pressed flowers

How to Make Pressed Flowers in 3 Easy Steps

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A few years ago, when I was newly embarking on my herbal studies, I decided to make it my mission to learn about all the native medicinal plants in my bioregion. One way I have found helpful in this study is to make pressed flowers and herb specimens for my herbarium. This book is exclusively intended for documenting the plants and herbs I have recognized in my locality that possess healing properties for general health concerns and to foster a healthy body.

Now, I am addicted to making pressed flowers and herbs, but not just for study.  I also enjoy using them in various arts and crafts projects. These pressed flowers, herbs, and other plants make great additions to scrapbooks, cards, and art pieces, and they are a wonderful way to commemorate special moments. Although it may seem like a complicated process, pressing flowers can be done easily with a flower press. 

In this blog post, we will discuss how to make pressed flowers in three easy steps using a flower press. Whether you are a seasoned crafter or a beginner, this guide will help you create beautiful pressed flowers that you can cherish for years to come.

pressed flowers

Step 1: Gather Your Materials.

  • First, gather any flowers, leaves, or herbs that you want to press. It’s best to pick or cut them when they’re at their freshest and driest.
  • Next, you’ll need a flower press. You can buy a flower press or make one yourself by sandwiching your flowers between layers of absorbent paper or cardboard, and then placing them between two flat surfaces like wooden boards or book covers. You’ll also need some heavy objects like books or bricks to place on top of the press.
Interested in making your own flower press? Here’s a simple step-by-step tutorial for making your own: How to Make a Flower Press in 4 Easy Steps
herbarium

Step 2: Press your flowers

Prepare the Flower Press: 

  • First, prepare the flower press by placing one piece of cardboard on the bottom board of your flower press and layer a piece of blotting paper on top.
  • Then, place the flowers on top of the blotting paper, ensuring that they are not overlapping.
  • Finally, add another sheet of blotting paper on top of the flowers, and then place the second piece of cardboard on top. Repeat these steps until you have used all of your flowers or filled your press.
  • If you’re using a homemade press, you can tighten the screws or straps to apply pressure to the flowers.
  • Leave the press undisturbed for between 1-2 weeks, depending on the thickness of the flowers and the humidity in your area.
pressed flowers
pressed flowers
pressed flowers

Step 3: Remove your pressed flowers

  • Once your flowers are completely dry and pressed, carefully remove them from the paper and cardboard. You can use tweezers or your fingers, being careful not to damage the delicate petals or leaves.
  • Your pressed flowers are now ready to be used in art projects, cards, or other crafts. You can also store them in a dry, cool place, such as a book or a frame, to keep them preserved for a long time.

What Can I Use for Blotting Paper?

The ideal blotting paper for a flower press is a highly absorbent paper that can quickly absorb moisture and preserve the shape and color of the flowers. You are likely to find that flower pressing enthusiasts have a particular type of paper that they love to work with. As a hobbyist, you may need to experiment for a while to find out the paper that will work for you.

Here are a few suitable papers for blotting paper in a flower press include:

  1. Blotting paper: This is a highly absorbent paper designed for absorbing ink and moisture. It’s an excellent option for flower pressing, although it’s probably the most expensive choice. 

  2. Tissue paper: This is a thin, lightweight, and soft paper that’s perfect for pressing delicate flowers. It’s also readily available and affordable.

  3. Coffee filters: Coffee filters are another option for blotting paper. They are highly absorbent, and their texture is gentle enough to avoid crushing delicate flowers.

  4. Newsprint paper: This is a cheap and readily available option. It’s highly absorbent and perfect for pressing flowers. The only problems are that regular newsprint weighs only 42 grams per square meter, so you will need multiple sheets to press flowers well. Layer up anywhere between 4 and 12 sheets of newspaper to absorb moisture in your flower press. Another disadvantage of using newspaper is that the ink may be transferred to your flowers. This can be prevented by placing a sheet of another type of plain paper close to the flower or purchasing special plain newsprint.

  5. Parchment paper: Parchment paper can be used for making pressed flowers in a flower press. Parchment paper is a non-stick, heat-resistant paper that is often used in baking, but it can also be used as a substitute for blotting paper when making pressed flowers.

  6. Paper towels: Paper towels can be used as a substitute for blotting paper when making pressed flowers in a flower press. The purpose of blotting paper is to absorb moisture from the flowers as they dry, and paper towels are absorbent enough to do the job. However, it’s important to choose high-quality, thick paper towels that won’t leave lint or marks on your flowers. Additionally, if you’re using paper towels, it’s a good idea to replace them with fresh ones after a few days to ensure that they continue to effectively absorb moisture. Overall, while blotting paper is the ideal choice for making pressed flowers, paper towels can be used as a suitable alternative.

  7. Printer paper: Although not as absorbent as other options, printer paper can be used in a pinch. It’s important to avoid using coated or glossy printer paper.

Concluding thoughts

We hope that our guide has been helpful and that you’re now inspired to try this fun and easy project for yourself. If you’re looking for more information on how to make your own flower press or how to make your own herbarium, be sure to check out our other articles for step-by-step instructions and helpful tips. So, grab your favorite flowers and let’s get pressing!

How to Make a Flower Press in 4 Easy Steps

 

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