How to Press Flowers at Home - 4 Easy Methods
Pressed flowers preserve a precious moment in time. They evoke memories about special bouquets from a loved one or an impressive flowering that happened in the glorious spring. Pressed flowers keep these memories alive forever.
Unlike a bouquet of dried flowers, pressed flowers are perfect for framing. They can be placed inside a reliquary or be used as embellishments for cards. Here's how to press flowers at home with 4 easy methods.
Selecting fresh flowers for pressing
The first thing you should know in order to press flowers at home is to gather the flowers in the morning after the dew has evaporated. Harvest them when they are ready to open their beautiful buds. If you're going to frame them, gather flowers and foliage at different stages of development to give your design a natural look. The better the quality of the flowers at the time of the harvest, the better they will be when dried and pressed.
The easiest flowers for pressing are those that have naturally flat blooms such as violets, daisies and single petal from roses (many types of roses are good choices). Ferns and various types of leaves are also excellent choices.
Materials for the press
Your goal is to dry the flowers as fast as possible. Avoid paper towels because their textures can be printed onto the gorgeous plant petals. Also avoid wax paper because it traps moisture.
Experiment with pressing techniques to discover which works best for your tastes and for the darling flowers you choose. Trial and error will also show you how to place flowers onto paper to look best when pressed.
You can buy or make a wooden press flowers, but the same techniques apply to all types of pressing.
Books for pressing flowers easily
The easiest method (because it requires no special equipment apart from absorbent paper only) is to use a heavy book or a Phonebook. The pigments of the petals, the stems, and the leaves can stain the paper, so if the book is valuable, protect the pages with a paper layer on each side of the plants that are being pressed.
There are two ways to press flowers that use this technique. Start by placing flowers between two layers of absorbent paper, then place heavy books on top. Or place the flowers between the pages of the book itself. On top of the book place a brick or another heavy item.
Let the flowers dry for a week before checking them. At that time you might want to replace the absorbent material. Leave them for two to three weeks to fully dry out.
Using an iron to press flowers
Like other methods, it begins by pressing flowers between sheets of absorbent paper.
Heat an iron at a low level. Empty the water from the iron and do not add fresh water. You do not want to add steam or humidity.
Prepare the flower for pressing by placing it between two sheets of absorbent paper. Flatten the flower with a heavy book first, then hold the iron on top of the top sheet for 10 to 15 seconds. There's no need to make a sliding motion as if you're ironing a garment. Wait for the paper to cool for another 10 to 15 seconds, then repeat. Check occasionally by lifting the paper carefully to see if the flower inside is hard and dry.
Using a microwave to press flowers
The use of high temperatures for flowers could make them turn brown, but if you're quick, you can use a microwave to speed up the drying process.
For best results when pressing flowers with microwave, use a microwave designed specifically for this purpose.
If necessary, you can create your own microwave flower press using two ceramic tiles and rubber to fasten the tiles tightly. Place the flowers between sheets of absorbent paper, and then tighten them between the ceramic tiles. Heat for 30 to 60 seconds at a time, allowing the materials to cool down before repeating.
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