This blog post comes with a warning. Pressing Flowers can become addictive. You’ve been warned!
Of course, I say this in a jokey manner, but it’s honestly true! I first started pressing flowers whilst studying textile design at uni. My final major project was all based and designed around the art of pressing flowers, and I honestly became a little bit addicted and obsessed with the process. I just loved placing a flower into a press, returning two weeks later and seeing the results. Which it’s worth noting here, were sometimes brilliant and sometimes awful!
Flower Pressing is a great craft, and it is suitable for various ages and skill levels. One question I always get asked is “Do you press all of your flowers?”, and the answer is YES! I do! But the reality is, it took me almost three years to perfect my pressing technique, but at least I can now pass that wisdom onto others. Whether you’re completely new to flower pressing, or just starting on your pressing journey, here are my Top Tips for pressing flowers.
Tip 1: Invest in a proper Flower Press.
Of course, the traditional method of pressing flowers is in between pages of weighted books, and this was in fact how I started in the very beginning. However I soon came to realise that the results I was achieveing by using this method were just not as consistant as I would like. You can purchase Flower Presses online for as little as £10, and I would highly recommend doing this if you want to achieve high-quality, consistant results. If you want to try out the traditional method of pressing between pages, then you can still follow the tips to follow to help you achieve sucessful results.
Tip 2: Only Press ‘Dry’ Flowers.
It sounds really silly saying “make sure your flowers are dry before you press them”, but seriously, make sure they are dry before you press them. Even the smallest amount of mildew can turn a potential succesful press into an unsuccessful press. The whole concept of flower pressing is to remove moisture from the flowers. If you add even the smallest amount of moisture into the press, you run the risk of the flowers not drying and even turning mouldy in the press. Ideally, try and pick you flowers when it’s dry. Dab any excess moisture off using kitchen towel, and if you can, move mildew dusted flowers into the sun to help them dry.
Tip 3: Don’t Overload your Press.
It’s a mistake that most flower pressers have made, including myself. Trying to press a large volume of flowers at once, adding additional layers into my press, and coming back two weeks later to find… mould. This tip goes back to my previous one and the comments about moisture. The more flowers you add into a press, the more moisture you are adding. Trust me when I say, there is nothing more heartbreaking than opening up a flower press and seeing mouldy flowers. Take time to play around with your flower press, build up a relationship with it. Get to know what works for your press and what doesn’t.
Tip 4: Use Different Presses for Different Weights.
All flowers have different weights. A lobelia weighs less than a rose, a daffodil weighs heavier than a violas. By using a different press for different weights, you’re guarneteed to get more successful results. All flowers have different drying times which is affected by their weight. A viola might only take two weeks, whereas a daffodil might take four.
Tip 5: Patience.
Pressing flowers is exciting! By it’s the waiting for the results which is the agonising part of the process. But wait you must! Don’t be tempeted to take the flowers out of the press too early. By doing this you can affect their colour presevation, quality and lifespan of them in their new pressed form. Most light-weight flowers will dry within 2 weeks, but heavier-weight flowers will take longer (up to 4 weeks). The wait is 100% worth it!
Tip 6: Practise makes perfect.
Like any craft or skill, practise makes perfect. Don’t be disheartened if your first press doesn’t turn out the way you planned. Each variety of flower has it’s own profile, and understanding that unique profile takes time. There are still some flowers now which I am still trying to perfect. Carnations are the absolute bane of my life! 5 years in and I still can’t get them to press the way I want!
So there you have it. My Top Tips for flower pressing.
Let me know if this blog post was helpful to you by leaving a comment below, or let me know if you’d like any more tip based blog posts around flower pressing.
Press happy, Hanna x