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8/16/16

How to press your own flowers


HOW TO PRESS YOUR OWN FLOWERS

Wouldn’t be wonderful to be able to keep and use the best blooms of your garden?
People have been pressing flowers and leaves for the longest time. The Victorians and the Japanese are known for their elaborate compositions of dried materials.

The secret is to know what flowers are best for pressing and when to pick them.

 

Great flowers to press are: small roses, Violets, Pansies, Cosmos, Delphiniums, Sweet-peas, Hydrangeas, Forget-me-nots and also leaves such as Ferns and Ivy leaves.
The easiest ones to press are flowers with single layers of thin petals and without dense centers.

You should pick up your flowers during the driest time of the day, ideally at noon.
There are different ways of pressing flowers and leaves.

Once you gathered all your plant materials, you will then select it by colour and size.
Remember that your flowers should look perfect and without any bruising.
Open your old phone book then place a layer of blotting paper on a page. Add some flowers and leaves making sure they do not touch each other.
Place another layer of blotting paper on top to cover them and close your book.
You can place some bricks on top to add more weight.

Traditional Pressing Flowers Methods:

You can press them using the oldest method in between books such as heavy old phone directories. Open your old phone book then place a layer of blotting paper on a page.
Add some flowers and leaves making sure they do not touch each other.
Place another layer of blotting paper on top to cover them and close your book.
You can place some bricks on top to add more weight.
You can also use a traditional flower press available at craft and garden stores.
Using these methods, you will have pressed flowers in about three to four weeks.
Keep in mind that colours won’t be as bright as they fade during the drying process.

Pressing Flowers in the Microwave:

But if you need them sooner you can press them in a microwave press and have them ready in minutes! You can find them at crafts and garden stores. This is my favorite method because flowers keep most of their colour. You will place your flowers in between the cotton sheets that come with the microwave press. And then “cook” them in short bursts starting for about 35 seconds and then for 20 seconds until dried and pressed.
A Pansy would take up to one minute to fully dry and press! That’s very fast!
The press will get very hot. Remove your pressed flowers and let it cool down.

How to store your pressed flowers:

I like storing my pressed flowers in between printing paper sheets and inside a plastic container away from the light.

Get creative with your pressed flowers:

There are so many projects where you can use your pressed flowers and leaves.
It’s a great way to share the harvest of your garden with friends and loved ones.
I love making greeting cards, notes, tags and combining them in colourful collages.
They make a great canvas for special messages you can send anytime.
Making mini-wreaths with them is one the things I enjoy the most!
But I also add my pressed flowers and leaves to Christmas ornaments, Wedding favors and invitations. And love embellishing gift packages with them, candles, coasters. The sky is the limit!
Enjoy the art of pressing flowers and leaves!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gabriela Delworth. Crafts Designer & Stylist, Author, Instructor. Makes creativity a ritual. Aesthetically reactive to beautiful things. 
Mission: to inspire you.

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