Flowers fade but memories last forever. If you've received a thoughtful bouquet from a friend or enjoyed time with family in a pretty summer garden wouldn't it be nice to make the moment everlasting? Flower pressing is such a fun and creative project to undertake with children and grandchildren. Here's our handy How To guide for preserving those special memories.
You can press most flowers but some of the easiest types to work with include violets, simple roses that aren't too dense, daisies, and lilies. Larger blooms can also be used (like carnations) but they will take longer to complete the drying and flattening process. You can finish off your creation with decorative surrounds like ferns and green hedge leaves which will all press well too.
Some good tips are not to let the flowers go too far past their best flourish as tired or browned petals will turn out exactly the same once pressed. Also avoid using flowers that are too wet which can result in a bit of a mouldy mess, and be sure to remove any pollen as that yellow dust will spread under pressure and stain the surrounding petals. OK let's get on to the fun part!
The easiest way to press flowers is to place your chosen petals on a piece of plain paper to absorb the moisture. Leave some room between each bloom so that you can prise each one off the paper more easily, without any sticking to their neighbours, and avoid the risk of tearing your work. Place a second piece of plain paper on top and then carefully add a heavy book to cover the whole project evenly. Add some extra weight (such as a brick) to make the magic happen and then all you have to do is wait.
Have a careful peek after a week or so to see if you need to replace the absorbent paper and then re-weight as before. The whole process should take about 21 days to completely flatten and dry out. Once done you can carefully remove the pressed flowers by using plastic tweezers or metal ones with some tissue wrapped around the tips to avoid damaging the fragile dried petals. How about using the pressed flowers to make your own decorative cards, gift tags, decorate an old lampshade or even try your hand at decoupage on a glass bowl or plain teacup! Just remember to coat the finished items with a sealant to keep your creation looking as fresh as the day the flowers were picked to make a forever gift.