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Latest Comments

Preserving Flowers: Pressing

(2 Votes)


Many methods exist for preserving fresh flowers. Pressing flowers creates a wonderful decoration for many craft projects. Pressed flowers can adorn scrapbook pages, decorative boxes or picture frames, or can simply be displayed behind glass. Here are the different methods and the pros and cons of each method of pressing flowers. Before you begin, make sure no moisture remains on the flowers. Blot between sheets of paper towel if necessary.

Book Pressing- Sandwich the fresh flowers between two sheets of wax paper or newspaper and place inside of a large volume book such as a dictionary. For multiple pressings in one book, leave many pages, around 1/4-1/8 inch, between pressings. Close the book, stack several heavy books on top and wait several weeks.

Pro: Inexpensive (no special equipment necessary)

Con: The pressure on the flowers may not be uniform, causing in uneven results.

Flower Presses- A simple flower press is basically two boards held together with a long bolt and wing nut in each corner. Layers (in this order) of cardboard, blotting paper, plain paper, flowers, plain paper, blotting paper, cardboard, fit between the boards. For better results, the blotting paper (or newspaper) should be changed every day for the first week of pressing. Leave for a couple weeks in the press.

Pro: Effective color retention and even, continual pressure on the flowers

Con: Larger buds, such a roses, must be cut before pressing.

Microwave Pressing- You can buy a specially made microwave flower press or make a simple one. Sandwich the flowers between two sheets of blotting paper (or newsprint), pad with three or more paper towel sheets, and place a microwave-safe casserole dish on top. You can also sandwich the padding with ceramic tile or cardboard and secure tightly with rubber bands. Microwave in short, 30-second increments at a medium to low-medium power setting and allow the flowers to cool a little between heating. Allow the steam to escape. Heating should take around three minute total. Leave in the microwave for a few minutes with the power off and then press in a phone book or other large book for a few hours or up to a day.

Pro: Much faster than other methods of pressing

Con: You can easily overheat the flowers and make them overly brittle.


Preserving Flowers: Drying

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Want to show off your pressed flowers to visitors - cut squares of wax sandwich paper same size as A4 paper. With wax side facing up, arrange your pressed flowers in pattern (or use flowers, petals, leaves etc to depict a picture or shape). Lay the second piece of wax paper on top (wax side down) and iron until the two pieces of wax paper are inseparable. The iron only needs to be warm and it may take a few minutes. Once cool, simply place in A4 frame and hang. Different sized frames may be used, or create a series of frames using one particular flower in each and hang in a row or create a patterned wall feature with the frames.

I really enjoyed this article! I've experimented with several of these methods and have had minor successes. I am now using my iron to see how I fair with that. So far, I'm happy with my results, tho I still have to figure out which flowers press best this way. I have just a regular clothes iron, I set it on the highest setting, NO STEAM, and place the flowers between 2 pieces of regular copy paper. I am considering newspaper for larger area. It doesn't take much time, I just keep checking to see how they are looking and if they are still limp, I press them a bit longer. Yes, its trial and error for now, and I've browned up some flowers, but everything takes practice. My biggest challenges so far are pansies because their petals are so thin, but I'll get it! I hope this will help some of you out!

thank you for the information. I will save and use it this summer. Anne


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