Friday, 29 July 2016

Pressing Flowers

There are always flowers abloom as the seasons pass in my garden. In Summer there are sunflowers, bright and bold. In Spring there is Queen Anne's Lace, whimsical and delicate. In Autumn, there is lavender, purple and fragrant. And, in Winter, there are violas.

 Sweet and tiny seasonal blooms.

As each season fades, so too do many blooms and then one must wait for their season to come around again in order to admire their beauty. To capture a little bit of the seasonal beauty of flowers, you can pick simple, colourful blooms (such as violas) and dry them between the pages of a weighty, old book or between the layers of a little flower press. Just like this:

Collect your blooms when they are dry, not wet from watering or damp from dew.
Separate and lay blooms "face down" on pieces of blotting paper.
Carefully snip off stalks using small, sharp scissors.
Place first sheet of prepared blooms onto piece of thick, heavy cardboard.
Place another piece of blotting paper on top.
Lay another piece of thick heavy card on top. Continue these layers until all blooms are in your press.
Place layers between top and bottom of flower press and insert bolts at corners.
Screw little wingnuts on as tightly as possible to compact layers. Place in a dry, dark place for many weeks.

Once the flowers in your press (or between the pages of a heavy book) are dry, they can be used to decorate many sweet little handmade projects like bookmarks, cards and gift tags. Young children could easily be involved in collecting and pressing flowers and leaves from the garden and then using them to make special, inexpensive handmade gifts for teachers, friends and their loved ones.

 The sweet Tiny Happy gift tag that inspired my current flower pressing fascination!

Part of the charm of this simple nature craft is in the waiting. While I am impatient for my flowers to dry (just as impatient as my son has been in waiting for his treasured four-leaf clovers to dry) it is in the waiting, and resisting of that urge to constantly peek at them, where the gift of delayed gratification lies. The waiting makes the end result even sweeter.

I hope, over the coming weekend, that you will have time to capture a little beauty and preserve it in some way. Maybe a photo. Maybe a sketch. Maybe a bottle of jam. Or maybe between sheets of paper.

Have a lovely weekend.



  1. I remember doing this many years ago, my flower press were telephone books, they were very effective.

    1. Yes, telephone books are nice and heavy. We sometimes use an old weighty volume of Charles Dickens' tales:)

  2. Meg, I used to press flowers in a press I made and I have no idea where it is now. Those flowers are really lovely at this time of the year. We have heaps of Heartsease here too.

  3. Pansies, violas, Johnny Jump-ups are very happy little flowers, aren't they! Always there with bright cheery "faces" during the cooler months.

  4. Such pretty flowers to press the way the instructions for milling flour is in the front of the book that came with the Thermomix. Also I blitzed the carrotts and apple in it as well....had to wash and dry it so I could then do the flour. Let me know if you make them...Kathy

    1. I will have to dig out my Thermomix book for milling. A lot of the time, I use the thermomix to make things I've made a hundred times before and know how to do an auto pilot so it will be nice to try something new with it again.