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The Joy of Pressing Flowers

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

My youngest daughter, Lily, gave me a flower press for Mother's Day 2021 but I wasn't sure where to start as I'd never pressed flowers before. However after watching a couple of 'how to' videos and reading a few online articles I had a go at pressing my first flowers. I chose to press violas because I had some lovely blooms in my garden and I'd read that they press well and hold their colour. When I opened up my press a few weeks later to check on my violas I was really pleased with the results and from then on I was hooked.

Over the summer I went on to press hundreds of flowers from my garden, it's really been a case of trial and error, I've had a lot of successes but also a lot of failures. However by the end of the growing season I had produced enough pressings to create some botanical art which I now frame and sell to raise money for Make 2nds Count, a charity which supports people living with secondary breast cancer.

Here's a selection of my botanical art, all featuring flowers and foliage from my garden.

I can highly recommend having a go at flower pressing; it's a very mindful activity, it's a low-cost craft and it's a great way to enjoy your cut flowers long after the season has ended.

Here's what I've learnt along the way - my top tips for pressing flowers:

  • Choose flowers when they are at their best and freshest.

  • Select flowers and foliage which aren't too dense, roses for example are difficult to press because they hold too much moisture, while delicate flowers like pansies press well.

  • Ensure the flowers and foliage are dry before pressing, if they are damp they will rot in the press.

  • You can't beat pressing flowers using the traditional method - place the flowers and foliage between 2 sheets of blotting and press using heavy books or a wooden flower press.

  • Don't be afraid to deconstruct your flowers and foliage while positioning on the blotting paper, for example if I am struggling to get the flowers and the leaves to lie flat I will detach the leaves and press them separately. I'll then reconstruct the flower and it's leaves when I'm putting together my botanical art.

  • Check your pressing after 5 days and, if the blotting paper under the flowers is damp, adjust the flowers to a dry spot. Most flower pressing advice suggests you leave your pressed flowers for at least two weeks before opening up your press however once I started checking and repositioning after 5 days, I have had a lot more successes.

Happy pressing




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