Ever see those pressed flowers they use in all kinds of stationery projects? I love the delicateness of the blossoms, the life they once had in all their glory preserved forever. I thought that I would give this another try. I did my research and it is what I thought it was, very simplistic. It seems that way but, leave it to me to make a colossal mess of things. The first method of pressing flowers is the old-fashioned book method. Simple, right?! No problem, I put flowers in a book, closed it up and forgot about it. I remembered the book a few weeks later and well because the flowers were still fresh when I placed them in the book, the moisture created a mold and destroyed the book. Lesson learned.
Turns out that there is no exact science behind pressing flowers, but there are tips and tricks to make the process more successful. For instance, when using the book method, place your flowers in between two pieces of paper, preferably kraft paper or tissue paper to help absorb some moisture remains of the flower. Do not use wax paper for exactly the opposite reason, it holds the moisture in and then gross stuff happens. YUK. Some flowers take longer to dry than others. Thick flowers need to be cut in half along with their stems, pistil, and stamens removed too.
There is a second way to press flowers and it is with a flower press. This method is like making a bunch of flower “sandwiches” and binding them together. Take a piece of cardboard, cloth or tissue, flowers, cloth or tissue, then a piece of cardboard. After all of the “sandwiches” are made they are pressed in a vice or straps are used to apply pressure. Again the flowers will be completely dry in about one week, however knowing what I did, I would check on them periodically.
This next method blew my mind. Microwaving the flowers! Yes, there is a microwaveable flower press. It is made of plastic with vented holes, a piece of felt, two cloths, one more piece of felt and the other plastic end piece. All you have to do is make the flower sandwich, put the clips on the press and nuke it for thirty seconds. Let the flowers cool off, and if they need a little more time put them in again. The only risk of this method is overdoing it. The flowers can burn, or turn brown, so depending on the power of your microwave and the type of flowers you are pressing it’s a good idea to keep notes on your process.
Needless to say, I tried the Mircoflure and I am very pleased to say that I did not burn any flowers or grow mold! I am having a wonderful time pressing flowers for all kinds of projects, and I look forward to exploring all aspects of pressed flowers. We have to fail many times in order to succeed. With that being said, the artful journey continues…
P.S. If you have any helpful hints or tricks to pressing flowers, please leave a comment. Sharing ideas help us all grow as artists. Thank you kindly.