readers, so I love the idea of turning my fresh bouquet of flowers into bookmarks. Here are some beautiful DIY Pressed Flower ideas I have gathered on Pinterest.
I also like the idea of turning the gift of professional flowers my husband gets me into beautiful crafts I can enjoy and reminisce each time I see them.

HAVE YOU TRIED DRYING OR PRESSING THE FLOWERS YOUR RECEIVE AS GIFTS?

Homemade Halloween Treat Bags

A few years back we made some fun Christmas “Firecrackers” or treat bags and I thought it would be neat to do it this year to hand out as Halloween Treat Bags for either the classroom or to trick or treaters.
Homemade Halloween Treat bags

This is super easy and fun that all the family can help make. There are so many different Halloween characters we can make with these, but for this tutorial, we will be making Pumpkins and Bats.
Homemade Halloween Treat bags

HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THESE HALLOWEEN TREAT BAGS.

Supplies:
  • Scissors
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Tissue Paper
  • Ribbon or string
  • Empty paper towel rolls, cut into thirds or quarters
  • Candy
Instructions (for pumpkins):
  1.  Cut tissue paper in half then fold it in half.  Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect.
  2.  Cut green paper in half and fold in half at an angle to hang over edges of orange a bit
  3. 3.  Now add your cut paper towel roll and add candy.
Homemade Halloween Treat bags

4. Now gather up opposite sides of the paper till it is all gathered at the top, twist it and tie a ribbon.

That is it.  You can add jack-o-lantern face if you want to take it further.
Instructions (for the bats):
  1. Fold tissue paper in half and lay your paper tube on its side.
  2. Add candy into the tube and roll up into a tube.
  3. Twist each side shaping the tissue to face you flat on each side.
  4. Tie ribbons on each side.  We used yellow and read.  Also you can make fangs and eyes.
Homemade Halloween Treat bags

5.  Cut the ends at angles to look like wings.

Enjoy handing these out Halloween night or at the school.

Italian Chili Recipe

Pasta Dinners are one of my go-to meals if I can’t think of anything or am short on time it is the first thing I think of. It is delicious and full of flavor. I like trying new recipes and changing them up a bit.

My husband and I usually go to an Italian restaurant and the first time he tried their chili, he loved it.  Right then and there I had to learn how to make Italian Chili.


I enjoy many pasta sauce flavors, but I prefer the fresh ones that come from our garden.  That recipe will come soon.



For this recipe, you might think it appropriate to use the Spicy Marinara, but I decided on the Tomato and Sweet Basil.


Italian Chili Recipe


Ingredients:
Printable Recipe

  • 1 Jar Mezzetta Napa Valley Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 1  cup Farfalle pasta
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 link Beef Sausage, sliced and chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 Zucchini Diced
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • 2 tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped Mezzetta Roasted Red Pepper
Directions:
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook Farfalle for 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add ground beef and sliced beef sausage to hot pan and brown about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chopped zucchini and squash and cook till the veggies, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add Pasta Sauce and stir Italian Chili with Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  5. Add Chili Powder, Cumin, Oregano, and stir.
  6. Drain and rinse Kidney Beans then add to pan.
  7. Let simmer for about 5 minutes.
  8. Add the Pasta sauce and stir.
  9. It is ready to serve.


Garnish with mild jalapeno if you need a little more kick, but this was perfect.
Italian Chili with Napa Valley Homemade Pasta Sauce #FallForFlavor
Everybody loved this recipe.  I liked it as well but was even more impressed with the fresh bright flavor of the Mezzetta Pasta Sauce.

Easy Stuffed Manicotti Recipe