Classic Pressed Garden Flowers

Hello friends,

The pleasures of a tranquil walk in the garden or wild flower meadow can be captured and preserved with a simple flower press.

 My spring garden yields wonderful specimens that are perfect for pressing. Pansies, phlox, impatiens, violas and sweet violets are have a natural flat growing pattern that is ideal.  Woodland wildflowers are wonderful - violets, buttercups, phlox and daisies are ideal.

Before pressing:

After pressing:

Herbs can be pressed as well, flat leaved herbs, lavender, lemon balm, chamomile all work well and offer the added bonus of fragrance to your projects.

Delicate fern fronds, newly sprouting leaves and grasses provide elegant additions to craft projects utilizing the more colorful blossoms.

I have had much success with the spring blooming bleeding heart and creeping phlox, including the green foliage is always a good idea. Always pick your materials on a dry day after the dew has evaporated. Wet petals and leaves will not give optimum results. You can trim the stem close to encourage thicker flowers like daisies and zinnias to lie flat, naturally flat blossoms like violas, pansies and violets can be pressed with stems in tact.

This old fashioned craft has been handed down for generations. There are variations on the process but all yield good results. Simple presses that utilize acid free blotting paper to sandwich the fresh flowers between layers of cardboard are inexpensive and easy to build or can be purchased in arts and craft stores.

I have several sizes. Small lightweight presses are compact enough to carry in a backpack and are great for your gathered wildflowers. Larger presses are perfect for full size ferns, long stemmed flowers or massive amounts of materials.

I make my presses with solid boards or plywood cut to the dimensions I need. Four holes are drilled near the corners for the bolts with wing nuts. I usually use 4 to 6 inch bolts, but you can purchase longer bolts that will allow you to press more layers.

I cut cardboard and acid free blotter paper to fit within the bolts. First place a piece of cardboard, then blotter paper. Carefully position your treasures as flat as possible. If I have thicker flowers, I trim the back with scissors to achieve a thinner blossom. Top with another piece of blotter paper and then cardboard. Repeat the process until you have all your specimens prepared. You can do as many or as little layers as needed as long as you don't exceed the thickness of the length of your bolts.

Once you place your florals, don't move the papers. If you wrinkle the tissues, it will be permanently pressed into the final product. I usually leave my press unopened for a minimum of 7 days for thin flat objects and longer for thicker flowers. I tighten the eye bolts when needed as the thicker blossoms flatten through the pressing transformation. 

Other options are to use breathable nylon scrub pads in place of the cardboard, velcro bands in place of the bolts, and use plastic sheets in the microwave to speed up the process. I prefer the traditional method. The anticipation is part of the charm of this time honored art. Good things come to those who wait.

After the waiting period, loosen the bolts and gently separate the layers to reveal your treasures. If more time is needed, the press can be reassembled. The finished pressings are very fragile. They can be used immediately for craft projects or stored between layers of the blotter paper in the press or between the pages of large books.

Violas, daisy mums and pink larkspur just out of the press. Autumnal splendor can be savored with preserved leaves from your press. Herbs also do well. These beauties are wonderful for elegant projects. Lovely greeting cards or stationery embellished with your pressings are a welcome gift. The flowers and greens can be placed between glass layers for wall and window hangings or coasters. With care, the delicate pressings can decoupaged to candles, decorative boxes, gifts and more.

This is a great craft to introduce to nature lovers of all ages. Spend some time with a child exploring the wonders of the forest and be sure to bring along your flower press to create lasting memories. Gift a press to your grandchildren. What joy!

Thanks for visiting,


Reader's Comments

By Soapsmith on 06/24/2014 @ 11:11pmI don't sell pressed flowers. I just do this as a hobby for my own personal use. Sorry, I can't be of service! Bonnie

By Guest on 06/24/2014 @ 11:05pmCan I buy roses that have already been pressed and ready for a scrapbook, etc.?

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