Pressed Flower Jewelry | Nina C. | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (45m)
    • 1. Introduction

      1:11
    • 2. Finding your Plants

      1:45
    • 3. Pressing Flowers

      7:28
    • 4. Prepping Your Flowers

      2:27
    • 5. Setting Up

      5:17
    • 6. Pouring the First Layer

      5:59
    • 7. Pouring the Second Layer

      3:17
    • 8. Demolding

      3:21
    • 9. Cutting, Sanding, and Drilling

      6:13
    • 10. Adding Findings

      6:59
    • 11. Conclusion

      0:54
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About This Class

In this class you will learn how to create your own unique jewelry with real plants! This is a comprehensive course that is perfect for beginners and intermediate crafters. You will learn how to create jewelry from start to finish - from finding the plants, pressing, preserving them in resin, and attaching findings. Enjoy!

If you'd like to follow me & my work:

instagram: @themoonindigo
www.shopmoonindigo.com

Music Credit:

Introduction: Light Thought - Kevin MacLeod
Finding Plants: Days Like These - Lakey Inspired
Pressing Flowers: Chill Day - Lakey Inspired, Buddha - Kontekst
Preparing Flowers for Resin: Woodlands - Wiljan & Xandra
Setting Up your Space: Reveal (Edit) - Ikson,
Pouring the First Layer: Island - MBB, Blue Boi - Lakey Inspired
Second Layer: Lovestory - AK
Demolding: Woodlands - Wiljan & Xandra
Cutting, Sanding, Drilling: Me 2 Feat. Julian Avila - Lakey Inspired, Alive - Ikson
Adding Findings: Days Like These - Lakey Inspired, Biscuit - Lukrembo, Me 2 Feat. Julian Avila - Lakey Inspired
Conclusion: Light Thought - Kevin MacLeod

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Nina C.

jewelry artist & nature lover

Teacher

Related Skills

Fine Art Creative

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello. I'm Nina. I'm a jewelry artists, nature lover, and old soul. I use resin to create unique handmade jewelry with real flowers and plants. I've had an Etsy shop for a little over two years now, Moon Indigo Jewelry. Or if you've come here from Instagram, you might know me as The Moon Indigo. I've spent countless hours perfecting my craft. I'm really excited to share my knowledge with you. In this course, you're going to learn how to make earrings and a necklace in a few different shapes and styles. I'm going to take you through the entire process, from finding your plants to pressing them, embedding them in resin, and then finally attaching metal findings to actually make them into jewelry that you can wear yourself or give as a gift to a nature lover in your life. This is a beginner's course so you don't need to have any prior experience making jewelry or using resin. I'm going to include handouts that have links to all the places where you can purchase the things that you'll need. If you have any questions, go ahead and just leave some comments and I'll get back to you. I'm really excited. Let's get started. 2. Finding your Plants: I get asked a lot where do you find your plants the honest answer is everywhere, off the side of the road, in sidewalk crack, in an empty field, in abandoned lots. Please don't take plants that were intentionally planted or off of trails where it's prohibited, you just don't need to do this because there's plenty of places to find them if you're just on the lookout. Another place to find plants and this is my personal favorite is at a greenhouse. This is a good option if you live somewhere that's really cold, or during the winter because they're usually open and it's always good to support local growers. Another reason why greenhouses are awesome is that you can pot your own plants or plant them in your own garden and you pick them, and they grow back, and so it saves you a lot of money in the long run. The easiest, but not always the most affordable is to buy them from a florist or a grocery store. Sometimes grocery stores have flowers that are a little bit older and so they're discounted, but they still work great for pressing, so definitely ask a store associate if they have some of those in the back or sometimes you can find them in the clearance section of those stores, so that's an option if you're trying to save money. Finally, if you don't want to go through the hassle of pressing your own flowers, you can purchase these online just by searching pressed flowers. I've had some luck on Amazon, but I definitely prefer Etsy for finding these flowers because I like supporting makers and also there's just a lot more options. So definitely check that out if you don't want to press your own flowers. So once you've found some plants and flowers that you want to press, I'm going to show you in the next video how you're going to do that. 3. Pressing Flowers: So for pressing your flowers, you're just going to need a couple of things; scissors and a book that's pretty big and heavy is preferable. You're going to want some paper towels, regular white paper or parchment paper is fine and some plants they've collected. These are the flowers that I'm going to press today. Most of them are from my garden. However, the camera meal daisies I got at the grocery store. This orange flower, I really loved the color but it's a little bit too big and has too many petals, so I'm going have to press the petals individually. These are bidens and they found that they press really well, they maintain their color. The same is true for these forget me nots. They end up looking really beautiful when they're pressed. For these daisies that I got at the grocery store, they've been sitting in water and so they have a little bit of moisture on them. Just take your paper towel and pat down any of the flowers you have that have some moisture on them because if you press them with water, they'll most likely turn brown. Get out your book and you're going to get your two sheets of paper and place them on each side of the book. Just go ahead and start carefully placing in your flowers on the paper and if they're a little too big, you can cut off the stems. I usually press them face down and you just want to make sure that they all have enough space to spread out. So don't put them too close together or overlapping. Once your paper is pretty much covered with flowers, you're ready to close the book and leave them to dry. Close very slowly and carefully so that you minimize the flowers moving around and then you're just going to press really hard on the book and squeeze hard with your hands and just make sure that it's really, really press down. Now you're going to take your book and just put it under something. heavy. I like to use these really big books that I have and then just leave it for at least one week. So it's been a week and now I'm going to check on my flowers to see if they're dry. It's important that they're completely dry when you put them in resin because if they have a little bit of moisture, then the resin would cure. I'm just going to inspect each flower and make sure that it's dry and stiff. And the way that you know that they're dry is that they have sort of almost like a paper like texture. So they will be very delicate. Just be really careful when you're picking them up. Some of your flowers will stick to the paper, so you just want to use your tweezers and just carefully bend the paper underneath until the flowers kind of just fall off. For storage, I like to use these translucent envelopes because he can see the flowers, but it keeps them nice and flat. But you can use regular envelopes or even just put them back in a book, just basically anything that's going to keep them flatten and secure. If you have any flowers that aren't dry, for example, these daisies are just a little bit moist. You can tell that they're not super stiff yet. You can just put them back in the book that they were in and just leave them for another week and check again to see if they're ready. So these will lose color with time. So you want to use them in resin as soon as possible, but you can store them in a book in a dark, dry place. So I like to put them in a drawer until I'm going to use them and then it will minimize the amount of air and sunlight that they get. 4. Prepping Your Flowers: In this video, I'm going to show you how I go about making flower confetti and prepare the plants to be put in the pieces. For big pieces such as this fern, you obviously can't fit the whole thing into a piece of jewelry, so you're going to use scissors, or tweezers, or even your own fingers if you desire, and just pull off the little leaves and start putting them in some container. This is a rose petal and I really like the color of it, but it was too big. You can use scissors and just very very carefully cut the pedal in your hand and then put it in the container. Continue this process with the rest of the plants that you have and if they're too big, then you cut them or break them apart. I like to cut them into different sizes and shapes just to add some visual interests to the piece. Once you have a mix that you are satisfied with, I'm going to show you how to cut a piece of a flower to fit into a frame. For a lot of my fern pieces, I use these really giant beautiful ferns, but obviously they're too big to be put into jewelry, so I have to cut each individual fern to fit the size of the frame. Well usually, I just eyeball it and cut a fern about where it feels like it's going to fit and then I measure and again, and it's just a little bit too big at the top, so I just cut the top in a little point so it looks like it was meant to be that way, and then I see that it fits now. Now it's ready to be put into resin. 5. Setting Up: Resin is very sticky and messy, so do you want to make sure that you're doing it on a table that is covered with paper or a plastic bag? In this tutorial, I am using a plastic bag that I just cut to cover my desk. Also, if you're working in a room that has carpet or you're worried about dripping resin on the floor, then make sure that you're covering floor with newspaper, or plastic bags, or something that if you do have an accidental spill, which happens more often than you think, then you're protecting that because resin will ruin anything that it touches. That's one important tip. Another important tip is, you want to be working in a well ventilated room, preferably a garage or a room that has a large window, because resin is a chemical and you don't want to be inhaling it. I also recommend using safety goggles and a respirator mask. Just make sure that you're following the safety instructions on the resin that you're using. The resin that I use is the brand Art resin. This is the best resin that I've come across. Their resin is non-toxic. I recommend that brand. It's a little more expensive than some other brands, but I think it's worth it. It's also very important that the resin is not cold. I prefer to mix the resin in a warm room, and I have a space heater that I usually turn on, and then as I'm mixing it, I like to mix it near the heater. Cold resin is more likely to be really thick and it won't mix very well, and you'll get a lot more bubbles, so it's really important that the resin is not cold. If you don't have a space heater, another way to warm up the resin, which I've never done, but I've heard other people do this is they put the resin bottle into a bowl of hot water or warm water and just let it sit for a little while. You don't want to put your resin in the microwave. That is a big no. I also know that a lot of other resin artists use some kind of torch or lighter to pop their bubbles. This isn't something that I do. I haven't found it necessary because I keep my layers thin and using a straw is usually enough to pop the bubbles for me. If that's something that you think you need to do, make sure that the resin that you're using can allow for that, and there is plenty of tutorials online for how to do that properly. Now that I've told you some important tips before you get started, I'm going to show you all the tools that you need for the pour, and how to set up your table to get started with this. I've included a handout with this video with a list of all the tools that you'll need and some of these important tips to remember. A quick tip about bezels is you want ones that are going to lay flat. For example, this cactus one is really cute, but it doesn't lay flat and the loop is too big. Same thing with this bezel, the loop is just too big, so the frame is just not going to lay flat, and the resin will just spill out underneath. These teardrop ones are pretty good because they're completely flat and you don't need to worry about any resin spills. Layout your silicone sheet, and make sure it's nice and flat. Add your molds. You're going to get out you're packing tape or the bezels, lay it out, sticky side up, and begin putting your bezels on the tape. You're going to want to press the bezels onto the tape and make sure that they're really secure. Once they're all stuck, you're ready to begin putting flowers in the molds. Using tweezers, carefully place the plants in the molds, in the places that you want them. Be aware that when you pour the resin, they will move a bit, so you don't need to be super exact, but have a general idea of how you want them to look. We are not going to be putting flowers in the bezels that have the tape quite yet because we don't want them stick into the tape, will do that after we pour the resin. 6. Pouring the First Layer: If you're using a heater, turn it on now, get out your plastic cups, gloves, toothpick, popsicle stick and your straw. Put on your gloves and you're going to begin pouring the resin into the first cup. Try your best to pour slowly in a small stream to minimize bubbles. Pour the hardener in the second cup, trying to pour the exact same amount since it's a one to one ratio. You're going to want to get down to eye level to make sure that the resin and hardener are the same amount. Now begin pouring either the hardener or the resin into the other cup. Make sure that you're scraping all the sides and the bottom because the ratio needs to be exact for it to cure properly. Another important way to minimize bubbles is to stir slowly. For the brand that I use of resin, it takes about three to four minutes to stir, so just stir slowly and don't skimp on the time. Once your four minutes are up, you'll see that there are some bubbles and your resin should be pretty fluid. Now you're going to begin pouring very small amounts with your popsicle stick onto your molds. Once again, a slow and small stream is the best way to reduce bubbles. I like to always start with less than I think I'm going to need and then I can add more later. Now we're going to start pouring resin into the open back vessels. Once again try to pour less than you think you're going to need because we're going to stretch it later. It'll be way easier to pop the bubbles this way. Now comes what I call the stretching. Get your toothpick and start pulling the resin out to the edges of the frames, this keeps the layer nice and thin. Now you're going to take your straw and you're just going to blow very gently on the resin to pop any remaining bubbles. Because your layer is so thin, these bubbles should pop really easily. Now you're going to take your tweezers and place the plants inside the frames. Using a toothpick, gently adjust the plants to the exact position that you want them in. Now that we have our first layer of resin, we can begin putting the flower confetti into the frames. Now that you've placed all your flowers, get your toothpick and re-adjust anything that doesn't look quite right. I like to avoid having too many flowers overlapping and also not having too much white space. If you're seeing any places that don't have enough resin, now is the time to just go and add just a little bit more to fill in those spaces. If your layer is thin and you've done the straw method of popping bubbles, you shouldn't have too many left but if you do, you can also use your toothpick to pop those bubbles just by bringing them to the surface. 7. Pouring the Second Layer: It's been about eight hours now, and as you can see, the resin is definitely hardened. It's not fully cured yet, but it's hard enough that you can add another layer without any issues. You're going to do the same thing that you did with the first layer, pour your resin, your hardener, and you're just going to measure them and mix them as usual. Just like before, you are going to start pouring slowly and carefully very small amounts from your popsicle stick into the molds. When you're done with the molds, you're going to start pouring resin onto the vessels. Once again, try not to pour too much because you don't want it to accidentally spill over the edges. A big reason for the second layer is to create the dome effect, which makes your pieces look really polished and magnifies the plants inside. Don't worry too much right now about getting resin to all of the edges of the frames, because we're going to go through with a toothpick later, and make sure that the entire surface is covered. Now, get out your straw again and blow out those bubbles. Sometimes with your molds, you'll get bubbles on the edges, and all you really need to do is get a toothpick and move those bubbles to the center, to the surface. One thing I like to do when I'm trying to make sure that I'm pulling the resin out to all of the edges, is to take a sideways view, and then I can see in the glare, where the resin isn't quite touching all of the edges. These are done and you can leave them to cure for at least eight hours. 8. Demolding: It's been about eight hours since I poured the second layer. I'm just going to use my toothpick to make sure everything's nice and hardened and smooth, and it is. Now I'm ready to demold. Very carefully, start to pull your pieces out of the molds, and as you can see, they're not completely hardened yet. This is my preference because it makes it a lot easier to cut off these spills, but if you wait the full 24 hours, then your pieces won't be so bendable. For the pieces that are attached to the tape, you're just going to very carefully pull the tape off of the back. For this brand, the Scotch Brand that I use, I've found that it works really well. It takes off most of the adhesive. However, there are always very small pieces of tape that will stick to the back still, so just take your tape and just go over those places. As you can see, you can very easily just peel it off. 9. Cutting, Sanding, and Drilling: I've included a handout for this video and the next one with a list of tools that you'll need to drill, cut, sand, and add your metal components. Most of these tools can be found for pretty good price on Amazon, but you can also find a lot of these items at your local craft store just in the jewelry sections. We're going to start with the pieces that were in the molds. You're just going to take your scissors and cut any spills or uneven edges. For any edges that you can't reach with the scissors, you're going to want to use an exact door knife and please be very careful at this I can't tell you how many times I've accidentally stab myself with this knife. Just don't put your fingers in the path of the knife when you're cutting and try to use scissors whenever you can. Now you don't have to do this, but it does smooth out the edges quite a bit if you use a nail file or sandpaper works fine as well. Just sand the edges anywhere that just feels a little bit rough. If you have a Bessel that has a spill on it, you can also use the same method with the scissors to just very carefully cut it off. Just make sure that you're not cutting into the metal because it can scratch or if it's plated, you could cut off some of the plating. It's really important for this to use high-quality scissors, so I recommend the Scotch brand. Once you're done cutting and sanding, then you're going to move to the drilling step. Make sure that you have a surface that you don't mind drilling into. I'm using this cutting board but you can also use cardboard or wooden block. Get out your Dremel and for this brand that I use, it has multiple attachments that are different sizes. You're just going to pick the one that's the size that you want the hole to be. This one looks about right to me, so I'm going to put it in the top hole and then I'm just going to twist it until it's nice and secure in there. I want to drill a hole in the top of the teardrops so that I can add a hook. The way that this Dremel works is that you hold the top with your index finger and then your middle finger and your thumb, you use to twist. You may need to go over the hole a few times on both sides. Just be patient with it. Continue this process with all of your pieces drilling holes wherever it is that you want to put hooks or jump rings. 10. Adding Findings: To make earrings you are going to need hooks and I'm showing you a few different kinds here. We'll need jump rings and pliers. For this pair, I'm going to use some regular French hooks. All I'm going to use are these pliers to open the hook and place it through the hole. Then I'm going to use my wires to close it very carefully and that one's done. These type of hooks are called V wires and they work similarly to the French hooks. You just open them, put them through the hole, and then close them. This last type is called a kidney ear wire and you just open it up, place the wire through the hole, and then you just close the loop at the bottom. Because these pieces are so thick, the hooks alone won't fit through the hole so I need to use jump rings. Take one of your larger jump rings and use your pliers to just open it up, slip it through the hole, and then grab one of the smaller jump rings and put it on the larger jump ring, and then just use your pliers to close that. Now that you have your jump rings, you can add your hooks. Only this time you're going to hook them to the smaller jump ring. Sometimes, I find it easier if the metal is really malleable to just use my fingers to open it. I don't know if I should recommend this, but it's just what I do. For the necklace, you're going to need a chain, a few jump rings of different sizes and a clasp. You're also going to need your pliers, cutters, and measuring tape. Take your chain and your measuring tape and measure the length that you want. For a pendant this size, I usually do 16 inches, but a standard necklace size is 18 inches. Use your cutters to break the chain and set it aside for a minute. You're going to grab one of the larger jump rings, open it up with your pliers and loop it through the pendant. The reason I'm adding a jump ring is because I want the pendant to lay flat when I'm wearing it. Close the jump ring with your pliers and then you're going to loop the chain through the jump ring. Set it down, and grab one of your tiny jump rings. You're going to do this on one of the ends of the chain. Use your pliers to carefully open it and loop it through the end of your chain. You can use pliers to do this, but I just use my fingers because I find that it's easier. Add the larger jump ring to the smaller jump ring before you close the smaller jump ring. Make sure you're holding tightly to it and then close it with your pliers. Now that side is done, you're going to go to the other end of the chain and do pretty the same thing. You're going to open the smaller jump ring, loop it through the chain, add the larger jump ring, close the smaller jump ring and now you're going to open the large jump ring and you're going to put your clasp on it. Now that your clasp is secure, you can open it and link it to the other end of the change and there you go. Now your chain is done. I'm well aware that making chains is a pain. You can purchase pre-made chains online, on Amazon or on Etsy. 11. Conclusion: Though, there you have it. You just learned how to make botanical jewelry. As you can see, this look really beautiful in the sunlight, and they're super lightweight. I hope they make you feel beautiful and connected to nature. Once again, if you have any questions or thoughts about the course, things that were confusing, or things that you'd like to learn more about, then leave me a comment or message me through Instagram or Etsy. I'm hoping to create another course that's a little more advanced, so if this is something that you're interested in, please let me know. If you'd like to know more about me and my process and see my jewelry, then you can follow me on Instagram. My username is The Moon Indigo, or on Etsy, Moon Indigo Jewelry and I'll include links in the description. Thank you so much.