This article is courtesy of Sandra Fisher, an About Gardening reader and avid flower person. Sandra is a flower presser by trade, with a great deal of experience and skill. Sandra began pressing flowers as a hobby and turned it into a successful “work from home” business. She has even written a book on the subject, which you can view along with beautiful illustrations of her work, on her web site, flowerpressing.com. Here Sandra shares her enthusiasm for pressing flowers and some expert tips for preserving your garden's flora.
If you’re looking for an inspiring and creative hobby that you can really enjoy - then look no further! Flower pressing will bring out your creativity, reduce your stress and allow you to earn money at the same time.
Ideas for Using Your Pressed Flowers
You’ll be surprised to discover how quickly you can learn to press flowers; and once you know how, you’ll be able to make all kinds of lovely articles.
Pressed flowers are used for decorating greeting cards, pictures, telephone directories and Photo albums. Even school bags, candles and lampshades can be decorated with sprays of pressed flowers. There is no end to the variety of ways in which you can use them.
What You'll Need to Get Started
Fortunately, the tools you'll need are simple and easy to obtain. You'll probably find that you have most of the equipment for flower pressing in your home already. For example you will need a few flat wooden boards, newspaper, bricks or some large heavy books, paper glue, a blunt knife for removing the pressed flowers from the pressing papers and a number of other easily obtainable items.
What Plants Can be Pressed?
You’ll soon discover that flower pressing is not only limited to flowers. You can use :
Fine seed heads of ordinary lawn grasses will give a touch of finesse while bits of bark and little patches of lichen will give your designs originality.
And don’t spurn the different types of weeds lurking in your back yard. You'll be amazed to see how well some of them press. Many of them are quite pretty so you just need a good eye and a bit of imagination.
When picking greenery it’s important to take note of the individual stages of growth of the plant as well as the different seasons. For example, the gently curving tendrils and new leaves of the Virginia creeper are best picked in spring. And tender maple leaves picked in spring are completely different from the red and gold leaves harvested in autumn or fall.
Designing with Pressed Flowers
Because pressed flowers are flat and two-dimensional you should aim for a flowing, graceful appearance. You can easily accomplish the desired effect if you work cleverly with curves. Try to use elegantly curved tendrils and curled leaves in your flower designs as this will give them the natural flowing look you need. You can even give a straight stem a gentle curve if you bend it gently by running it between your thumb and the back end of a pair of scissors. But remember to do this before you press the stem as once it is pressed it will be dry and brittle.
Of course there's a lot of scope for experimentation too and that’s half the fun. Just remember that flowers in a pressed flower collage should never look stiff but should always look natural and appealing.
There is so much you can do with leaves and flowers. You’ll find that flower pressing is not only a creative hobby - you can easily turn into a work from home business too.