Fridays at Home: Pressed Flowers

28th September 2012

One of my favorite ways to commemorate my travels is to take and press flowers or interesting leaves I find in different places. Some of the best “art” I have on my walls are the pressed flowers I’ve framed from various cities in Italy.

The flowers yesterday at the funeral were so lovely, and my mom and aunts, sister and I took flowers to press or dry. One of my aunts was a florist, and so she told me the different flowers that would press well and which to dry. One of the keys is to press or dry the flowers before they begin to die, while they still retain color.

So even though it’s hard not to want to place them in a vase, you should instead preserve them. (Of course, I say that, but mine are in a vase at the moment. I plan to press them tomorrow.)

To dry flowers:

  • rubber band a bouquet together
  • hang the bouquet together from a string or hang flowers individually
  • hang the flowers in a dark area to preserve the color
  • leave them for several weeks
  • spray them with hairspray

To press flowers:

  • for large flowers, separate petals and press
  • for small flowers, arrange them how you like in a telephone book or other book (I use my old Norton literature editions)

  • add tissue paper to absorb any of the oils or colors from the plant
  • leave them to press for several weeks
  • keep them for posterity or
  • frame them

I think for the bouquet above, I’ll likely frame a compilation. Either way, you know I’ll let you know. ๐Ÿ™‚

Have you pressed or dried flowers before? If so, what did you do with them?

  • This is so great! Whenever I get flowers I always think, oh I should press those. But I guess I never really knew how? But now I do!

    • It’s one of those things that sounds WAY more complicated than it actually is. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pretty and what a meaningful memory from places and times in your life. When my grandma died a couple of years ago, I found an unused flower press kit in her storage unit. I took it but haven’t used it yet. You’ve inspired me to pull it out and have a go soon!

    • That is so cool! I hope you use it.

  • I love that framed set. I still have my wedding bouquet dried, just don’t know what to do with it now that’s dry. Any suggestions since they’re not pressed? (Now that would have been stellar)

    • Yes! Find a shadow box. I’ve seen them done that way with just a simple ribbon tied around the stems connecting it to the top or back of the frame. It would be really pretty.

  • I especially love the combination of memory souvenir and book — pressing a flower to remember an important event or moment in a book strikes me as…I don’t know, there’s something v romantic and appealing about that. I love that you frame these pieces — I’m totally stealing this idea. I love it. (Makes me wish I pressed my wedding bouquet.)

  • heidenkind

    That’s a great idea for travel souvenirs, although I’d be nervous about getting through customs with flowers even if they were dead. :p

    • You know, I’ve never once thought of that. Ever. Now I feel like a criminal! I have just always done it, tucking them into my travel journal. Whoops…

  • Charlie

    That’s a lovely idea. I wish I had done this for some of the flowers I’ve had but I didn’t know how to do so at the time. Instead I’ve just got a few odd petals sat on the top of a cabinet together so they likely won’t last all that long. You’ve a beautiful collection!

    • You could still try spraying them with hairspray. I think it’s the dust that really deteriorates them, so if you create a barrier, they might last longer than you think.

  • rebekah smith

    what a lovely memory!:-)…and yep, i press flowers all the time!:-)

    thanks for letting us see:-)

    rebekah:-)

    • What do you do with your pressed flowers??

  • Your flowers are beautiful! I’ve tried pressing/drying flowers before and never get good results. I’m going to have to try again, following your instructions!

  • That’s such a cool way to remember your travels! I’ve never pressed my own flowers!

  • I did this in school for a biology assignment. I wasn’t very good though. I hadn’t dried the flowers enough and ended up dampening the pages of the book. You’ve done it so well, that’s really well worth framing and keeping ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That is one of the challenges, but man, it’s such a great way to preserve memory as well as something beautiful. I love old botanical books. I bought one one time that was a notebook specifically for that, and the woman had collected specimens for years with notations for each. Lovely.