How to Press Flowers

I have been pressing flowers for years now. I believe my first piece of pressed flower art involved pressed pansies that I arranged in the shape of a letter and a heart for my mom as a gift. I made those around 15 years ago and they still have their color to this day!

I am discussing this today because I want to help everyone learn how to press flowers and not have to lose precious flowers to mistakes I have made in the past. This post is about using books to flatten some fabulous flowers you can use in crafts and art. Please read the note at the bottom before you do this with your flowers!

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Here is a step-by-step tutorial:

1. Gather your supplies. Here’s what you’ll need: flowers that have not yet withered, books that are okay to get stained (you can find old encyclopedia sets or large textbooks at thrift stores), paper (optional), and a warm, dry location in your home.

2. First, dry off your flowers if you pulled them from a vase of water. Any extra moisture can give the flowers a potential for mold.

3. Carefully place your flowers in the pages of the book in the position you would like them to be dried. If you would like to protect the pages of your book, you can use paper between the flowers and pages of the book.

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4. Close the current page with the flowers slowly to keep your flowers in position. You can use multiple sections of the book to place flowers in to dry.

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5. Stack extra weight on top of the closed book to keep the flowers flattened.

6. Store your books with flowers in a dry location. In my case I used the dehumidifier that we have in our bedroom. If you don’t have a dehumidifier, you can place your books by a heating vent or a fireplace if you run it at all. Just don’t place paper too close to heat to prevent it from catching fire.

 

7. Wait about 3 weeks for the flowers to dry. Depending on how much moisture your flowers had in them, you may need to wait longer. When you take out your flowers, they should be flat and feel dry to the touch.

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**NOTE** This method of pressing flowers only works for flowers that are not too thick. Please do not use this methods on flowers such as lilies, sunflowers, or roses. If you have any questions on whether or not the flowers you want to dry will work, please don’t hesitate to ask!

Drying Flowers: A Somewhat Crafting Fail

Before I start this post, let me direct you to the perfect tutorial for drying flowers without pressing them, from the makers of Borax:

http://www.20muleteamlaundry.com/how-to-use-borax-dry-flowers/

Here you’ll find a great video tutorial!

However, my attempt at drying flowers wasn’t quite as successful. I watched this video a couple of times, but when I sent my husband off for supplies, I asked for corn starch instead of cornmeal. I noticed my mistake before I set my flowers to dry, but I wanted to see if the corn starch could be used as a substitute. Here are some photos of what I did:

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As you can see, the flowers dried just fine. Unfortunately, the corn starch covered everything in a fine white powder. Something I can continue shaking off them gently, and perhaps it gives them a shabby chic look?