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How to Make a Flower Press

Filed in: Home & Garden

When I was young I would spend all day, everyday working on art projects. My cut out doll had more outfits than I’ve ever had in my life, my dollhouse was redecorated down to new floors and wallpaper every week, and my parents drawers were stuffed full of my drawings and paintings. It’s really no surprise that as an adult I’ve chosen to pursue a creative career path!

When I was little I had a flower press that I played around with on rainy days but I can’t actually remember ever making anything of note. I have a feeling that with my youthful impatience the 2-4 week drying time it takes to make a properly pressed flower made this activity not my favourite. Well, I think I have gained a little patience in my older age and last week I wanted to give flower pressing a try again. My love for flowers has definitely grown since I was a child and I am currently in the process of decorating my new apartment and adding art to all of the walls is definitely a priority. I love the look of botanical prints and decided to try my hand at creating them myself using real flowers from my garden. So here I am, 25 years later, giving a flower press a try for the second time.

So, to press flowers, first you need a flower press. Do they even make those in the year 2018? Honestly, I kind of doubt it. Luckily, they are incredibly easy to make at home! Today I am going to teach you how to make a flower press and, in a few weeks time, I’ll follow up with how to display your beautifully pressed flowers.

What you need to make a flower press:

  • 2 pieces of flat wood in a dimension of your choice. The pieces of wood that I used are 14″x22″ and they are great for the size of flowers that I am pressing.
  • (4) 1/4” bolts at a minimum of 3” long
  • (4) 1/4” washers
  • (4) 1/4” wing nuts
  • a minimum of 2 pieces of cardboard measured to be 2” smaller than your wood in both directions (for example, for me they were 12”x20”)
  • a minimum of 2 pieces of regular paper measured and cut in the same dimensions as your cardboard

How to Make a Flower Press

1. Cut, sand, and drill your wood

  • Cut your wood to size and sand the edges so they are smooth
  • Using a 1/4” drill bit, drill a hole in each of the corners of your two pieces of wood at an equal distance in from the sides on all 4 corners.  Your holes should be no more than 1” in from the corners of your press. The holes on your 2 pieces of wood will need to be aligned so the best method to drill the holes is by placing the two pieces of wood on top of each other with the corners all touching and drill the holes through both pieces of wood together.

2. Cut the Cardboard & Paper

  • Trim your cardboard and paper to size so that will fit within the drilled holes on the 2 pieces of wood when placed on top of the wood.
  • Cut your pieces of paper to the same size as the cardboard. Plain white bond paper is good.
  • Layer the cardboard and paper on top of your bottom wood piece. Your layers should look like the following: cardboard, paper, flowers, paper, cardboard, paper, flowers, paper, cardboard etc… with your 2 pieces of wood on the outside. You can make as many layers of cardboard and paper as you wish to press multiple flowers at once. The flowers go between 2 pieces of paper which go between 2 pieces of cardboard.

3. Add the Bolts, Washers, and Wing Nuts

  1. Place the bolts through the 2 pieces of wood starting from the bottom of the lower piece so that the ends that will be threaded come up through the top of your top piece. Add the washers on top of the bolts and secure with the wing nuts

Your flower press is complete!

Now, to make your pressed flowers, pick specimens that don’t have too much depth to start. For example, I loved playing with these cosmos because they are nice and flat and with one face but a flower with a lot of dimension like a hydrangea would be challenging and likely end up a bit of a jumbled mess of petals. Place your flowers as flat as you can onto your piece of prepared paper in the orientation that you would like them to flatten. Doing this well will take time a bit of time! Once you have your flowers in place, place a second piece of paper on top of your flowers followed by the piece of cardboard. Place your cardboard, paper, and flower stack within your flower press and tighten the wood using the wing nuts to really flatten your floral specimen. You will want to leave your flowers to dry out for about 3 weeks but don’t be afraid to open up your press and check on your flowers carefully after about a week (my curiosity got the best of me and I just had to!).

Pressed flowers create beautiful art and once mine are dry I am excited to share with you how to creatively mount and display your pressed flowers.

Do you enjoy Gardening? Make sure to read our list of the Best Perennials For Your Cutting Garden!

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  1. How to Display Pressed Flowers and How to Make a Flower Press

    October 2nd, 2018 at 11:12 am

    […] month I shared how to make your own flower press (ie. the easiest handy craft that I have ever done!) and after a few weeks of patiently waiting for […]

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