Preserving and pressing flowers is a very simple art that can be done with very common household items. You can use dried flowers in a variety of creative ways, such as in making invitations, stationery or collages. Pressing flowers, one of the oldest methods of flower preservation, involves drying and then pressing flowers.
Things You'll Need
- Flowers of varying colors and maturity
- Two heavy books
- Weights or small, heavy objects
Drying and Pressing
Pick some fresh flowers. Choose a variety of colors and different maturity levels. Flowers that are naturally flat, like violets or pansies, make especially good choices. The flower should be in good condition to start; a flower with wilted petals or leaves would not be a good candidate. Verify that there is no condensation on the flower, as wet petals will wind up looking brownish, with their coloring diminished. If you notice condensation, hang the flower upside down in a dry area for several hours before beginning the drying process.
Place a flower in a tissue and then wrap it in a newspaper. Make sure the flower is lying flat. The tissue is key in the drying process, as it will absorb all the flower's moisture. Leave the flower untouched for about one week. Preferably, keep it in a location that is dry and dark.
Remove the tissue and leave the flower wrapped in the newspaper. Place the newspaper with the flower between two heavy books or between the pages of one of the books with the other book on top.
Place small weights, another heavy book or two, or any small weighted object on top to maximize the flattening effect. The time for the flower to completely dry and flatten will vary depending on the type of flower used, but it generally takes two to three weeks.
Keep the flower stored in the book until you are ready to use it. This way, it will keep its flat shape.