With the end of the growing season fast approaching, pressing and preserving flowers is an inexpensive and fun way to keep your garden memories alive permanently. Here are simple directions on how to press flowers along with five ideas to get creative with your pressed petals and blooms. Pressed flowers are also perfect for documentation purposes in garden journals.
How to Press Flowers
Pick flowers when they are at the peak of health if possible. If the flowers are wet, allow them to air dry before pressing.
Place each flower separately between two pieces of square cut plain white paper. Allow for at least a one inch border of white paper on all four sides of the flower.
Place the enveloped flower in the middle of a hardcover heavy book such as an old encyclopedia. Many flowers may be pressed at the same time in one book as long as each flower is enclosed in separate pieces of paper and spaced between several pages each.
Place other heavy hardcover books on top of the pressing book and leave the books sitting for at least two weeks.
At the end of the two weeks, check to see if the flowers are flat and dry to the touch. If they are, they’re ready. If flowers show any sign of moisture, place them back in the book between fresh pieces of paper and check them again in a few days. Remove when completely dry.
5 Simple Craft Ideas for Pressed Flowers
Flower Documentation: Arrange the flowers between two pieces of waxed paper and cover the top of the waxed paper with a thin dish towel and iron. The wax will seal the flowers. When the waxed paper cools, use a permanent marker to write the plant name, the year it was grown and notes about it to add to your garden journal/record keeping.
Bookmarks: Arrange pressed flowers on cardstock paper or recycled greeting cards cut into bookmark sized strips and laminate.
Framed with a Poem: Copy a favorite poem onto handmade or textured paper. Place flowers around the poem to accent it. When you are happy with the arrangement use a tiny dot of tacky glue to secure each dried plant. Let dry and frame as usual.
Handmade Cards/Stationery: Purchase plain card stock paper or handmade paper and fold in half into a card shape. Use tacky glue to secure flowers and spray with a clear sealant if desired.
Place Settings/Mats: Use 11 X 14 inch heavy cardstock paper as a background for place mats and smaller cuts of heavy cardstock paper for place settings. Arrange flowers around names in calligraphy and laminate.
This post was first published in 2015 and has been updated.