Learning how to press flowers is a great skill to pick up. Pressing flowers is a useful way to keep a beautiful floral arrangement well past it’s lifespan. Some people choose to press flowers because their particular bouquet holds some kind of significance to them. Perhaps it’s a wedding bouquet, an anniversary gift, a birthday gift, or maybe it’s just because! Here, we will show you how to press flowers, so you can keep them forever.
There are a few different ways to press flowers, and each methods has it’s similarities and differences. The ultimate goal is to get your flower dried out quickly, so it can keep the integrity of its colors.
Start With The Right Specimens
Picking your flower type is sort of important. Not every flower is going to be a good candidate for pressing. You will generally want to pick flowers from your arrangement that are easily flattened. Some flowers have bulky stalks, that don’t flatten very well and can be difficult to press.
Freshness is key: Fresh flowers will press better than flowers that are already starting to brown and wilt. If your flower has already started to brown, then your final product will be pretty brown too. The slow drying process causes flowers to lose their color.
Easy Flowers To Press
- Morning Glories
- Baby’s Breath
- Queen Anne’s Lace
To make matters even easier, beginning with a flower that’s naturally dry will help a lot. These flowers will press faster and retain their color the best. This is why leaves are really easy to press.
How To Press Flowers With A Book
Pressing flowers with a book is the most traditional flower pressing method. It’s a method that’s tried and true and produces amazing results. The only downside to flower pressing using a book is the time it takes to obtain a final result. It can take up to one month to completely dry your flowers.
To press flowers using a book you will need:
- Parchment or printer paper
- A big heavy book like a phone book or dictionary
- Open the book you are using and line the pages with either printer paper or parchment paper. Printer paper is a bit more absorbent and may help to soak out the moisture faster.
- Arrange the flowers inside the book and close it! Add the weights on top to further flatten the flowers. After that, the waiting game begins.
- If you choose to press flowers with a book, you will need to check back every few days to change the paper.
Some people say to leave the flowers and not mess with them, but from my experience the moisture sitting in the book can cause the flowers to mold. Seeing mold grow is especially frustrating when you’ve already waited the full 4 weeks for results!
Tip: Only use a book that you’re okay with getting damp. The moisture from the flowers will cause the pages to ripple, so it’s best to use an old book that isn’t needed for anything.
The flowers are ready when they’re completely dried out. There should be no more moisture left. When they’re flat and dry, they’re extremely delicate and brittle. Be very careful when removing them from the books.
The benefits of pressing flowers with books is that you can press many flowers at a time in between pages depending on how big of a book you’re using. It’s also one of the easiest techniques and doesn’t require much work.
How To Press Flowers With An Iron
If you lack the patience to wait 3-4 weeks for pressed flowers, then you may want to try out the ironing method. Using an iron to press flowers can speed up the process tremendously. Be careful with this method, so you don’t end up burning your flowers!
To press flowers using an iron you will need:
- Paper (blotter paper or printer paper)
- Heavy book
Important: Before. beginning make sure there is no water in the iron. The ultimate goal is to completely dry the flowers, so there should be no steam or moisture coming from the iron.
- Begin by preparing your flowers. Trim up the stems and place the flowers between the pieces of paper.
- Use the heavy book to pre-flatten the flowers. You can let the book sit on them for a few minutes, or you can press down to get them to lie flat. Remove the book after.
- Crank up the iron to the highest temperature setting. When the iron is ready, place it on top of the paper with the flowers underneath.
- Don’t move the iron around, just let it sit on the flowers for about 10 seconds. Keep going in bursts of 10-15 seconds until the flowers completely dry out. Let the flowers cool before removing them from the paper.
The most important step is to keep going until the flowers are completely dry. If there’s still moisture in them they will sizzle, so you know they aren’t done.
Flower pressing with an iron is a super easy way to speed up the process and there’s not a lot of work involved. The only downside to pressing with an iron is it can take a while to get all the moisture out, so you have to be careful not to burn them. The paper also gets pretty damp, so you have to change sheets of paper every so often.
How To Press Flowers In The Microwave
Pressing flowers in the microwave is by far the quickest method to getting beautiful dried flowers. There are a couple of options for pressing flowers in the microwave. You can get a microwavable flower press for purchase, or simply make one yourself. A book is also great for pressing flowers in the microwave.
To press flowers in the microwave you will need:
- Paper (blotter or printer paper)
- Line the book with the paper you are using and place the flowers inside.
- Place the flowers in the microwave and microwave them for 20 seconds at a time. Allow them to cool in between heating. Only use short bursts, to lessen the risk of burning the flowers.
- When you’ve gotten most of the moisture out, allow the flowers to sit in a book for a couple of days to let them set.