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Flower Pressing 101

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Flower Pressing

Pressed flowers are beautiful and incredibly easy to use in craft projects small and large. In addition to adding a pop of color to stationery and journals, pressed flowers add texture and interest to candles, soap, and resin jewelry such as bracelets, earrings, and pendants. Pressing flowers requires few tools and little time. It’s an activity that children and adults enjoy.

What Do I Need to Press Flowers?

The supplies needed to prepare flowers for pressing are basic. Newspaper, printing paper or untreated facial tissues act as blotters and remove moisture from petals. Any type of paper except paper towels and waxed paper is acceptable.

There are three different methods for pressing flowers. One uses books while another uses an iron, and the last uses the microwave. Most households have all the items available for use. The amount of time you have to press flowers determines which tool works best.

To use the book method of pressing, place flowers between two layers of absorbent paper. Then place heavy books on top. Keep in mind that flowers stain. Do not place petals between the pages of books you care about. Allow flowers one week of drying time before using them in your arts and crafts projects.

Iron pressing petals takes longer to set up but less time to dry. Prepare by pressing the flowers between two sheets of absorbent paper and flatten with a book. Remove the makeshift press and run a warm, dry iron over the top of the upper sheet of paper for 10 to 15 seconds. Allow the paper to cool and repeat. Once the flower is stiff and dry, it’s ready to use.

Many retailers sell microwaveable flower presses. Although each brand differs in use, the method for drying flowers in a microwave requires short heating sessions amounting to half a minute to a minute at a time. Once petals look dry, remove them from the microwave and allow them to sit for a day or two. Exposing them to air helps dry the flowers out further.

What If I Don’t Have a Flower Garden of My Own?

You don’t need a flower garden to press flowers. Simply save the arrangements you receive for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays. Remove the leaves and stems from the bouquet. Once you’re done doing that, you’ll be left with a large pile of flowers to press and enjoy.


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