pressed flowers

Abundantly growing in your garden, or in the grocery aisle! Easy, low cost, and lots of options for using what you make: bookmarks, collages, or simply glue to some paper or frame them for longer lasting displays. Our aunt made little miniature flower worlds, like the girl in the photo above and the bouquet below.

SUPPLIES

  • Flowers
  • Paper: use thick paper (like stationary, white paper, unprinted newspaper, construction paper)
    • TIP: Don’t use parchment paper though many sites recommend this, as the parchment paper doesn’t absorb the water from the flowers. You need a paper that will absorb water (but not paper towels as they leave little impressions on the flowers)
  • Old book you don’t mind destroying in a microwave
  • Or book and extra heavy books for natural drying (non-microwave method)
  • Elastic band

Fast Microwave Drying

NOTE: Adult supervision may be needed for the microwave part

  • Pick the flowers you would like (be ready to press them soon so they don’t wilt, fresh is best)
  • Cut or use your fingers to pinch off the back to get it as flat as possible
  • Open the flower if needed and gently press it open a little
    • TIP: for bulkier flowers, pull the center out and maybe even a few petals from the inside circle.
    • Some flowers work better when you pull them apart (like with roses, just dry the individual petals)

  • Fold the paper in half and create a little ‘pocket’ to lay the flower in
  • Lay your flower on the paper, and push it down a little.
    • TIP: the way it looks as you press it down is the way it will dry, so if you need to arrange any petals, like into a picture or pattern, do it now (although for kids it might not matter!)
  • Place the flowers in the paper sleeve in the middle of an old book, give it a little smash, and close it off with an elastic band

  • Put the book into a microwave (ADULT SUPERVISION HERE) at 1 minute increments on normal setting
  • Do this as many times as needed as some flowers are thicker and contain more moisture, and others are thinner and need less time
    • BE CAREFUL: the book might be hot! Maybe let it cool a little before taking out of the microwave
    • Note: if the book binding is glued, it might disintegrate when heated by the microwave

  • The flowers are fully dry when they feel completely papery and have no moisture in them
    • TIP: if they feel still feel cool or damp to the touch, they need more time to dry
  • Once completely dry, you can spray with a little hairspray if you want

Natural Pressed Drying (7-30 days)

This requires more patience but yields a better, more long lasting dried flower (likely less possibility of mold, too).

  • Pick the flowers you would like (be ready to press them soon so they don’t wilt, fresh is best)
  • Cut or use your fingers to pinch off the back to get it as flat as possible
  • Open the flower if needed and gently press it open a little
    • TIP: for bulkier flowers, pull the center out and maybe even a few petals from the inside circle.
    • Some flowers work better when you pull them apart (like with roses, just dry the individual petals)
  • Fold the paper in half and create a little ‘pocket’ to lay the flower in
  • Lay your flower on the paper, and push it down a little.
    • TIP: the way it looks as you press it down is the way it will dry, so if you need to arrange any petals do it now (although for kids it might not matter!)
  • Put them in a heavy book, and then pile heavy books on top
  • Depending on the flower, it takes 7 days to 3 weeks (some even take a month)
    • The flowers are fully dry when they feel completely papery and have no moisture in them
    • TIP: if they feel cool or damp to the touch they need more time to dry
  • Spray with a little hairspray if you want once fully dried

Silica Drying

You can use this method, which is best for whole flowers and not pressed. Although the flowers are nice, they aren’t pressed so they won’t work so well for bookmarks or pictures. Plus, you need to purchase silica. If you are interested, just do a quick web search for DIY.

Framing or Mounting

You can simply glue the flowers to some paper with some kid’s craft glue to make pictures or bookmarks (since it’s ‘temporary,’ there aren’t the same concerns for yellowing or the glue releasing).

If older kids want to make a more permanent design (like our Aunt did in these photos), try spray glue or stickier craft glues and mats, or you can press between glass frames (or just use old photo frames). Some glue options:

Blank Bookmarks

  • 24pcs Blank Paper Bookmarks
  • With tassels

Acrylic Photo Frames Horizontal Magnet Double Sided Photo Frame

  • 3.5×5″, 4×6″, 5×7″, 6×8″, 8×10″
  • Acrylic
  • 4 pairs of magnets with blocks
  • Use as single or double sided frame

Shadow Boxes

You could pin the flowers in a shadowbox (along with other forest finds, ribbons, or whatever you like)

Shadow Box Frame

  • Black or white
  • 8×8″, 8×10″, 8.5×11″, 11×11″, 11×14″ options
  • Wood with shatterproof glass front
  • 2.5″ depth

Wood Shadow Box with Hinge

  • 8×10″
  • Shatterproof glass
  • Woven fabric interior with 4 stick pins
  • Hinged door to allow frequent changes
  • Vintage wooden look

Retro Metallic Color Beads

  • 6 retro metallic tacks, 60-count for each color, total 360pcs
  • 1/8 inch in diameter round plastic head, total length is 3/ 5 inch

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