Pressing flowers is a great way of preserving these beautiful plants.
Once a flower is pressed, a number of things can be done with it. It can be used artistically in a number of formats, from craft making and collages to creating personal products like bookmarks. Some people press flowers to save the essence of some bloom, as they are attracted to its unique characteristics.
Learning how to press flowers is not that difficult at all. There are many techniques that people use to accomplish this task.
In this article, four tricks will be discussed that will guide you in the flower-pressing process. Towards the end of the article, some final thoughts are offered on pressing flowers.
4 Tricks for Pressing Flowers
In this section, four tricks for pressing flowers are examined in greater depth.
1. Use Books to Press Flowers
You don’t have to own a bunch of fancy equipment to carry out the pressing process.
Instead, you can use any extra books you might have to press flowers. The more books, the better, as this will allow you to apply more weight to the flowers. This will result in a flatter, more preserved bloom that will hold up over time.
More books will also allow you to press more flowers. If you are undertaking a large pressing project and you have many books lying around, you might consider using them to press flowers.
In order to do this, all you do is open a book and line one page with a thin piece of cardboard. On top of that, you put a piece of paper. Finally, you place your harvested flower bud on the paper. Then, you place another piece of paper and piece of cardboard on top of the flower before closing the book.
You can press multiple flowers in a book, though each flower should be separated by at least several pages. As the flower is pressed, it will dry out, causing moisture to be absorbed by the surrounding paper and cardboard. This moisture might affect the surrounding pages, which is also why you should use books that you don’t mind getting damaged. Many people like to stack multiple books on top of each other for extra weight.
This book method can be done for however long you want, though two weeks is customary. Many artists like to experiment with various lengths of time, as this can result in interesting effects on the flowers.
The book method is ideal if you are on a budget, as many people have unused books lying around their house. While the presence of the cardboard and paper is helpful, it’s not necessary. You could press the flowers in just the pages of a book if you are on a strict budget.
Many people prefer dense books like encyclopedias and dictionaries. These are ideal if you want to press many flowers.
2. Use a Microwave to Press Flowers
The benefit of using a microwave to press flowers is that the task is accomplished in a matter of minutes. Pressing a flower through the book method can take many days. If you want your pressed flowers sooner rather than later than you might consider the microwave method.
For this method, you still place your harvested bloom between two pieces of paper and then two pieces of cardboard. Then, you place this between two ceramic tiles or ceramic plates. Finally, you should microwave this pressed flower for a minute on low, checking the results afterward.
If the flower is still not sufficiently pressed and dried, you should continue microwaving for 30-second increments until the flower meets your preferences.
Many people love this method because it so quickly presses the flower. If you want to use a pressed flower immediately for some project, then this microwave method would be the way to go.
This technique would be especially ideal if you only had several flowers to press. However, if you have many flowers to press, this method might slow you down. It could be frustrating having to constantly open and close the microwave and program the timer. Even though you could microwave multiple flowers at a time, you are still limited by the space of your microwave.
There are microwave presses that you can purchase specifically for pressing flowers. (A Microfleur is the best option for this and they have great tips, tutorials and courses for pressing and using your pressed flowers.) This is an option if you are wondering how to press flowers and want to optimize your workflow. These devices are very efficient and often have vents, allowing for a quicker dry and the best color retention in your flowers. Yet, not everyone has the budget to purchase these appliances.
3. Use an Iron to Press Flowers
If you are wondering how to press flower, a popular trick is to use an iron. Many people have these around their house, making this a very convenient method.
When doing this, you should flatten the flowers first by placing a book on top of them. Make sure they are between two pieces of parchment paper.
While your flowers are flattening, you can warm up your iron to its lowest setting. Not much heat is needed in order for this method to be effective.
After several minutes, you can transfer your flowers from the book to an ironing surface, making sure to keep them between parchment paper. Then. You can iron them on low for about 10-15 seconds at a time before taking the iron away for a similar period of time.
The key is to alternate between applying the iron and taking it away. This prevents your flowers from overheating or burning. It’s also critical to not use any water or steam settings on your iron, as this could damage your flowers.
You shouldn’t need more than several periods of applying the iron to get a sufficiently dried flower. This is a quick, easy method that many people prefer, especially if you are on a budget.
4. Make Up Your Own Method
One of the best tricks for pressing flowers is to make up your own method.
As long as you understand what flower pressing is seeking to accomplish, then you can easily do it, even if you lack formal equipment.
Flower pressing is about drying out your favorite flowers and then flattening them in a way that preserves them for your intended use.
If you are an artist, you might want to use a combination of methods to enhance the aesthetics of the flower. This might be beneficial for larger flowers with more vibrant colors. These tend to hold up over time even after they’ve been pressed using several techniques.
For example, some artists might want to flatten a large flower in a book for five minutes before using an iron to press the flower directly onto a canvas.
In this sense, it might be beneficial to consider how you want to use the flower before choosing how to press it. Some projects might require the flower to be in pieces, requiring you to cut it before pressing it. Other projects might want you to press the flower as slowly as possible, requiring a totally novel method.
Larger flowers might also require you to innovate. You shouldn’t avoid large flowers simply because you can’t find a book to fit them. You can always press flowers between multiple objects. Many people like to use sheets of wood, though any object can be used.
If you are looking for additional protection, you might consider wrapping the flower in tissue paper before putting it between parchment paper.
Final Thoughts on How to Press Flowers
Pressing flowers is a very simple process that can creatively empower you. Many artists use this process when integrating flowers into their work, as it prevents the flower from molding while also preserving its beauty.
Many flower enthusiasts wonder how to press flowers so that they can save their favorite blooms. This can be done in some kind of scrapbook as a way of remembering what you’ve grown in the past.
This would be especially beneficial if you’re studying certain flower varieties. While you can always take photographs of the flower, a physical copy is an incomparable way of reconnecting with an old flower. Pressed flowers can be interacted with on a sensuous level if you are gentle, allowing for a different kind of experience.
Others might want to press flowers as a way of categorizing the flowers they have grown. This could be a fun hobby to engage in over the years if you are passionate about gardening.
At the end of the day, pressing flowers is an activity that many people cherish. If you’re looking for a new hobby to undertake, then flower pressing would be a relaxing, entertaining option that will enrich you on many levels.