On a day in August about 5 P.M. I went to my daughter's house to collect flowers and leaves and put them in a few big books I took with me for just that purpose. (The books with shiny pages are not good for drying because they don't absorb the moisture from the flowers). So I took some of my biggest and heaviest books and drove all of the 1 mile she lives away from me. Big trip.
Collecting flowers for drying should be done in the afternoon to early evening as this is when there is less moisture in them. Open the large, cumbersome book and place only 2 or 3 flowers or leaves on a single page and take care when closing the book that they don't become displaced. I put several stems in a book nd then place several heavier books on top of it. Leave for 2 or 3 weeks.
You'll find them very dry and fragile at this point so handle with care. After painting the tray I bought at Joanns and allowing it to dry overnight, I carefully laid the fragile plants onto the tray. This really was the fun part, looking at how they all fit together on the tray. It looked so pretty, too.
In order to make the tray usable I bought a piece of plexiglass at Home Depot and also the cutter for the plexiglass. Then I tried cutting it. Very hard to cut, my friends. I ended up taking it to glass place and asking them to cut it. Bingo. Done. I brought the tray with me also so I could check to see if it fit. I think glass would work well also.
I put 4 dabs of Fabri Tac glue in each corner of the tray and rested the plexiglass onto the dried flowers. I bought a sealer also but wanted to show the tray before I put the sealer around it in case I messed up and the picture didn't look good. :)
This project was so fun, especially collecting the flowers and leaves.