Participants were given a package of pressed flowers and allowed to decorate frames, bookmarks and gift tags for Mother's Day or for fun.
I started purchasing materials about two weeks before the event, in part because many of the supplies were purchased online. I bought frames from Ikea and the pressed flowers I ordered from two stores on Etsy. I ordered a variety of pressed flowers, but I also ordered packages of one specific type of flower, so that the participants got a unique set of flowers but so there was also some consistency between the sets.
I sorted the flowers out a day or two before the event and placed them in envelopes. I cut out bookmarks from cardstock in a variety of colors. I also created a PowerPoint (see Attachments, at the right) with images of other works of pressed art to serve as inspiration for those who needed it. I limited the class size to 16 due to spacing issues and to keep costs down.
The frames  were small and cost less than $1 each. Since I ordered them online from Ikea, the shipping cost was an additional $10. I ordered 20 even though the class was limited to 16 participants just in case more people dropped in.
I ordered a variety package  of pressed flowers for $13.25 and several packages of specific flowers  for roughly $5 to $10 each. To cut down on costs, you could stick to just a variety package; the flowers were still relatively nice.
I ordered gift tags  from Amazon that were $7 for 100 tags. To keep costs low, you could make them with cardstock or cardboard. All the other materials, which were mostly art supplies, I gathered from in-house.
For set-up, I designated one table just for art supplies: markers, gel pens, colored pencils, a variety of colored papers and glue. On each person's seat, I set a frame, an envelope with flowers, tweezers, a cup for glue (regular white Elmers, as it dires clear), several toothpicks, a blank piece of paper (as an aid to help those who want to pre-arrange their flowers before gluing them), a bookmark and a gift tag.
I staffed the program by myself, so set-up took a good amount of time.
I began the program by explaining the materials to the participants. I explained that there were two panes of glass in the frame and that they would use the toothpicks to place glue on the backs of their flowers. They would then place the flowers onto one of the panes of glass. They were given tweezers to help handle the flowers because many were very fragile or small.
After they were finished with their design, they would sandwich the flowers with the other pane and place it into the frames. I also informed them at the beginning that not all the envelopes contain the same flowers and that they were free to share or trade their flowers as they pleased.
I really wanted people to be artistically inspired so I played classical music in the background and had a slideshow of other pressed flower creations. Only two or three people needed my help with the frames or the laminate for the bookmarks .
I had 16 people sign up and 13 people attend. People left extremely happy, and they shared with others the fact that they came with nothing and left with beautiful flowers.
Be prepared to help those who struggle with some fine motor skills. We also had a participant who was very particular and meticulous so she stayed until the very last minute.
I would definitely advise against giving every participant the same package of flowers. One goal of the program is for them to express their individual creativity.
I would also suggest keeping the frame — or whatever craft they're making with the pressed flowers — small. Most of the flowers I received were no larger than an inch, so a bigger project might require more flowers.
About This Library
The Lewiston Public Library is an urban library serving a population of over 32,000 people, the second largest population in Maine.