Why on earth would one want to make a flower press? Here’s the thing…
Fall is officially here. There is a slight chill in the air, and the color of the sky has changed.
I love this time of year, but also, there is a little bit of sadness in knowing that the garden is past its prime. With our unpredictable weather, a hard frost can hit any time now, ending it all abruptly.
This year I dreamt of creating a cottage garden with lots of colorful blooms and wildflowers.
I made new flowerbeds, planted many things I had never grown before, and created a little sitting area (read about it here).
It was an extremely dry and hot summer, but the flowers did not disappoint.
It would be too sad to see them all go to waste. Every year I say I want to preserve just a bit of the garden to see me through until next summer, but I never do.
This year I am proactive! I decided to make a custom flower press, big enough to press enough flowers to use for crafts later on. Let me show you what I did!
Materials to make the flower press
1 x 4 feet piece of plywood (this was leftover from the centerpiece I built in this post)
4-inch bolts with wing nuts (four of them)
I cut the 1 x 4 feet piece of plywood into four pieces of one square foot each.
I clamped the four pieces of wood together. Drilling through all the pieces at once ensures the bolts fit easily.
Let’s press some flowers!
This is the fun part! Collecting and choosing flowers to press.
Flowers with a single layer of petals are the best for pressing, like pansies, violas, and even daisies.
I also tried yarrow, fern leaves, geranium leaves, chrysanthemums, and petunias.
You will need absorbent layers on top and underneath your flowers.
You can use blotting paper, newspaper, or even Bounty sheets.
Laying the flowers face down will keep the petals spread open and in place when pressing them down.
Overlapping the flowers will press them together, and they may tear when they are dried, and you want to take them apart. The flowers in this photo need to be further apart.
Once all your layers are filled, you can place the last layer of wood on top and start fastening the wing nuts. Gently press down and tighten each corner a little at a time, going round and round. As the flowers dry out, you can tighten the wing nuts a bit more each week until your layers are completely flat.
Decorating your flower press
I decided to decorate the top layer of the flower press with flowers I pressed in a book during the summer. I painted a thick layer of Mod Podge on the wood and again over the flowers, makings sure they were glued down well.
Once the first layer is dry, you can cover it again in a thick layer of Mod Podge.
The thick layer of Mod Podge takes quite a while to dry, but the flowers are pressed, and now we wait…
Once the flowers are dried and ready to use, we will use them for a fun craft. What that will be, I do not know yet.
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For more info on how to dry and press flowers, you can also read THIS blog post.