How To Press Flowers - Red Ted Art's Blog : Red Ted Art's Blog

How To Press Flowers

| June 4, 2012 | 33 Comments

Today we are looking at being “Creative with Flowers” – I decided to do our very first “How To Press Flowers” session with the children. Flower pressing is another on of those “childhood” classic crafts that you can have a go at – it is surprising how well some flowers do press (whilst, ahem, other don’t).

Flower vases a3

So I thought I would share our practical guide to flower pressing. No fancy equipment needed:

Materials: a book, something heavy (to place on top), paper (blotting paper ideal, but not necessary), a range of flowers and petals

Top 10 Flower Pressing tips:

1) Press your flower as soon as possible

This is to avoid any drooping or wilting. In practical terms, this means picking flowers on your WAY HOME from a walk or to have a notebook with some elastic with you. You can then start pressing the flowers on your way back from where you are and then place the notebook under heavy items at home.

pressing flowers tips

If they have started drooping, revive them a little by placing them in a small vase of water. But don’t get the petals wet.

2) Your flower must be DRY

If you press a wet flower, you run the risk of it getting mouldy – the simplest would be small mouldy spots, the worst would be a smelly mouldy page inside your boook.

3) Place your flower face down

This is a very simply and almost “obvious” tip – but it is easier to not squish any petals if you put the flower face down and place the second sheet of paper on top, than it is to place the flower right side up and put the paper on top – you are more likely to crease it that way. Similarly… you get a different effect by pressing the same flower side ways. The simple Daisy looks sweet both “face down” and sidewise. Some “fat” flowers press surprisingly well, others don’t – e.g. for  a big rose, you may consider pressing just the petals.

You can also use your finger to gently press it flat first – help get it into position.

5) Don’t forget leaves and grasses

Do press some leaves and grasses too – they make a nice compliment for any final pressed flower arrangement.

6) Leave for 2-4 weeks

Most flowers will take 2-4 to press and dry fully. Be patient.

7) Use Tissue Paper

If you want to become “more professional” at pressing your flowers… add a layer of tissue paper between your flowers and the paper. Then after 3-4 days, remove the the flowers in the tissue paper and gently place between two new sheets of paper and a new book.

The reason for doing this, is to let moisture escape better and for the flowers to dry completely. This step is particularly useful when drying bigger “fatter” flowers.

8) Microwave pressing

Did you know you can speed the process up in the microwave? Make sure you have a plain book (no gold embossing). Place your flowers between two sheets of paper in the book. Close firmly… and then zap in short 30-40 second bursts. Open the page gently to let the vapour escape. Let the book cool. Then repeat about 10x. The book will start getting very warm. So do let it cool down. Now put the flowers in another book and press “normally” for 2-3 days.

 9) Fading with time & preserving

Pressed flowers do loose their colour as they are exposed to the elements – particularly light. In order to preserve them for as long as possible, it is helpful to seal them. There are preserving sprays out there. But a simpler “low tech” one (and not perfect, but fine for crafting with kids), is a simple Mod Podge varnish! Mod Podge is fabulous, as it comes in so many different finish – matt, gloss etc. But a similar effect can be achieved with water down PVA glue (water it down to a milk consistency).

The main thing though is to avoid direct sun light and humid rooms (e.g. bathrooms).

10) Experiment

Just keep experimenting with what flowers press well and which don’t. We found that tiny forget me nots, are adorable when pressed, but have little colour. Dandelion’s, ahem, looked dreadful (but Red Ted really wanted to try it). Rose petals are great for crafting and collages etc etc

We then got crafty… and made some greeting cards:

pressed flower crafts

Rose Petal Butterflies

As well as some little tea light lanterns/ flower vases. Pansies were our favourite addition:

pressed flower crafts

1) Dry your flowers

drying flowers

2) Apply a coat of mod podge – you WILL see the texture of your brush strokes after drying – so take care if you want a “neater” finish. We did these together, so applied amply and I think the strokes add to the final effect! (We used all mustard jars that come with plastic lids – so they have a nice neat top edge).

pressed flowers

3) Add a second layer and let dry.

Flower vases a3

4) Enjoy! Use them as tea lights or as little vases.

Come join the linky fun – only add Flower Related Crafts please!


Other blogs taking part in the Flower Challenge:

Tinker labRainy Day Mum *  Learn with Play *  Hands On: As We Grow  * Creative Playhouse  * Smiling Like Sunshine *  Growing a Jeweled Rose *  A Mom with a Lesson Plan  * Carrots Are Orange  *  Montessori Tidbits  *  The Educators’ Spin On It  *  Kitchen Counter Chronicles    Experimenting Mom  *  Imagination Soup  *  Glittering Muffins  *  Famiglia and Seoul    Inspiration Laboratories  * The Golden Gleam *   The Good Long Road *  The Chocolate Muffin Tree  *  The Outlaw Mom *  Play Dr. Mom  *  Familylicious  *  Mum Paints Lives  *  Royal Baloo

Also adding this to the Frugal Carnival over at Mum at The Madhouses.

So.. I hope this summer you find inspiration and give this How To Press Flowers a go!! Have lots of pretty fun!

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Category: How To's, Kids Craft, Nature

Comments (33)

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  1. These tips are so helpful! I’m sure that anyone looking for information on how to press flowers will find everything they need right here. Thanks so much for joining in the Creative Challenge, Maggy — you always share the most thoughtful posts.

  2. Love this….and what wonderful gifts these would make!

    • Red Ted Art says:

      Thank you Melissa – yes, they would be lovely for Mother’s Day… well or a mother’s Birthday, seeing as Mother’s Day has been and gone!

  3. My husband brings me flowers that he collects while hiking. He presses them for me, so I can keep them longer. Thank you for sharing such great tips for flower pressing. I love what you’ve done with the pressed flowers!

  4. Bee says:

    Thanks for the tips – I’ve been pestering Hubs to make me a flower press for weeks now but he hasn’t got around to i t- I shall be using your Microwave tips to press flowers with my daughter – thanks!

  5. Lauren says:

    Thanks so much for this, my children love finding flowers on our walks and I have no idea what to do with ALL of them when we are done. They are their treasures and I feel terrible throwing them away. What a clever idea, great for gifts and to hold little votives all around your house! Thanks again!! We are adding this to our Summer Craft List for sure!!!

  6. Love this. Reminds me of my mother :-)

  7. fabulous project for summer! thanks so much for sharing on Craft Schooling sunday!

  8. Red Ted Art says:

    @Chrissy! Yes, it is a very mumsy craft ;-)
    @Creativejewishmom, Thank you!

  9. Kendra says:

    I just loved collecting flowers from around my mothers garden as a child and press them in a old book which made a scrape book for projects at school.

  10. Hi Maggy, I’m trying to get in touch with you to get your permission to share your photo of the rose petal butterfly greeting card and a link to your site on an upcoming post on our blog. I tried emailing you at info@redtedart.com as listed on your About page but it came back as undeliverable. Would you please get in touch with me? Thank you!

  11. shawnee gutierrez says:

    LOVE THIS SITE!

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