Four Ways to Press Flowers

Flowers ready for pressing

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Pressed flowers are a beautiful little decoration you can use for countless different crafts—from creating framed artwork and bookmarks to homemade candles and personalized greeting cards or jewelry. It's a lovely way to preserve flowers beyond their blooming days and if pressed and preserved correctly, they will maintain their shape and color for years to come. There is something sweet and nostalgic about pressing flowers in a book; perhaps it reminds you of your childhood, picking daisies in the backyard and tucking them in between the pages of a thick book, expectantly waiting for them to dry.

There are many different methods for pressing flowers and the four simple-to-follow ways below require simple supplies you likely already have at home. Keep reading to find out what the best flowers to press are, when is the right time to pick them, and how to correctly press them for the best results.

Tip

When it comes to choosing what flowers to press, those with a single layer of flat-shaped petals are the best choice as they dry the fastest and hold their shape and color well. Pansies, daisies, forget-me-nots, and violets are good examples of flowers that are well-suited for pressing.

Press Flowers Using a Book

One of the simplest, most inexpensive yet also highly effective ways of pressing flowers is using one single item you most definitely already have in your home—a book! While it's not the fastest method, it works well and is one of the oldest ways to press flowers. Besides knowing the best types of flowers to press, it's also important that you know the right time to pick them. You want to make sure they are at their blooming peak, which means they are the richest in color, and that they don't have any brown spots, signs of wilting or tears, and damage to the delicate petals. As for the right time of day to pick them, do so after the morning dew disappears to minimize the amount of moisture in them, as this will speed up pressing time.

Once you have your picked flowers, place them between two coffee filters (you can also use parchment paper) that will absorb moisture and act as a barrier between the flowers and the book. If you are pressing multiple flowers, leave enough space between them so that they don't overlap. Then, place them inside a thick, heavy book (such as an old-school encyclopedia) and put additional books or weights on top of the book to literally press the flowers down. Depending on the type of flowers that you are pressing, this method takes up to a month for the flowers to be fully dried and flat.

Store-Bought Flower Press Kit

There are many flower press kits available at various craft stores that allow you to press flowers relatively quickly and easily. Most of these ready-made kits consist of two wooden boards with the same-sized sheets of cardboard in between them to make what resembles a book. The flowers are placed in between each of the cardboard layers, then the wooden boards go on top and the bottom of the cardboard pieces as if you were making a sandwich. There are screws attached to each of the four corners of the wooden boards that you tighten to press down the flowers. It takes about two weeks to press flowers using one of these store-bought kits.

Iron Flowers Using Low Heat

One of the quickest flower-pressing techniques is ironing them. You may wonder how this works without burning the flowers, so read ahead to find out.

Place your picked flowers between two pieces of parchment paper and gently press them down using your hand if they're small enough, or something larger such as a book or a wood cutting board if they are larger. Then, set up an ironing board and turn your iron on the lowest heat setting, making sure there's no steam coming out, as that would add unnecessary moisture. Iron over the flowers sandwiched in between the parchment paper for a couple of seconds at a time, checking on them occasionally to make sure they are intact and stopping once you see that they are dried.

Press Flowers in the Microwave

The microwave may not be an obvious choice when it comes to pressing flowers, but it's an excellent method that yields quick results. It starts out similar to the above ironing technique, by placing the picked flowers in between two sheets of parchment paper and gently flattening them. Place the parchment paper with the flowers in the microwave, then place a microwave-safe dish such as a plate on top of it. Using the lowest heat setting, microwave the flowers for 15 seconds at a time, checking on them in between each of the heat times until you are satisfied with their look.