As wonderful and magical as they are, weddings can be seriously expensive affairs. Dresses, cakes, venues, flowers… the list goes on, and none of it’s cheap! Which is why when it comes to crafting keepsakes from the big day – whether it was your own nuptials, or those of a friend – we’re certainly big fans of saving the details! So we thought we’d share with you exactly how you can make the most of your wedding flowers this year – and for many years to come! Read on to discover how to press flowers, so that you can continue to enjoy them years after the big event!
Fresh flowers can be kept for years with their color intact by pressing them, which flattens the flowers as they dry. Pressed flowers have long been used as decorative additions to cards and other projects as well as framed on their own. Below are some methods you can use to do this.
First, make sure to hunt out the perfect book for the job – heavy books like dictionaries and phone books are the kind of thing you’re after! Try to choose a book you’re not madly in love with either, as in some cases the pages can wrinkle slightly during flower pressing (due to the moisture in the flowers). Begin by opening the book, and laying two sheets of paper atop one of the pages (one sheet of paper directly on top of the other). Next, arrange your chosen flowers on top of these sheets of paper, being careful to space them apart, so that the moisture from one flower is not able to transfer to another. At this stage, you can either simply lay the flowers flat, or arrange them artistically if you have a finished display purpose in mind.
Once you are happy with the placement of the flowers, take a further two sheets of paper, and lay these on top of your arranged flowers, being careful not to disturb them. You now have a flower sandwich of sorts! Carefully close the book so that your flower sandwich remains perfectly aligned within it, then add further weight on top of the closed book – you could use bricks, or more books! Leave this set up in a dry part of your home, returning to it every few days to change the blotter sheets of paper (these are not the two sheets directly sandwiching your flowers, but the second set of sheets, touching the pages of your book).
After a few weeks, your flower pressing project will be complete! Gently open the flower sandwich, and very carefully remove the flowers using a pair of tweezers – fully dried flowers are incredibly fragile!
Of course, if you’re too impatient to wait weeks for your flower pressing project to be complete, you can whizz through the process in no time, with a little help from your iron! Sandwich your flowers between two sheets of paper, as before, and then flatten the contents by placing a heavy book or two on top. Once the flowers are flat, remove the book, and set your iron to a low heat, with no water in it. Once the iron plate is warm, press it onto the top sheet of paper for 10 to 15 seconds (no need to move it) then remove it, wait for the paper to cool, and repeat the pressing process. Once it has cooled, you can carefully lift the paper and check to see if your flower has dried and stiffened – if not, simply repeat the pressing process until you’re happy with the results!
Did you know that you can also use your microwave to help press flowers? It’s true! The main thing to remember is that you must ensure no metal parts are in any of the objects you put in the microwave.
Begin by creating a microwave-safe flower press, using two ceramic tiles, two sheets of cardboard, and two sheets of paper. Sandwich your arranged flowers between the two sheets of paper, place this sandwich between the two sheets of card, and finally sandwich this between the two ceramic tiles. Secure your press using two elastic bands to hold everything together, then place this inside your microwave, and heat it at a low temperature for one minute.
After a minute, open your press and check on your pressed flowers. Repeat the heating and checking process until you are happy with the results!