How to Dry and Press Flowers
Flowers bring joy and colors to our lives, but unfortunately, they fade away in a few days. Some people want to preserve those beautiful colors and significant memories and the best way to do so is to dry and press flowers.
Pressing flowers is a wonderful and easy way to preserve the most beautiful moments in time. Whether it’s a gift or a beautiful flower from your garden, you can preserve any flowers and create original and artistic artwork from them.
Though it’s easy, there are some rules to follow, so that not to get rotted or discolored flowers. Continue reading to find out how to preserve flowers using household items.
Preparing the Flowers
Before starting drying or pressing the flowers, it’s important to choose the flowers and prepare them correctly. If you want to preserve flowers from a bouquet, it’s better to start as soon as possible and pick the flowers from the bouquet while they are still fresh.
Otherwise, you can pick the flowers you want from a florist, grocery store, or from your garden. You should choose fresh flowers, that have just opened their buds, or have just reached the peak of blooming. If you’re going to cut the flowers from your garden, do it in the morning after the morning dew has evaporated. Don’t cut them on rainy days, flowers should be as dry as possible.
Flowers with flat blooms dry better than thick ones. Avoid choosing thick flowers, as they get moldy before drying out. If the flowers have stamens, cut them so that they won’t stain the flowers.
Then, trim the stems to the length you want. Cut them at an angle for better water absorption. Remember that you can always cut the stem afterward, but you can’t add length to it.
Remove the scraggly leaves with a pair of sharp scissors. Cut them as close to the stem as possible. You can leave some leaves on the stem for aesthetics.
Cut thick flowers in half to dry them flat.
Extra tip: If you’re not ready to press the flowers right away, keep them in the refrigerator so that they stay fresh.
Drying flower is very easy, especially if you have already selected and cut them.
Tie the flowers together with string, yarn, or rubber bands, then hang the flowers upside down on a hook or hanger. It’s very important to choose a warm, dark, and dry place for drying. If it’s not dry or dark enough, the flowers may rot or fade.
It will take a couple of weeks for flowers to dry. The duration actually depends on the type of the flower, the temperature and humidity. Check the flowers every 2-3 days. When ready, flowers should be completely dry to the touch like tissue paper.
Pressing Flowers in a Book
One of the easiest methods of pressing flowers is to press them in a book. You won’t need any special equipment, only a heavy book and parchment paper (if you don’t have it, you can use coffee filters, absorbent printer paper). Make sure to choose a book that you’re not going to use for some weeks and which is large enough to cover the flowers.
Place the prepared flowers between two layers of paper and put them between the pages of the book. Arrange the flowers so that they don’t overlap. You can place on the book other 2 or 3 heavy books or bricks to provide extra weight.
It will take 2-3 weeks for flowers to completely dry. Do not check before 1st week has passed. At that time you might need to change the absorbent paper. Then wait for another 1 or 2 weeks. When ready, the flowers should become like fine tissue paper. Use tweezers to remove flowers from the paper.
Pressing with an Iron
This is a faster method, as dried flowers will be ready within a day, but you need to be more careful here. As with the book method, start by placing flowers between two layers of absorbent paper, so that they don’t overlap, and flatten them with a book (the longer they stay under a book, the easier it would be to iron). Then empty all water from the iron and set the iron to the lowest temperature. High temperatures can burn the flowers and make them lose their color.
Then put another piece of paper on top of the flowers and start the process. Press the warm iron on the paper and leave it for 10-15 seconds. There is no need to do the gliding motions, hold the iron still. After 10-15 seconds, lift it up, wait for another 10-15 seconds for the paper to cool off, then repeat. Check from time to time to see if the flowers are dry and stiff. Do it carefully, do not overlap the flowers. Iron until all the moisture is gone.
Now, as you know how to dry and press flowers, you can start making creative artworks from them. Try all these easy methods to find out what works best for you.
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