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How to Make a Flower Press

This post will teach you how to make a flower press and how to press flowers. Once you know how to press flowers you can make beautiful pieces of original art for your home.

How to Press Flowers

First, Let’s Learn How to Make a Flower Press

So, to press flowers, you need a flower press. Do they even make those in anymore? 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 how to press flowers and, in a few weeks time, I’ll follow up with how to display your pressed flowers.

 

How to Make a Flower Press | Pressed Flowers

To make a flower press, you will need:

    • 2 pieces of flat wood. I used plywood with each piece I used measuring 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 so that the cardboard will sit inside of the bolts (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 | Pressed Flowers

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 in your 2 pieces of wood need to be aligned. The best method to drill the holes in the same location on each piece is by placing the two pieces of wood on top of each other with the corners all touching and then drilling 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 without touching the holes.
  • 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. You basically want to create a ‘sandwich’ effect with your flowers placed between 2 pieces of paper and then 2 pieces of cardboard on the outside of that. You can make as many layers of cardboard and paper as you wish to press multiple layers of flowers at once. Place the layers of cardboard and paper between the two outside pieces of wood.

3. Add the Bolts, Washers, and Wing Nuts

  1. Place the bolts through the 2 pieces of wood starting at the bottom so that the threading and wing nuts will be on the top and your press can sit flat. Add the washers on top of the bolts and secure with the wing nuts.

Your flower press is complete!

 

How to Make a Flower Press | How to Press Flowers

How to Press Flowers

Now that you have your flower press it is time to learn how to make pressed flowers.

1. Pick your flower specimens

You will want to cut flowers that don’t have too much depth to start. For example, I loved playing with these cosmos because they are nice and flat flower that makes them perfect for pressing. A flower with a lot of dimension and petals, like hydrangea for example, which is made up of many tiny blooms would likely end up looking very smushed.

Flowers that are good to press: 

  • cosmos
  • zinnia
  • lavender
  • greenery
  • anemone
  • daisy
  • smaller spray roses

These are my suggestions for flowers that do not have a lot of dimension but you never know what will look best when pressed. Try lots of flowers to see what looks the nicest! 

2. Pressing Your Flowers

Carefully place your selected flowers flat onto one of the pieces of paper of your flower press that is positioned on top of a piece of cardboard. Place your flowers in the shape that you would like them to flatten. Placing your flowers well will take time and patience! Once your flowers are in place, position a second piece of paper on top, followed by a second piece of cardboard. This is your flower sandwich! Place your cardboard, paper, and flower sandwich within your flower press and tighten the wood together using the wing nuts. This tightening will flatten your floral specimen even further. Leave your flowers in the press to dry out for about 3 weeks. Don’t be afraid to open up your press and check on your flowers after about a week though! After a few days they will be very flat and then you just have to wait for the drying process.

Pressed flowers create beautiful art! Read our post about how to display pressed flowers!

Are you wondering how to press flowers if you don’t have a flower press? Use a book! Placing flowers in the pages of a heavy book is a great way to press flowers if you are not planning to press too many!

How to Press Flowers

Cosmos positioned on the flower press ready for pressing

How to Make a Flower Press | How to Press Flowers

Read our post about how to display pressed flowers!

 

How to Display Pressed Flowers

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  1. […] 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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