How to Press Flowers
If you’re dreading being away from your garden this winter, why not get crafty and press some flowers? There are several different ways to press flowers, the simplest of which involves a large book and some heavy weights! Read on to discover the tricks of the trade…
Which flowers are best for pressing?
The best flowers for pressing have relatively flat heads, thin petals, and slim stems. Easy flowers to press include violets, daisies and single-petal shrub roses such as R. rugosa. You can also easily press ferns and leaves. Flowers that have large stamens can be problematic as the pollen can transfer during the pressing process and cause stains – to avoid this problem, remove any large stamens before pressing. If you are new to pressing it’s best to avoid using flowers with fat, fleshy heads as they are trickier to get right.
How do I prepare flowers for pressing?
Ideally, flowers are picked in the morning as soon as any dew has evaporated to ensure freshness. At this time of year you’ll probably want to head to the florist to pick up some fresh stems.
Cut the stems at an angle and remove any low leaves. Set the flowers in water to keep them hydrated. If you’re using any flowers with a fleshy head you’ll have to split them with scissors so that they lie flat.
When you’re ready, lay your flowers on some paper in your desired arrangement. You can use printer paper, blotting paper, facial tissues or even coffee filters – essentially anything that will soak up moisture and dry out the flowers before they brown. Your flower arrangement should be positioned between two sheets of paper.
Now you’re ready to start pressing!
The Book Method
The traditional flower pressing method requires a large heavy book – ideally one you don’t mind spoiling as the pages will wrinkle during the process. Place your flower arrangement (held between two sheets of paper) inside the book, ensuring it is lying flat. Close the book and weigh it down with something heavy. Change the blotting paper every few days to prevent browning, and after two or three weeks your flowers should be dried and ready to display!
The Iron Method
This is a quick and easy way of pressing flowers. Start by flattening your flower arrangement (between two sheets of paper) with a heavy book. Remove the book and press a warm iron onto the paper for 10-15 seconds, then take it off to let the paper cool. Repeat this process until the flowers are stiff and dry. If you’re going to use this method make sure there is no water in the iron and that the heat setting is on low.
Two other methods to consider involve using a wooden flower press (similar to the book method) or a microwave flower press. You can buy these flower presses from craft shops.
What can I do with pressed flowers?
There are 101 things you can do with pressed flowers. Put them in frame, use them to decorate gifts or greeting cards, make coasters or bookmarks, or jazz up your phone case – the opportunities are endless!