• 11/22/2023

Beauty That Lasts: How to Press Flowers

Pressed flowers.

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Have you ever encountered flowers that seem too beautiful to let go of? Whether you have a special bouquet to remember or just want to keep some supermarket flowers bright, pressing them is a great way to keep them around. Knowing how to press flowers can help you hang onto the roses, daisies, daffodils and more that mean the world to you. Then, you’ll always have them ready for a beautiful or fun project, whether alone or with your loved ones.

Learning How to Press Flowers — The Easy Way

Depending on where you look, you may find several resources on how to press flowers. However, they may not be beginner-friendly. They might even damage the flowers, leaving you with a finished product that looks less than desirable. For example, while you can technically press flowers in the microwave, it can cause them to lose their vibrant colors and turn a crispy brown if you aren’t careful. These steps detail the easiest — and possibly safest — way to press flowers.

1. Line a Book With Newspaper

A book is the perfect tool you need to press flowers. However, you likely don’t want to ruin the pages of your favorite book, so lining a couple of pages with newspaper is the best way to protect your belongings. Newspaper is also highly absorbent, which means you won’t have to worry about any extra water in your flowers.

Make sure to cut the pieces of newspaper to around the size of the book you’re using. That way, you won’t have any excess paper to deal with. It’s easier to handle when working with a smaller size. That way, you can also ensure you press down all the newspaper.

2. Close the Book on the Flowers

Next, you’ll gently want to close the book on your flowers. You shouldn’t use more than one two-page spread for your flowers, and it could get tricky with different pages. In that case, your flowers wouldn’t all have the same weight applied to them, so their drying times could be confusing. If you want to dry several flowers at once, you may want to get more than one book, and then fill the pages with as many flowers as you can.

3. Check the Flowers Daily

The time it takes for your flowers to dry out fully relies on many things, such as how large they are or how much water they store in their stems. Typically, the pressing method ensures your flowers will be dry in about a month, though you could check every day to see how they’re progressing. Some might be drying faster than others, so checking on them frequently is one of the best things you can do.

4. Remove the Flowers

You’ll have to avoid damaging the flowers as you remove them from the book. Without water, the flowers are dehydrated, meaning they’re brittle and will break more easily. You’ll want to slowly lift the book open, as you likely have been doing, to check on them again, then remove them gently.

If you don’t trust your fingers to pull the flowers out, use tweezers to grasp the fragile stems and lift them from the newspaper pages. Be careful with how much force you use, as flowers with thin stems might snap if you apply too much pressure. Set them aside in a safe place as you work on retrieving the rest of the flowers.

5. Store Them Well

When your flowers have dried out thoroughly, you’ll need to find an excellent place to store them. You’ll need an environment that isn’t too hot or humid. Sunlight and moisture in the air might cause flowers to fade over time, so wherever you store them should be appropriately temperature-regulated. Once you have a project to use them for, you’ll pull them out of storage and easily check through them.

You can keep them in a binder, pressed between sheets of acid-free paper until you figure out what you need them for. Glassine paper is a great option, as it resists grease and water and is transparent enough to see the flowers through. It’s a great way to store your flowers for the time being, as they have likely become as thin as tissue paper.

Why Did My Pressed Flowers Rot?

Odds are, if you’re new to pressing flowers, you will make a mistake now and then. You might pull a flower out before the paper has removed all the moisture. If you store it just like that, you may notice that the flower has started to rot. If you need to know whether a flower is fully dry, leave it in the book another day, just in case.

What Can You Do With Pressed Flowers?

Pressed flowers are beautiful. They often retain their colors when pressed correctly, yielding beautiful results from many creative projects. The only limit is how far your imagination goes — you can do almost anything with these flowers. Once you know how to press flowers, you can work on any project you want. Here are some good ideas for when your collection starts to overflow.

1. Use Them as Natural Artwork

The muted colors of pressed flowers make it easy to arrange a beautiful, two-dimensional bouquet that you can then frame. You can find a flashy or elegant gold frame to help bring out the best in the dried florals. Then, you can collect these unique pieces of artwork and keep them sprinkled around your home.

Being surrounded by nature can only help you. It can add a bit of beauty to your home, but it might also lower your stress levels and make you feel relaxed to see real greenery in your house. While it’s no substitute for spending time in nature, it’s a fun way to bring the Great Outdoors inside when you can’t go out.

2. Send Them With Cards

Brighten up your loved ones’ days by sending them some special pressed flowers with a greeting card. By sealing flowers with hairspray, the fragile blooms might last longer than you expect. You can tuck them away in a card or even secure them to an envelope with twine if you think they’ll last. It would be a great way to show your friends and family you’re thinking about them — going the extra mile to include something decorative might make people smile.

3. Turn Them Into Bookmarks

By adhering your pressed flowers to a thick piece of paper, you can create a unique bookmark unlike any other you’ve ever owned. You can use clear tape or glue to adhere the flowers — just make sure to position it exactly how you want it before sticking it down. Around 130 million American adults have low literacy levels, so you can use your pressed flowers as an inspiration to read. You might even set a reading goal for yourself for the rest of the year.

Learn How to Press Flowers to Become Craftier

You don’t have to have creativity oozing out of your ears to be able to do something with a bouquet that means something to you or a bundle of wildflowers you picked up. Learning how to press flowers can ensure you always have a fun craft and outlet for your stress. Pressed flowers are so easy to make and only take a little patience to get right. Eventually, you’ll be able to do all sorts of things with your collection and make both your life and those of others a little brighter, one bloom at a time.

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