How to Press Flowers | Living the Country Life
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How to Press Flowers

Preserve the beauty and charm of bright blooms from your garden with these simple tips for pressing flowers. Use the finished blooms for cards, bookmarks, or botanical artwork that will last for years and make personal and lovely gifts for friends and neighbors.
  • Photography by Bob Stefko

    Selecting Flowers to Press

    Pick flowers at the moment of perfection. Harvest flowers after the dew has dried away, usually between 8 and 10 a.m. Some blooms to try: daisy, sweet peas, tickseed (Coreopsis), Gaura, poppy, balloon flower, zinnia, phlox, cosmos, and black-eyed Susan.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Photography by Bob Stefko

    Materials for Pressed Flower Cards

    • Black-eyed Susan or other flower

    • Scissors

    • Pressing paper (blank newsprint)

    • Artist tape

    • Green pressboard

    • Cardboard

    • Flower press (or heavy weight)

    • Toothpicks

    • Paper-crafts gel glue (clear glue that does not run)

    • Waxed paper

    • An acrylic, clear adhesive such as Perfect Paper Adhesive

    • Paintbrush

    • Optional: green paint, envelopes, blank cards, thick paper

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Photography by Bob Stefko

    Step 1: Prepare the Flower

    With the scissors, cut off the top half of the center cone and snip off most of each green sepal on the back of the flower. Flatten the center of the flower by pushing with your thumbs.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Photography by Bob Stefko

    Step 2: Position the Flower

    Lay the flower facedown on pressing paper (which absorbs moisture). Laying the flower facedown prevents the petals from curling. Secure it with a small piece of artist tape on the stem (not on the petals). Use a few extra pieces of pressing paper under and on top of the flower. You can press several flowers on the same sheet of pressing paper, but every flower on the same sheet should be of the same thickness.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Photography by Bob Stefko

    Step 3: Make a Pressing Packet

    Cover the flower and the extra sheets of pressing paper with green pressboard, top and bottom, then sandwich these between sheets of cardboard. The pressboard serves as a buffer to protect the flowers from the imprint of the cardboard. 

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Step 4: Use a Press or Weight

    Place the pressing packet in the press, and tighten the screw hard. (Or, place the packet between the pages of a thick book and place a brick or weight on top of the closed book.)  After one or two days, remove the packet and change the pressing paper, carefully setting the flower between fresh sheets of paper. Change the paper every other day for four days. The flower should be dry in 7–10 days. If using a flower press, tighten the screw from time to time as the flower flattens out.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Step 5: Apply Glue to Flower

    When thoroughly dry, remove the flower. Optional: At this point, you may paint the leaves green (they tend to turn brown as they age). Gently turn the flower over, and using a toothpick, apply a very small dab of gel glue to the tip of each petal, the stem, the leaf, and the back of the flower head.

     

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Step 6: Position the Flower

    Position the flower on the front of the blank card, or a piece of flat paper, and press it down with your fingers. Allow five minutes for the gel glue to dry.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Step 7: Seal the Flower

    Squeeze a nickel-size dab of paper adhesive onto a scrap of waxed paper and use a paintbrush to apply a thin coat, covering the flower, stem, and leaves. Allow 2–4 hours for the adhesive to dry. Repeat twice. If using the pressed flower to adorn a card, protect the pressed flower in the envelope by covering it with a sheet of tissue paper.

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Botanical Artwork

    Apply this same method for making artwork that can be framed and hung on a wall or crafting paper bookmarks. Press a gardener's favorite flower and turn it into a thoughtful gift for their birthday or the holidays. Pressed flowers can be a sweet way of sharing your garden with others!

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017
  • Subscribe to Country Gardens

    For more ideas on how to preserve the bounty of your garden and make your outdoor spaces glorious, subscribe to Country Gardens magazine!

    Date Published: August 3, 2017
    Date Updated: September 5, 2017

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