Truly Unique Registry Gifts + Modern Online Registries

Traditional wedding registries can be limiting and dated in their offerings for modern couples. Using big box stores' registries can be convenient, but they limit what you can request as a gift to a fraction of what's out there. For instance, you can't include anything that's truly unique, like products from handmade makers and independent designers.

As a handmade artist, I've run into this challenge. Couples regularly reach out to me about including my bouquet preservation package on their registry, which is nearly impossible using the traditional registry route.

Luckily, there are so many new options in the way of registries, so I'm excited to talk about both unique registry gifts AND modern online registry options in this blog post.

truly unique wedding registry ideas - impressed by nature.jpg

unique registry gifts

  • The couple that plays together, stays together | Interactive classes, like cooking, dancing, or crafting, are a great way to start your wedded life off with some fun and a bit of learning.
  • For the busy foodies | A CSA box from your local farm or a meal subscription service might be just what you've been missing. Let your loved ones help keep you nourished while keeping your sanity in a busy world.
  • Custom wedding keepsakes | Keep your wedding memories alive with IMPRESSED by nature's Wedding Bouquet Preservation Package. We will work with you to press your wedding flowers and create custom accessories to commemorate your wedding day. These also make great gifts for family members, plus we offer men's accessories!
  • A year of... | Subscription boxes are all the rage. From shaving clubs to self-care boxes, there really is something for everyone. This can be a great gift that keeps on giving! Not surprisingly, my favorite is A Year of Flowers from Farmgirl Flowers. Check out subscription box websites like Cratejoy to see what suits you.

modern online registries

There are a lot of registry options out there, here are some that work with your unique interests.

  • SimpleRegistry | Curate a registry filled with all the things you want! You can literally add any product from any website, plus you can create your own items. Your guests contribute towards the items on your registry and you get the money all in one place to allocate whenever you're ready.
  • Zola | Zola makes it super easy to create a registry from any online store using a simple add-on button for your browser, so you don't even have to copy and paste the URLs. If you're not sure where to start, you can also browse their eclectic mix of gift items from both large and small brands. For each item, you can decide to receive the gift in the cash equivalent or have your guests purchase the item directly from the website.
  • Etsy | The handmade marketplace offers an easy registry option to collect your gifts from artisans all over the world.
  • UGallery | Start or add to your art collection using this unique registry designed to connect newlyweds with original art.

DIY flower project: floral ice punch bowl

Summer festivities call for FLOWERS! (Well, in my book anyway!) Here's a simple way to add a whole lot of botanical beauty to your party and really impress your guests.

I made this floral ice punch bowl for my birthday and it was a hit! I'm planning on making it again and I learned some lessons to adjust for the second time around, which I'll share below.

Floral Ice Punch Bowl

Materials:

  • flowers - I recommend edible ones since they will become exposed as the ice melts. You can find edible flower petals at your local grocery store in the fresh herbs section or you can forage for your own using this handy guide
  • two large bowls - One should be able to nest inside the other. Lesson Learned: Use a silicone or other flexible bowl for the outer bowl as this ceramic one I used was really hard to get the finished ice bowl out of.
  • water
  • measuring cup with spout
  • weights - I used pie weights, but you can use anything including ice packs or other heavy things in your freezer.
  • tray or dish to rest your final ice bowl in

Steps:

1. Collect the flowers you want to use for the ice bowl and lay them out in the larger bowl. I wanted to make an impression, so I picked these fuchsia roses and left the stems on, which definitely helped keep them in place. You can use any flowers, just keep in mind that small flowers will probably float to the top. If you want to use small flowers, you might try freezing the bowl in stages to create layers of flowers. 
Lesson learned: The roses I picked were a little too big for this project. The large flower heads were so thick that they created gaps in the ice bowl, which meant that the punch would leak out. Luckily, the flower heads were clustered at the top so we only filled the bowl halfway with punch at first and then refilled as needed.

1 flower ice punch bowl roses diy tutorial.jpg

2. Once you arrange your flowers in the larger bowl, carefully rest the smaller bowl inside and gently push all the flowers down so they're flush with the top of the bowl rim.

rose punch bowl diy flower theme party

3. Slowly pour water into the outer bowl so it fills in around the flowers. Jostle the inner bowl around so the water makes its way around. Fill with water until you can see it reach a couple inches below the rim of the outer bowl. You will be adjusting the water level in the next step, so this is just an estimate for now.

real flower decorations spring party

4. Add your weights to the inner bowl. You can use pie weights, beans, ice packs, or anything from your freezer. This part is a little tricky. Basically, you want to add enough weight so that the inner bowl rests at a height from the outer bowl to create a fairly even ice wall on all sides. The inner bowl should not touch the bottom of the outer bowl, otherwise, the base of the bowl will be too thin to hold your punch. Once you have the inner bowl weighed down, add more water, if necessary, to fill the outer bowl to the brim.

diy flower theme party impressed by nature

5. Clear a space in your freezer and carefully place the bowls so that they rest flat. Leave to freeze overnight.

6. Wait until just before you're going to serve your punch to take the ice bowl out of the freezer. When you're ready, remove it from the freezer and carefully pull the inner bowl out--it should come out with fairly easily. Now, hopefully your outer bowl has some flexibility and you can flex it until the entire ice bowl slides out. If not, I had luck getting my ice bowl out of a ceramic bowl by flipping it over in my sink and running cold water over the bottom of the bowl until it eventually fell out. Don't run water over the ice itself.

7. Place your floral ice bowl on a tray or dish to collect the water as it melts. Inspect the walls of the bowl to make sure it will hold liquid and then add your favorite punch!

rose theme party summer party punch bowl

earth week celebration

Today marks the start of one of my favorite weeks of the whole year--Earth Week! I'm celebrating the beautiful place we call home in so many ways this week, so read on to find out how!


A WEEK OF GIVEAWAYS

Calling all Instagrammers! 

This giveaway's for you!

We're giving away a travel size flower press each day this week April 16-20. You can only enter on Instagram, so head on over there to find out how to win!


ONLINE SALE

Take a break from some of your Earth Day festivities to add some botanical jewelry to your collection. SALE STARTS FRIDAY, 4/20!

fresh new face for travel size flower pressing kits

I'm excited to share another branding update with you! I've enlisted my friend and fellow flower-loving Oakland artist, Maria Schoettler, to reimagine the instructions card for my flower pressing kits. I couldn't be happier with the outcome--see below!

Maria illustrated the new flower pressing instructions card with charming drawings to depict each step. They're perfect for Spring hikes and Summer getaways!

NEW! Spring+Summer Designs Are Live!

This season's designs express Spring's lightness and Summer's warmth through bright turquoise and rich terracotta accents and some brand new flowers and leaves. Discover our newest leaf with a beautifully natural name snow on the mountain, the delicate, creamy Shasta daisy, plus the brand new diamond-shaped copper hoops + more!

before + after: wedding flowers transformed into jewelry

One of the most rewarding aspects of my business is working with newlywed couples to preserve their wedding flowers and create botanical accessories to memorialize their special day. I’ve worked with dozens of brides in this way and each jewelry collection is so unique, so I’m beyond excited to share a handful of them with you here! Special thanks to the couples who generously shared their weddings and photos.


amy

August in Baltimore, Maryland

Amy, along with the help of her family, took full advantage of her late summer wedding and grew her own wedding flowers--isn't that amazing?! We preserved over a dozen varieties of flowers from her bouquet, including zinnias, queen anne's lace, river oats, daisies, and sunflowers; and created a custom set of accessories that truly represent the diversity of her botanicals.

 Two mixed petal necklaces with sunflowers, zinnias, river oats, queen anne's lace & more! Florals homegrown by Amy & Family | Bouquet Photo by  Living Radiant Photography

Two mixed petal necklaces with sunflowers, zinnias, river oats, queen anne's lace & more!
Florals homegrown by Amy & Family | Bouquet Photo by Living Radiant Photography

I’ve gotten lots of compliments on the jewelry, and everyone loves that it was made from my wedding bouquet flowers!
— Amy

emily

October in Oakland, California

Emily celebrated her wedding at the beautiful Temescal Beach House in Oakland during the warm Bay Area autumn. Since she's local, Emily dropped off her flowers to IMPRESSED by nature headquarters at Makers Workspace a couple days after her wedding, and I took care of pressing them, including mint, sage, tulips, thistle, sunflowers, and white, purple and pink roses. When we started discussing her jewelry, Emily was clear that she wanted to create pieces for her bridesmaids to commemorate the day with them, so we made a special pair of earrings for each one!

 A set of bridesmaids' earrings with sage, rose, and mint. Florals by  Fleurish CA  | Bouquet photo by  Andrew Hawley

A set of bridesmaids' earrings with sage, rose, and mint.
Florals by Fleurish CA | Bouquet photo by Andrew Hawley

I absolutely recommend working with Kyla to preserve your wedding flowers- perfect gifts for friends and family (and yourself!) to remind you of the joy the flowers brought you on your special day.
— Emily

amanda

October in Brookfield, Connecticut

Amanda enlisted a variety of flowers with warm autumn tones to complement her New England wedding at The Candlewood Inn. Together we preserved eucalyptus, hydrangeas, roses, daisies, protea leaves, ranunculus, and amaranth. Amanda was inspired by Amy's mixed petal necklaces (above), so we created a similar piece with her unique botanicals.

 

 A set of necklaces for Amanda and her loved ones with eucalyptus, ranunculus, roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and daisies! Florals by  Flowers By Danielle  | Bouquet Photo by  Tim Nosenzo

A set of necklaces for Amanda and her loved ones with eucalyptus, ranunculus, roses, hydrangeas, dahlias, and daisies!
Florals by Flowers By Danielle | Bouquet Photo by Tim Nosenzo

[Kyla] made both the flower pressing and jewelry design process incredibly simple. We designed six necklaces using designs from her online shop: four for myself and two for family members. Each piece came out great!
— Amanda

katie

July in Finger Lakes, New York

Katie's mid-summer wedding in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York featured a gorgeous bouquet of pinks and purples. We created a set of earrings for her loved ones using delphinium, clematis, and rose petals, plus we made a silver tie clip for Katie's husband.

 

 A set of earrings with delphinium, clematis, rose & more! Florals by  Flowerwell  | Bouquet Photo by  Alexandra Meseke

A set of earrings with delphinium, clematis, rose & more!
Florals by Flowerwell | Bouquet Photo by Alexandra Meseke


jackie

August in San Rafael, California

Katie of Flower Mama, Jackie's friend and florist, reached out to preserve her friend's wedding flowers and make some keepsake jewelry pieces. Not only did Katie create traditional bouquets, she also designed and built a breathtaking arch installation for the summer ceremony at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Marin. Many of the flowers we pressed, including peonies, daisies, dahlias, zinnias, snow on the mountain, delphinium, queen anne's lace, and lisianthus, came from this piece. It was a fun flip to work with the florist rather than the couple to create pieces this time around!

 A set of earrings with dahlias, snow on the mountain, lisianthus, and queen anne's lace. Florals by  Flower Mama  | Arch Installation Photo by  Sylvia Vizcaino

A set of earrings with dahlias, snow on the mountain, lisianthus, and queen anne's lace.
Florals by Flower Mama | Arch Installation Photo by Sylvia Vizcaino

I would absolutely 100% recommend Kyla for her service to provide you with incredibly unique, beautiful, and timeless jewelry pieces as a way to preserve your wedding flowers.
— Katie

nicole

November in Orlando, Florida

Nicole's Disney World wedding featured an entirely red bouquet of anemones. Her bouquet included other Disney elements, including adorable Mickey Bar floral pins from Enchanted Sweet Spot. It was fun creating unique pieces with a single color palette for a change!

 A set of two necklaces and clip-on drop earrings with anemones and hydrangeas. Florals by Elizabeth Davis from  Disney Floral and Gifts  | Bouquet Photo by  Disney Fine Art Photography

A set of two necklaces and clip-on drop earrings with anemones and hydrangeas.
Florals by Elizabeth Davis from Disney Floral and Gifts | Bouquet Photo by Disney Fine Art Photography

I was so thrilled when I found Kyla’s work! I will be buying this as a gift for future brides and would recommend her to anyone.
— Nicole

Interested in preserving your wedding flowers?

nature gift wrapping guide

 For many people, gift wrapping is an afterthought. But I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn't appreciate a beautifully wrapped gift, so I've gathered together 25 ideas to help you get inspired this year! From DIY bamboo wrapping paper to sewn flower embellishments, all of these decorative wraps are inspired by nature.

DIY Wrapping Paper

Seriously, with just a leaf and some paint, you can create this beautifully minimalist paper. Or use copies of botanical prints to for a fun floral wrap.


Gift Tags

Don't skimp on the gift tags--from printables to wood pieces, there are plenty of options!


Natural Embellishments

Top your parcels with a little extra special something from Mother Nature.


flower lovers' holiday gift guide

Chances are you or someone you know has a mild or full-blown obsession with all things botanical. I can certainly relate! That's why I put some of my favorite floral finds together in one place for you to shop or share with your loved ones. Even more, many of them are made by my favorite small businesses and they're all under $100. Happy Holidays!

festive holiday party wardrobe

Teal and cranberry are two of my favorite color combinations, which is why I love this cool and warm tone pairing for a special holiday party. These teal fringe booties perfectly dress up this ivory silk tank and cranberry smocked shorts. Just add black tights and the sweet william choker with teal and gold glass beads and you’re good to go!

holiday boutique hopping outfit

One of my favorite times to do holiday shopping is on select evenings when my neighborhood stores keep their doors open just a little later and offer refreshments, it’s so festive! The neutral basics in this outfit pair easily with the rich cranberry boots and double-chevron cranberry and cream hydrangea necklace--perfect for a cool evening of boutique hopping. Here’s a list of Bay Area neighborhood events that are fun for your holiday excursions.

fall florals for thanksgiving

Grab your PSL (or make your own) and head to the Thanksgiving table with this floral long-sleeved mini dress and ochre suede knee-high boots. Don’t forget your luscious cranberry wool coat and limited edition dogwood pressed flower petal earrings to complete this entirely autumn outfit.

sweater weather is here

Even though it’s officially sweater season, there’s always room to accessorize your favorite knitwear with a little floral fun. Pair these dainty baby’s breath dangles with your cool weather wardrobe to add a hint of sun and warmth.

new! fall+winter designs are ready to shop

This season's designs exude the rich warmth of autumn and cool calm of winter. There's a number of new floral additions, including delphinium, baby's breath, sweet william, plus some limited edition dogwood pieces. I hope you'll find something to suit your fall and winter wardrobe!

fall + winter lookbook is here!

I'm beyond excited to share this sneak peek at the new Fall + Winter 2017 jewelry designs with you! I worked with Ella Sophie to create this natural, autumn photoshoot in the Oakland Hills. Belle Sophie and Chelsea Dier are the beautiful and sweet models. Click below to view the lookbook and stay tuned for the full collection release in September!

fall inspiration

August is totally the Sunday of summer BUT! While you're soaking up these last long, warm days, rest assured that there's so much more beauty to come in Fall! Here's a glimpse at my color inspiration for the new jewelry collection--isn't it pretty? The brand new designs are almost ready to reveal so stay tuned for sneak peeks

DIY flower project: edible flower ice cubes

As you plan for your warm weather events--spring flings, backyard barbecues and the like--consider adding a little floral fun to your party drinks! This quick and easy tutorial will leave your guests impressed by nature ;)

I made these edible flower ice cubes for my backyard birthday party and they were a huge hit! They only took a bit of preparation and added so much to all of the drinks my guests enjoyed. After all, who doesn't love a little botanical pick me up?

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

Materials:

  • edible flowers -- You can usually find a selection of edible flowers at your local grocery store in the herbs section. If you want to harvest your own, click here for a list of flowers you can eat.
  • ice cube trays -- Click here for the brand I used to make square cubes.
  • water

Steps:

1. Collect your flowers and make sure to wash them--look out for bugs if you harvested your own. You might choose a specific color palette or a confetti of flower fun, like I did! Each flower has a different flavor, so you might try some flavor pairings. I noticed that once the cubes melted, some guests were adventurous enough to eat the petals, but a lot of guests simply enjoyed them floating in the drink as a garnish.

IMPRESSED by nature Blog - edible flower ice cubes spring party

2. Fill each compartment of the ice tray halfway with water. Sprinkle some flower petals in each space and then fill the rest of the way with water. I found it helpful to use a pitcher to top off each compartment so that they didn't overflow. Many of the petals will float to the top. I recommend pushing them down to make sure they're wet, which will help them sink a bit. If you have time, you can double freeze them to disperse the flowers more evenly. Fill the compartments halfway with water and flowers, freeze them, and then add more petals and water to top off the cubes and freeze again. I used this method for half of my cubes and loved adding these lovely chamomile flowers to the top! 

IMPRESSED by nature Blog - edible flower cocktail party

4. Leave the cubes to freeze overnight. If you're making multiple batches, store them in paper bags in the freezer to avoid sticking together.

IMPRESSED by nature Blog - flower power party cocktails

5. Add them to your favorite beverage and enjoy!

If you try this project, I'd love to hear what flowers you used! Share in the comments below.

happy birthday sale through memorial day

Since I was a young girl, I've felt a strong connection to flowers. My dad likes to tell a story that when I was around seven years old, I played as a defender onmy local soccer team and instead of guarding the goal, you could usually find me picking flowers in an empty area of the field.

Lately, I've been reflecting on the evolution of my flower obsession and how it's grown into this creative endeavor. I feel more connected to the natural world than ever and so passionate about sharing it with others through my pressed flower jewelry.

So, today, as I celebrate my 33rd year on this flower-filled earth, I want to send a special offer your way. If you're interested in bringing some flowers into yours or your loved one's lives, please enjoy 33% off today through Memorial Day :)

 1988: Flower love blooms early (check the pocket stash!) 

1988: Flower love blooms early (check the pocket stash!) 

Take 33% off everything in the online shop this weekend (excludes gift certificates). Use code: HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout. Valid now through 11:59pm PST on Monday 5/29.

earth day giveaway

Earth Week is here and I hope you're finding ways to celebrate our beautiful planet! If you're not sure what to do or think 'I don't have time for that!'--trust me, there are some VERY easy actions you can take today. PLUS we're giving away something special!

In honor of Earth Week, we've got a special giveaway happening--this lovely necklace from the new spring collection uses green sage leaves from my own garden (as local as it gets!) and could be all yours.

All you have to do is participate in Earth Day Network's Billion Acts of Green campaign in order to help them reach 3 billion acts of green by 2020, and then share it with us on Instagram. From using reusable bags to eating less meat (Meatless Mondays!), there's something for every budget and lifestyle. The giveaway is happening over on Instagram.

Here's how you can enter to win:
1. Follow @impressedbynature on Instagram
2. Like this post
3. Comment on the post with your act of green + tag a friend
Bonus! Get an extra entry if you post a photo of your act of green on IG + tag @impressedbynature

Rules: One entry per person. Complete all steps by 11:59pm PST on 4/21. Winner will be chosen at random and announced on Instagram on Earth Day 4/22.

flower DIY project: pressed flower luminaries

The natural world has always been a source of calm and creativity throughout my life. As a child, my siblings and I would spend hours exploring the outdoors, including a real-life batcave! Years later as a teacher, my kindergarten students and I spent months creating elaborate fairy dwellings using natural found objects. Now, in my current life’s passion, I spend my days fawning over pressed flowers and leaves to create my natural jewelry designs. Running a business is not always relaxing, so in moments of stress and busyness, I continue to find ease and joy in the natural world around me--quite literally, stopping to smell the flowers. I think it’s safe to say that nature is my self-care muse!

As we celebrate the earth this month, I'd like to share a floral DIY project with you: pressed flower luminaries. If you aren't familiar with how to press flowers, pick up a mini flower pressing kit in the shop--it's affordable and easy to learn! Flower pressing is a tradition that dates back to ancient Egypt. It's a simple process that dries plant materials in a natural manner that maintains much of the color and integrity of the plant. The careful process encourages mindfulness of action as well as a deep connection to the natural world, and the end results leaves the door open for numerous creative projects. This is just one option for you to try out.

Pressed Flower Luminaries

Materials:

  • Pressed flowers and leaves (use thin plant materials for this project)

  • Wax paper

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

  • Iron

  • Ironing board

  • Washi or clear tape

Steps:

1. Cut four 5”x10” wax paper rectangles.

2. Fold each rectangle in half to create 5”x5” squares.

pressed flowers DIY project - click through to make this project!

3. Open up each folded piece and place dried flowers or leaves on one side of the fold. Fold the top layer back down with flowers inside.

pressed flower DIY luminaries tutorial - click through to make this project!

4. Briefly run the iron (on medium setting) over the top layer to seal the two layers together. Do not leave the iron on the wax paper for too long or it will melt! Repeat with all four squares.

dry flower luminaries step by step project - click through to make this project!

5. Line up all four sealed squares in a row. Use the washi tape to connect them on the seams where they meet.

6. Fold along each seam to create a square box and tape the final seam together.

natural floral luminary do it yourself project - click through to make this project!

7. Place the luminary near a bright window and let the natural daylight outline the beautiful colors and shapes of the plants or add a small tealight or battery-operated candle in the center and watch the petals illuminate at night.

TIP: Make a set of differently sized luminaries by playing with the dimensions of the wax paper walls.

weekend wardrobe: sunny spring florals

Get in the mood for your sunny spring weekend with something bright and floral, like this summer peach top and floral print shoes. Accessorize with the yellow coreopsis hoop necklace and some round shades.

sunny spring florals for weekend wardrobe - click through for outfit details