How to Press Flowers for Cards and Pictures

Pressed Flowers With their Fragile Beauty are Evocative of Watercolor Paintings

Image: Pretty Pressed Flowers
Image: Pretty Pressed Flowers | Source

Choosing the Best Flowers to Press

  • It's best to choose smaller flowers that press easily
  • Avoid flowers with dense centers because these will be harder to flatten
  • Choose flowers with thin petals
  • Select flowers during a dry period when petals aren't covered with dew
  • Collect small stems, flat leaves and ferns to use along with flowers

Pressed Flower Crafting

Pressing flowers is an enjoyable hobby, something everyone can do, no matter their age. It's easy to get started and costs very little. And the results can be spectacular.

A variety of different flowers can be collected in the spring and summer months, then pressed and stored away to be used in future crafting projects, such as adding a floral trim to dress up a household object or for making cards or pictures, for decorating glass canisters or candles or for making glass pictures.

Some of the best flowers to use in pressed flower art are as close as the backyard. You simply pick and press flowers as they become available.

Once pressed, preserved flowers make a charming embellishment for different surfaces. Their delicate beauty adds such an exquisite touch.

Delicate Beauty of Last Year's Pressed Flowers

Image: Pretty Pressed Flowers
Image: Pretty Pressed Flowers | Source

Less Dense Flowers Are the Best for Pressed Flower Crafting

Image: Pressing Flowers and Leaves
Image: Pressing Flowers and Leaves | Source

Adding Other Natural Materials

  • Ferns
  • Ivy
  • Leaves
  • Vines

Best Flowers for Pressing

Delicate papery flowers make the best specimens for use in pressed flower art. Some flowers retain their color and others will change color as they sit.

  • Azaleas
  • Baby's breath
  • Bluebells
  • Columbine
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Hydrangeas
  • Pansies
  • Poppies
  • Sweet peas
  • Verbena
  • Violas
  • Mallows

Pansies and bluebells are my favorite choice but it can be fun to experiment, depending on what flowers grow in your yard.

What to Do if a Favorite Flower is too Thick

If you have a favorite flower and still would like to use it in pressed flower art, a way around this is to press the petals. These can then be used to enhance an arrangement of pressed flowers or to trim around something.

Materials You'll Need for Flower Pressing

  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Small brush
  • Mod Podge
  • Plain paper
  • Thick catalogs or a flower press
  • Heavy books for additional weight
  • Bricks (optional)

Stack your catalogs one on top of the other to add weight.Bricks can also be places on top of your catalogs for extra weight.The more weight, the better, for a nicer looking finished product.

Pressing Lungwort

Image: Pressing Lungwort Flowers and Leaves
Image: Pressing Lungwort Flowers and Leaves | Source

Surprise! Surprise!

When you go to look at your pressed flowers, some weeks or months later, you will be amazed to see how lovely they look! I opened my catalogs to the flowers shown in this hub.

How to Press Flowers

  1. Gather flowers, discarding any bruised petals and trimming ragged edges.
  2. Cut stems to desired length.
  3. Select the first catalog, opening the pages near the back.
  4. Lay a piece of paper on the catalog page.
  5. Arrange an assortment of flowers and greenery on the paper, making sure that specimens do not touch, overlap, or stick out past catalog pages. For leaves, flatten them right side up.
  6. Place all flowers and leaves towards the center and the inner part of the page.
  7. Cover flowers with another piece of paper.
  8. Turn catalog pages to cover the first batch of flowers.
  9. Continue, sandwiching flowers between sheets of paper, then turning catalog pages to cover each section, working from the back to the front.
  10. Fill each catalog.
  11. Store catalogs in a safe place, away from heavy traffic areas, stacking catalogs one on top of the other. Place books on top for additional weight.
  12. Wait a couple of weeks/months to ensure that flowers are thoroughly dried and pressed.

What Can You Make or Decorate With Pressed Flowers?

Many items can be decorated with dried, pressed flowers.

  • Candles
  • Cannisters
  • Cards
  • Fans
  • Glass pictures
  • Glass suncatchers
  • Pictures
  • Trays

Bounty From the Garden When Days Are Colder

Working with pressed flowers adds a welcome splash of color and bounty from the garden when yards are blanketed in snow. I can't think of anything nicer than working with flowers when it's snowing outside.

Pressed flowers provide the raw material for décor items for the home and are great materials for making cards and pictures for gifts. Some crafters make personalized greeting or Christmas cards, sharing flowers from their yards with family and friends.

I Opened my Catalogs and Here's What I Found!

Image: Pressed Mallows, Daisies & Bluebells
Image: Pressed Mallows, Daisies & Bluebells | Source
Image: Pressed Dogwood Bush Flower Head
Image: Pressed Dogwood Bush Flower Head | Source
Image: Pressed Forget-Me-Nots
Image: Pressed Forget-Me-Nots | Source

Why Use a Flower Press?

Using catalogs is an inexpensive way to get started making pressed flowers; however, for the best results a flower press might be the preferred tool. A press ensures that your flowers and leaves are pressed evenly.

There are different presses available. I favor the wooden one shown to the left.

Pressed Flower Crafting Tips

You can decoupage your pressed flowers to almost any surface.

  • Arrange selected flowers and leaves, experimenting until you achieve the desired effect.
  • Use tweezers to hold flowers in place when gluing to any surface.
  • Use Mod Podge to glue and seal in flowers. Mod Podge will go on cloudy but will dry as it clears. this works especially well when making cards or pictures or for affixing flowers to other surfaces.
  • If you want to create "stained glass" pictures by sandhiching your flowers between glass, because ModPodge dries clear, you can still use it to glue your flowers in place on one glass panel, before covering with the other panel.

Making Cards From Images of Your Pressed Flowers

Before you use your flowers in actual projects, take photos of your best specimens. You can use these images later for future card-making.

Use a photo editing program and experiment with different colors. Save a copy of each image and you are set to make beautiful and distinct cards.

If you want to save on colored ink (such as would be needed for printing off the cards below with the different-colored backgrounds), buy colored card stock and simply the change flower color before printing off.

What Do You Think of my Pressed Flowers?

  • Fab!
  • Very pretty
  • After reading This hub, I can't wait to try my hand at pressing flowers.
See results without voting

Colors can be changed in a photo editing program and then pressed flower cards can be printed out on card stock.

Pressing flowers is a rewarding hobby that affords enjoyment of florals year round. It's an inexpensive way to use natural materials to add delicate beauty when crafting.

© 2013 Athlyn Green

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Comments 4 comments

Laura Schneider profile image

Laura Schneider 2 years ago from Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

This is totally awesome! I've got a flower press, but had so-so results: I was pressing the wrong kinds of flowers (big ones) when I should have been looking for the delicate ones. What excellent photos and complete descriptions of everything--great job! I can't wait to read more of your articles to solve all of my crafter's problems. LOL

I'm following you; voted up, awesome, etc. Cheers!

RaksTheBlogger profile image

RaksTheBlogger 3 years ago from Greetings From India!

Great hub you've got there!Great job!

Athlyn Green profile image

Athlyn Green 3 years ago from West Kootenays Author

Hi Brie, I will be adding photos as I develop this hub. I will show flower, what they look like when they are pressed and how to apply Mod Podge to seal them to surfaces.

Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 3 years ago from Manhattan

I have been wanting to do this for some time. But, I would like to make one suggestion and that is it would be nice to have some photos of projects that have pressed flowers in them. Thanks for the article.

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