Keep the color and delicate beauty of nature alive in your home year-round by learning to dry and press flowers. Save pressed flowers in a scrapbook, shadow box or picture frame as a remembrance of a special occasion or person. Dried flowers can be used to make your own potpourri, decorative wreaths, stationery, holiday decorations, homemade candles or soaps, or in lasting floral arrangements. These simple procedures are easily accomplished with a few common household items.
Things You'll Need
Wire coat hangers
Large phone book
How To Air Dry Flowers
Remove excess foliage from the flowers and trim the stems to no shorter than six inches.
Bind bunches of stems together with rubber bands. Tie one end of a piece of string to the bound stems and tie the other end to a wire coat hanger (so that when the hangers are suspended properly the flowers are upside-down).
Suspend the hangers in a well-ventilated closet (any warm, dark area with good ventilation will work). Allow them to dry for two to four weeks or until they are completely dry.
Take down dried flowers. For added protection, coat them lightly with hairspray.
How To Press Flowers
Lay your flowers on the smooth side of a piece of blotting paper. Arrange the flowers with approximately 1/4 inch between them.
Place another piece of blotting paper on top of the flowers, smooth-side down. Using your hands, gently press and smooth the top sheet and the flowers beneath it.
Place the flower/blotting sheets on one side of an open, evenly-divided piece of newspaper. Fold the other side of the newspaper over the flowers.
Insert the flowers between the pages of a large phone book (any large book will work) and close it. You can insert several sets of flowers within the book.
Place approximately 20 lbs. of bricks on top of the phone book. Allow the flowers to dry for two to four weeks. Change the blotting paper once weekly.
Collect your flowers during mid-morning (after the morning dew has dried but before the air gets too hot). Choose flowers that are almost ready to bloom and are free of parasites and defects. The larger the flowers, the longer they will take to dry. Flowers are dry when you can snap their stems easily and cleanly.