Learn how to press flowers to make beautiful gifts and home decor by utilizing a few different techniques that are easy to follow.
Before you toss out your containers filled with beautiful annual flowers that won't make it through the winter, try pressing some of them, to make original handmade pressed flower gifts. Pressed flowers can be used in a variety of ways, and with a little planning couldn't be simpler.
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How to Press Flowers - 3 Ways
There are three easy ways to press flowers for crafting and gift making.
1. How to Press Flowers in a Phonebook
You know those phone books that keep showing up at your door, the big clunky books that no one uses anymore? They are great for pressing flowers. The newsprint paper absorbs the moisture from the flower and they are so big that you can press quite a few flowers between the many pages of the book. You can also make a Flower Press using newsprint paper that will work in a similar fashion.
I prefer this method. However, it usually takes a couple of weeks until they are ready, depending on how thick the flower or leaf is.
Those flowers with a single layer of petals or those with naturally flat bottoms such as pansies, daisies, delphiniums, violas, and violets are some of the easiest to press. Whereas those with heavy pollen and obvious stamens such as lilies are much harder to press.
All you need to do is take a few flowers and/or leaves and place them in the book, starting somewhere near the back, leaving a little room between each flower. Then, flip to another section, making sure that you have 20 or so pages between each flower section. Place some heavy books or a brick on top of the book and check on the flowers periodically.
2. How to Press Flowers in a Microwave
Pressing flowers in a microwave oven is a much faster way to get results. However, this method doesn't always work as well. Sometimes the color turns brown, especially white flowers, and sometimes it doesn't work with thicker plant material. Still, with a little practice, you will find this method still works rather well.
Start by placing your plant material between sheets of absorbent paper towels and using a microwave safe dish to weigh them down. Microwave in 30 second intervals checking the flowers each time to see if they are dry enough.
Note: Sometimes the texture of the paper towel can leave marks. However, you can find paper towels without texture like Viva paper towels, or use cotton cloths or rags instead.
3. How to Press Flowers with an Iron
Similar to the microwave pressing flowers with an iron is a quick method that will give you varying results. Use newsprint, or parchment paper and set your flowers in between. Again, this works best with thin petals and less fleshy plant material. Press the iron on top of the paper for 15-20 seconds. Don't move it around. Let the paper cool slightly before checking on the flowers. Repeat as necessary.
Handmade Pressed Flower Gifts
Here are a few ideas for gifts or home decor items that you can create with your pressed flowers.
Framed Floral Wreath
Just use Mod Podge, watered down white glue, or rubber cement to glue each item to a sturdy white paper base cut to fit the frame. You can start by placing a circle of glue on the paper but you also need to put the glue on the back of each flower before placing them on the paper. You'll end up with a beautiful framed wreath of your pressed flowers.
Make a beautiful ornate candle with pressed flowers. This can be done with wax to help the flowers adhere to the candle. See more in the detailed tutorial here.
Pressed Flower Card
Here I used different foliage and ferns as stems for the flowers. I've also seen a bouquet made on a card which looks great too.
This is probably the easiest one to make. You don't need a lot of flowers and you can simply glue the flowers in a collage on a strip of cardstock. To help protect the bookmark add an extra layer of Mod Podge on top. It will look messy at first but dries clear.
All of these projects cost no more than your time and would make great gifts for any occasion.