Now that Mother’s Day, wedding season and graduation celebrations are in the rearview mirror, you probably have some beautiful flower bouquets that are starting to look a little sad. If those precious blooms are just too meaningful to toss, preserve their vivid colors and delicate texture by pressing them!
How to press fresh flowers
For beautiful pressed flowers, gather clean blooms free of spots or blemishes. If you’re collecting flowers from outdoors to press, try gathering them on a sunny day when they’re not wet from rain or dew, which can increase the chance of mold growth during the pressing process.
Place a flower face-down in a telephone book, heavy textbook or copy of War and Peace lined with parchment paper. Close the book, weigh it down with more heavy books and leave them undisturbed for seven to 10 days. For bouquet flowers, dry the blooms completely on a paper towel and use the same heavy book method.
The experts at ProFlowers have several different flower pressing technique suggestions in addition to the book method. You can place the flowers between two pieces of paper and use an iron on a low setting to press flowers quickly. Just make sure there is no water in the iron, as the moisture will ruin the process.
If you’re feeling handy, you can build a flower press using two pieces of plywood and a handful of bolts and wing nuts. This process is a bit more involved and the pressing takes a few weeks, but the result is definitely worth it. Find the instructions here. Flower presses are also available to purchase at most hardware and craft stores.
How to display pressed flowers
Once your flowers are pressed and ready for display, you’ve got a few different options. For smaller blooms, create a collage of pressed flowers in a glass frame to preserve a sentimental bouquet for years to come. These displays are especially striking when paired with a thick, rustic wood frame. Whitewashed wood is the home decor trend du jour, and it complements any style of home.
Pressed flower art and crafts also make great gifts. For a special addition to any young girl’s wall, arrange pressed flowers in the shape of her initials in a glass frame. Whether you’re looking for the perfect gift for a little girl getting her very own room or a nervous freshman moving into a dorm room, this is a gorgeous way to make her feel special and at home.
Pressed flowers also make great jewelry. You can find empty window pendants, see-through lockets and other empty bulb-style necklaces in most craft and jewelry stores. These also work well for leaves, greenery, herbs and any other plant that you want to preserve.