Learn how to make a beautiful DIY flower press with simple materials and step-by-step instructions. Preserve your favorite blooms and create unique keepsakes with this easy and budget-friendly project.
To make your own flower press at home, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Pencil or pen
- Drill with 1 1/2-inch drill bit
- Circular saw (if you want to cut your own wood)
- Plywood or other sturdy wood for the press boards—I used two 12- x 10-inch pieces of wood that are at least 1 inch (2.54 cm) thick
- Bolts and wing nuts to hold the press together—I used 4 3/8- x 8-inch carriage bolts and 4 3/8-inch wing nuts
- Paint, stain, or decoupage material for finishing
Note: Depending on the design and size of the flower press you want to make, you may need additional or alternative tools and materials.
You may also want to gather some flowers or other plant materials to press once you have constructed your flower press.
1. Choosing & Cutting the Wood
When choosing wood for making a flower press, look for a strong and sturdy wood, such as oak or maple, or even a thick piece of smooth plywood.
For the cutting process, you can use a saw to cut two pieces of wood to the desired size. I cut my wood to 12 × 10 inches (25.4 cm) so that I could easily fit standard paper size into it and minimize the need for trimming the paper except for the corners. However, you could make your press any size that works for your needs.
If you don’t have access to a saw for cutting the wood yourself, you can have your local home improvement store such as Home Depot cut them for you. Home Depot offers cutting services for wood, and they have the equipment to cut lumber, trim, and boards to your specifications. However, it’s best to check with your local Home Depot store, as not all stores offer the same services. You can contact them and ask about their specific cutting services and any fees associated with them.
2. Drilling the Holes
To make the holes for your flower press, use a ruler to mark at least an inch from each corner of one piece of wood, making sure that your marks are evenly spaced and accurate. This will be your drill guide. You don’t want to drill too close to the edge, or you run the risk of breaking the wood.
After marking the drill guides, stack the two pieces of wood for your flower press together and clamp them together for extra stability. Place the two-piece stack on top of a piece of scrap wood and use a drill to make straight holes through both pieces of wood at once. This ensures that the holes will be lined up exactly so that when you go to use your carriage bolts later, they slide right through easily.
Alternatively, you can use a drill press like we did, but still make sure the two pieces of wood are stacked evenly and drill through both pieces at once.
3. Smoothing the Edges
It’s important to sand the edges of the wood after it’s cut to ensure they are smooth and won’t cause you any splinters. I recommend starting with a coarse grit sandpaper, such as 80 or 100 grit, to remove any roughness or imperfections. Then you can move up to a finer grit, such as 120 or 150, to smooth out the edges and prepare them for finishing. The exact grit you need will depend on the condition of the wood and the desired level of smoothness.
4. Finishing it Off
There are several ways to finish a DIY flower press. Here are some common methods:
Painting: Painting a flower press can add a pop of color and protect the wood. Before you start, sand the wood to create a smooth surface. Then, apply a primer to ensure that the paint adheres well. Once the primer is dry, paint the press using a brush or spray paint. You can choose any color you like, but light colors or pastels will look the best. Let the paint dry completely before using the press.
Staining: Staining a flower press is another way to enhance its natural beauty. Start by sanding the wood to remove any rough spots or imperfections. Then, apply the stain using a brush or cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions. For a darker finish, apply several coats of stain, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. Once the stain is dry, apply a coat of varnish to protect the wood.
Decoupage: Decoupage is a fun way to personalize your flower press. First, sand the wood to create a smooth surface. Then, choose your favorite paper or fabric and cut it to fit the size of the press. Apply a thin layer of decoupage glue to the wood, and then place the paper or fabric on top. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles with a brush or your fingers. Once the glue is dry, apply another layer of decoupage glue on top to seal the paper or fabric. Let the press dry completely before using it.
Natural finish: If you prefer a natural look, you can simply apply a coat of wax or oil to the wood. This will protect the wood from moisture and give it a nice sheen. Apply the wax or oil using a cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the wax or oil is dry, buff the wood with a clean cloth to create a smooth finish.
Personalizing a DIY Flower Press:
Add your name or initials – Use paint or a wood-burning tool to add your name or initials to the press.
Decorate with stickers – Add stickers or decals that feature your favorite flowers or patterns. You can also use colorful washi tape to create a unique design.
Add a quote – Paint or engrave a quote about flowers or nature on the press.
Paint or draw a floral design – If you have artistic skills, paint or draw a floral design on the press. This will make it a one-of-a-kind piece.
In conclusion, making your own flower press is an easy and fun project that can provide endless opportunities for creative expression. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can have a beautiful flower press that will allow you to preserve the beauty of nature for years to come.
If you’re interested in exploring more DIY crafts and nature projects, be sure to check out some of my other articles and resources here. With a bit of creativity and imagination, you can create your own unique and meaningful works of art while connecting with the natural world.
Here are a few of my favorite projects to get you started:
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