If you’re looking for an absolutely gorgeous and budget-savvy way to make a big impression with your wedding invitations, then you’re in for a real treat today! Last Spring, I attended a Calligraphy and Pressed Flower Card Making Class hosted by Virginia Lucas Hart and Tricia Paoluccio, where I fell in love with the look and feel of Tricia’s pressed creations. I thought the effect was so unique and beautiful (not to mention budget savvy!) that I knew I had to collaborate with Tricia to share a tutorial with BSB readers. I just hope you love this as much as I do!
Pressed Flower Wedding Invitations
Tricia has a pretty unique story. She grew up on a farm in California where she learned how to press flowers from their farm at a young age, and it quickly became one of her favorite hobbies. Tricia has always loved making things with her hands and being creative. When she first moved to NYC to pursue an acting career, she got a part-time job at Kate’s Paperie, to fulfill her need for a creative outlet. She kept up with her hobby of pressing flowers while in NYC, she’d gather cherry blossoms and other blooms from Central Park, press them, and make handmade cards using her pressed creations. She would then sell her cards on sidewalks and even sold them to local boutiques on occasion as a way to pay her rent! I just thought this was such a unique and special story! In addition to
I think the wonderful thing about using pressed flowers for your wedding invitations is that the finished product feels super special. While the physical acts of gathering, pressing, and gluing the flowers to your invites is definitely a time-consuming process, your guests will be absolutely wowed by the results. Worth it!! And depending on where you procure your blooms from, it can be incredibly affordable considering the breathtaking results.
These techniques aren’t just for wedding invitations! These methods can easily be used to add pressed flowers to a number of details for your big day, whether that’s your escort cards, table numbers, menus, programs, or signage.
To Press Your Flowers:
Tricia uses several presses that her brother custom made for her to press her flowers, but you can get the same results without special equipment. Her presses contain cardboard pieces (for stability) and lots of loose leaf and scratch paper between each layer to absorb the moisture from the flowers. For a budget savvy option, try phone books or other heavy books and objects. The most important part is to have dry paper between your layers of blooms.
Check out these tips for pressing flowers:
- “Dry” flowers and leaves like hydrangea and baby’s breath are great for pressing because they don’t hold so much excess water. They also tend to hold their color fairly well.
- Substantial flowers with sizable buds can take much longer to dry and press. For blooms like roses, consider cutting them in half down the middle of the bud before pressing — it can give you a really unique and textured effect, and will also help to flatten the blooms as much as possible. Plus, you’ll then get two pressed halves out of each one, making your efforts go further.
- Be sure to place ample dry paper between your layers of blooms to absorb as much water as possible.
When Tricia begins a new series of pressings, she will take all of her scratch paper that she’s placed between the flowers and microwave it. This ensures that her paper is fully dried out and able to absorb the excess moisture from the flowers when she presses them.
Adding Pressed Flowers to Your Wedding Invitations:
Once you’ve pressed your flowers and they are completely dried, you can then adhere them to your invitations. Tricia recommends using Rubber Cement for this job, as it’s very durable but also very forgiving as you add pieces to your design. She personally recommends Best Test brand, which is a little on the pricey side, but is very effective. You could also try Elmer's Rubber Cement for a more budget-savvy option.
Start by placing your flowers onto your dry invitation to decide on placement. Once you've found an arrangement you like, then you can start gluing!
Place each flower onto some scrap paper to protect your working surface. Tricia likes to use a legal notepad, because it's easy to turn the pages when one gets too sticky! Make sure to place your flowers with the front side (the one you want to see on the invitation) face DOWN to apply your adhesive. Then use your brush to cover the entire back of your bloom, using gentle strokes.
Once you've covered the flower with Rubber Cement, use your fingers (or brush) to tap the flower and lift it away from the paper.
Gently place your flower onto your invitation. Repeat until you have applied all of your flowers to your invitation!
You may have some petals tear or break apart from the main bloom, but fear not! This is actually a pretty forgiving process, and you can still glue to separated petals to your invitation.
The great part about working with rubber cement is that it dries clear, so if you end up using too much adhesive, you can easily rub it away with your fingertips to clean up your design. Once your design is done, you can trim any flowers that “bled” off the edge using scissors or an Xacto knife. I love the way these look when the blooms extend off the edge — so chic!
I mean, how gorgeous is that?
It's true that this process is time-consuming and is definitely a labor of love! If you adore the look of these invitations but don't have the patience to do it yourself, Tricia offers a service where she will press and apply the flowers to your invitations for you! Visit her website to inquire about rates.
DOWNLOAD THE FREE PRINTABLES TO MAKE YOUR OWN PRESSED FLOWER WEDDING INVITATIONS BELOW!
I designed four *exclusive* designs for this collaboration with Tricia, so you can save by customizing our free printable templates if you have the guts to take on this unique project. I designed these invitations keeping the application of pressed flowers in mind. Each invitation features a nice amount of white space at the top so you have plenty of room to customize however you wish! You could also use these templates to apply other customizations besides pressed flowers – consider using watercolor or other paints, glitter, fabric and more! They are all very versatile.
Choose from the four designs below. Each design includes links to download the fonts I used, as well as the templates that are customizable using Microsoft Word.
Download the Free Printable Files:
Once you've chosen your template design, you can customize them and print them out using your printer. I recommend using a thicker paper stock, 80-100lb. I think it's super interesting to use more porous paper as well, such as this gorgeous watercolor paper. Once you've printed your invites, you can use a paper trimmer or take them to your local copy shop to have them cut. I've designed the templates with cut lines so it's super simple to see where to cut!
TRICIA'S UPCOMING WORKSHOPS:
Great news for anyone in the NYC area — Tricia is offering her Mother’s Day Card classes again this year, so you can experience the fun for yourself! Sign up to get more information on her website, Modern Pressed Flower.
Sunday April 30 and Saturday May 6
2 – 5 PM
I certainly hope you've enjoyed this project as much as I did! Thinking about making your own Pressed Flower Wedding Invitations? We'd love to see them! Be sure to tag us on Instagram so we can see what you create using this tutorial. PS — enter for the chance to win pressed flowers for your invitations from Tricia on our Instagram!