Flowers are one of the joys of life- they are gorgeous and bright and lovely; so what could be better than pressing them so that you can keep them forever?
Pressed flowers are beautiful and delicate, and have so many uses! In this post, I am going to explain step by step how to press flowers so that you can treasure them forever.
The resources you need are incredibly simple- you can practically do it with things you can find at home:
- A flower press or some heavy books
- Thick paper (I like to use 300gsm watercolour paper)
Once you’ve gathered your press and your paper, you need to choose your flowers. The key to choosing flowers to press is to pick ones that are fairly delicate- not too thick; or else they won’t dry out properly. I often pick off the petals of larger flowers if they are too large to press entirely.
Once you’ve chosen your flowers, you need to prepare them for pressing. To do this, you need to make sure there is no additional moisture on them- if you’re taking them out a vase this isn’t as likely as when you’re taking them from outside where they could be slightly damp or moist. If they are at all wet, you can dry them off between two layers of paper towel.
The next thing you have to do to prepare them is to remove any leaves or side stems that will get in the way of the main flower. Once I have done this I like to flatten them slightly with my palm just to see how they will press before I actually put them in my press.
After you’re certain your flowers are ready to press, place them between two sheets of paper, making sure that they don’t overlap one another, or come too close to the edges. Then place these two sheets of paper in your press. I use a wooden flower press from etsy, however you can do this between two or more heavy books as well. (The only benefit I can think of for using an actual flower press would be that you can apply more pressure to the flowers by tightening the screws than you would be able to by using heavy books, however this isn’t that important.)
Now comes the boring part… the wait! I find that a good length of time to wait for my flowers to press is about 2 weeks, however, this does differ between flowers. If your flowers are thinner or more delicate, you probably don’t need to wait so long, however, if your flowers are thicker you may need to wait a little more than the two weeks.
During the two weeks wait, it is important to open the press every 3-5 days to check for dampness and to flip over your flowers.
It is completely normal to find dampness in your press during the pressing period- this is simply the moisture seeping out of the flowers. I use relatively thick paper (300gsm), so I find that most of my moisture is absorbed by the paper, however, if your paper is thinner, you may be left with a little more dampness on your flowers. If this is the case, when you open the press to check on the flowers, you should leave them in the open for a short period of time until they are feeling less damp.
It is also a good idea to flip your flowers over if they are not too delicate for this. This ensures that your flowers don’t stick to one side of the paper more than the other and that they dry out evenly, however, this is not essential.
Finally, after around two weeks you can open the press for a final time to ensure your flowers are completely pressed and dried out. Assuming they are you can remove them, and ta-da, you have beautiful, elegant pressed flowers!
Hopefully this guide was just what you needed to get you on your way to some beautifully pressed keepsakes and treasures! If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!