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How to Press Flowers

pressed flowers bookmark

Selecting Flowers for Pressing
Pick flowers in the morning after the dew has evaporated or on a sunny day when
the flowers aren’t wet.

Conditioning the Flowers
Keep your blooms fresh by putting them into water immediately after cutting. Cut the
stems at an angle with a pruner or knife to allow the greatest water absorption.
Another way to keep your blossoms in good condition is to put them in a zip lock
bag, blow into it (the carbon dioxide will keep the flowers fresh) and store in the
refrigerator.

Choosing Flowers to Press
Naturally flat blooms such as violets, daisies, coreopsis and cosmos are the easiest
to press. Don’t forget about greens like ferns or leaves to add interest and texture to
your project. If you are pressing flowers such as alstroemerias or lilies that have
obvious stamens, remove the stamens first so the pollen doesn’t stain. If a flower’s
center is too thick to flatten, remove the petals from the center and press each
separately. After drying, reassemble without the center.

Materials Needed for Flower Pressing

  • Newspaper, blotting paper, printer paper.
  • Flat, noncorrugated coffee filters, flat cardboard or plan, untreated facial
    tissues to absorb moisture and aid in drying (don’t use paper towels because
    their textures may be imprinted on the petals or wax paper because it retains
    moisture).

Pressed Flower Techniques

  • Flower Press – Flower presses can be purchased at craft stores.
  • Books – Protect the book’s pages with a layer of paper on each side of the flower being pressed. Place the flowers between the pages, and if using multiple pages, leave at least 1/8 inch between pressings. Or you can place the flowers between two layers of absorbent paper and place heavy books on top. Weigh down the top of the book with a brick or other heavy item. Let the flowers dry for a week before checking on them. At this point you may want to replace the absorbent material. Allow two to three weeks for complete drying.
  • Iron – Heat an iron to a low setting. Empty any water from the iron and do not add water. You don’t want to add moisture or steam. Place the flower between two sheets of absorbent paper. Flatten the flower with a heavy book first, then press the warm iron on top of the upper sheet of paper for 10-15 seconds. Don’t make a gliding motion as if ironing. Wait for the paper to cool, 10-15 seconds, then repeat. Check occasionally by very carefully lifting the paper to see if the flower is still and dry.
  • Microwave – Professional microwave flower presses are designed for this purpose.

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