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Pressing Flowers

By: Maria Nerius, Resident Craft Expert

Why let flowers fade away when you can press them for another day? Pressing flowers is one of the oldest techniques for preserving botanicals and one of the most inexpensive ways too.


Flowers seem to be a part of all our celebrations from birthdays to Mother’s Day to weddings. It’s a shame to just let those flowers wilt when you can preserve them by the simple method of pressing. All you need to press flowers (or any botanicals) is some unprinted paper, heavy weights, and fresh botanicals.

If you are going to use botanicals from a centerpiece or corsage, it is best to begin to press these botanicals before they wilt. You want the flowers or leaves to be fresh. You can also harvest flowers and leaves from your garden. Harvest early morning or just before sunset while flowers are open. Thin bodied flowers and leaves press best.

Apple Blossom, Aster, Azalea, Bee Balm, Cherry Blossom, Geranium, Heather, Lily of the Valley, Rose Petals, Viola, Statice, Salvia, Queen Anne’s lace, Clover, Fern, Ivy, Gingko, Thyme, and Maple Leaves all press well. Colors are important. Whites and reds don’t always hold in hue, but blues, greens, and purples tend to stay true. For a visual on a variety of pressed botanicals click here (

Although many of us have placed a corsage or flower within an old heavy book, it is better to sandwich the botanical between two pieces of unprinted paper. You can use newsprint (not newspaper, but the un-inked paper), copier, or acid free paper. This protects the botanical and also our books! Other materials you can use for this protection include felt, thin cotton fabric, and couching sheets. You don’t want to use anything with texture unless you want that texture pressed into the botanical.

Flower presses are easy to make and you can find instructions on how to make a flower press on the web. You can also purchase flower presses, but a stack of heavy books will work just as well. Pressing flowers is an easy way to preserve special memories. You can use pressed flowers to create wall art, greeting cards, holiday tags, and so much more. A walk in nature can turn into a fun adventure of finding botanicals to press. Have fun with it!

Great projects using pressed flowers:

Any Occasion Card

Decoupaged Eggs

Pressed Flower Beads

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