pressed & dried flowers – tutorial

All things ’90s are back in vogue and I’m loving it! Headbands, bike shorts, neon from head to toe, sitcoms, cheesy pop. I’m stylishly reliving my teenage years which I never ever thought would be possible. All the reminiscing has made me come back to the crafts of my youth as well. Pressing flowers used to bring me so much joy on the warm spring days, and I haven’t done it in years. A few weeks ago I threw on my stonewash jeans and some Adidas slides and went on the hunt for flowers to press!

Pressing flowers has all the makings of a wonderful craft activity; it gets you outdoors, it’s easy, supplies are inexpensive, and it’s hard to mess up! The result is always slightly imperfect which is what I love most.

I’m using the flowers to decorate a father’s day card – because, let’s be honest, father’s day cards are usually purchased at the last possible minute and are less than inspiring, and dad deserves better. I’m also making cute little framed art pieces for my son’s room. A pressed flower card or art piece could also be a lovely going away gift for someone – a keepsake from the blooms of their home.

There are a few ways you can press flowers, including in the microwave if you’re short on time, but I’m going old school and pressing with books. Below I’ve included steps so you can do the same!

Here’s what you need:

  • A flower press or a few heavy books. I used books.
  • Blotting paper or parchment paper. Parchment works well because the delicate flowers won’t stick to the paper, but the blotting paper will dry the flowers more quickly. The blotting paper absorbs the moisture and dries faster. Both blotting and parchment paper can be reused a few times for flower pressing.
  • Card or frames. I bought these inexpensive frames in gold at Ikea.
  • Clear drying glue
  • Fresh flowers, grass, ferns, and leaves

This is what you do:

One, Pick Flowers

  • Delicate flowers with a flatter Pistil (middle part) work best
  • Larger flowers, like roses, can be cut down the middle and placed on their side for a different look
  • Include some greenery for a variety – ferns, grass and leaves all work well. I really like using grass because it’s easy to find and adds a strong visual element.
  • Flowers can be harvested from the outdoors (obviously) or you can press a bouquet of flowers that is starting to wilt.

Two, Clip off stems to lay flat

Trim the flowers at the base to make them as flat as possible

Three, Lay flat in a heavy book

If using blotting paper use about 5 sheets on the top and bottom. The paper is thin and needs more bulk to soak up moisture from the flowers.

Four, Press

  • Press in a heavy book and place a few more heavy books on top
  • The goal is to press flat so that air doesn’t get to the flowers
  • Keep pressed flowers in a dry spot while they’re drying

Five, Wait 10 – 14 days

Carefully check flowers periodically. Once they’re dried, they’re ready.

Six, Remove and glue

  • Carefully peel back the paper from the flowers and remove the dried blooms
  • Using clear drying glue, glue to the desired surface.
  • The dried flowers will disintegrate over time, but will last for a good few months

Don’t stress if some flowers press unevenly, or if you lose some pedals, the imperfections that come out in the result are part of the beauty!  

I hope you get some crafting time in soon. Happy spring friends!


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