>> Jul 3, 2012
Pressing flowers is a very creative way to preserve floral mementos important occasions or places you have visited. Making your own flower press is not hard and can be done with materials around the home or purchased at the hardware shop. Pressed flowers make lovely gifts and cards or can be used to decorate the home. Other items that can be decorated with flowers include bookmarks, journals and notebooks. Pressing flowers can be a way of reducing stress and a peaceful way to express your creativity. Next time you order flowers online or bring home flowers from the florist or garden consider putting one or two aside to press.
Choosing Flowers for Pressing
- The best time to pick flowers for pressing is on a dry day in the afternoon. If you pick them too late they may have wilted slightly so try to catch them at a time when they are dry but not wilting.
- The best flowers to use are flat ones like violets, daisies, pansies and geraniums. Herbs such as lavender, mint and sage look nice when arranged around pressed flowers.
- Grass, weeds and fronds can make an artistic embellishment on a pressed flower arrangement so remember to collect some of this.
- Bright coloured autumn leaves, seeds and bark also contrast well when arranged with pressed coloured flowers.
- If you have chosen flat flowers such as violets they can be pressed whole, without any stem.
- With thicker flowers like roses, remove the flower head then pull the stem out before removing the best petals. The best petals are the ones with no spots or wrinkles and lay as flat as possible.
- If you are out on a bushwalk or on holiday and you find something that you think you may want to press wrap it in a tissue and keep it. Once back in your accommodation you can press your holiday flower inside a phone book or a bible using news or tissue paper to protect the book.
Making a Flower Press
- Cut two pieces of wood to your desired size. Consider the size of the plants and flowers you want to press. Between the size of an A4 page and an A3 page is a good size.
- Drill a hole in each corner of both the wood pieces. Match the drill bit with the screws you intend to use.
- Trim cardboard into pieces that fit between the pieces of wood. The corners will need to be trimmed at an angle to make room for the screws.
- Repeat the same trimming process with blotting paper.
- Alternate the layers of cardboard and blotting paper and stack between the wood pieces. Place two pieces of blotting paper then one piece of cardboard. Continue this pattern until you have reached your desired thickness.
- Place your prepared flowers, leaves and herbs between the two pieces of blotting paper and cardboard. You can put as many specimens as you like into the press as long as you have enough blotting paper between cardboard pages.
- Push the screws up from the bottom of the press and slide the washer and wing nut on the exposed screw. Tighten the wing nut onto the pieces of wood. Tightening the wing nut is what creates the pressure that presses the flowers.
Alternatives for Flower Pressing
- Strapping 3 belts or secure straps around your wood will have a similar effect as long as you can secure them tightly enough.
- Ironing flowers that are secured in between two pieces of wax paper works however long term health of the pressed flower is not guaranteed.
- For a makeshift flower press simply layer unprinted newspaper and two layers of tissue paper inside a phone book or other heavy book and weigh the book down with other heavy objects.