Making pressed gladiolus drink coasters

It started with a Biology lab where we were asked to dissect flowers. Naturally I was more interested in “what happens to the flowers when you’re done with them?” AKA CAN I TAKE THEM?

I was able to take one home. Then I tried out my microwave flower press for the first time! I use the Microfleur 5" flower press (about $25 on Amazon.com) and it worked very nicely in about 2 minutes. They offer larger sizes but since the largest thing can make at the moment is 3.5" round it doesn't matter much to me.

The flowers smelled awful in the microwave. I’ve been told it may just be the flower type—this one is gladiolus—but it was just terrible. I had to cover my mouth and was cursing the entire time. It took a few 20 second sessions (but that is compared to 3-4 days to let it dry naturally, ain’t nobody got time for that!) and I watched as the vibrant red darkened to a beautiful, deep purple.

I waited a few days (homework, classes, the weekend) and then decided to pick out a background. I thought about several colors. Would blue be a strong contrast? What about black? I had a blue tile print I was interested in until I came across the white brick and just fell in love. The contrast of deep red against the white was really nice.

I decided to give this set a bit of a visual story. I started with the full part of the flower, two of the largest petals and trimmed the peduncle (if Biology has taught me anything, it’s that I’d rather say peduncle than stem). One petal was pulled slightly over the edge (which is my artistic preference).

Normally I'd include a border (since my scrapbook paper is cut to 3.5" instead of 4"), so this actually has a white ring beneath the paper around the edge but it is nearly invisible. I don't normally like the borderless style, but this time it really worked well!

The next coaster had only three petals remaining and I wanted to split them up—so I used two, in a sort of fluttering, falling motion.

The third I had a single, lonely petal, right in the middle of the brick.

And the fourth, I wondered—how about no petal at all? Maybe you’ve got someone in your family who is repulsed by flowers, or just likes plain, white brick? Maybe they don’t care at all. At least in a set of four they could find something they liked. And so it became a kind of death of the flower, going from the fullest petals to gradually less until… nothing was left.

And now this set is listed on my website for sale!

4 pressed gladiolus drink coasters for $12.50 and FREE SHIPPING within the United States!

If you prefer to go straight to Etsy, you can do so here.

My coffee mug is the a collection of art from Stephanie Skiles and you can view her RedBubble store here!

Let me know what you think in the comments! I also do custom drink coasters (and buttons, keychains and magnets), and have a lot of other designs on my website (and on the sidebar!): http://www.distracteddragon.com Yes, it's another shameless plug but it pays the bills. Or, it would if anyone bought something. So go and buy something. :)