Pressing flowers is a great way to preserve a moment of summer beauty. Once pressed, you can use them to create bookmarks, necklaces, collages, or simply glue them into a scrapbook or journal.
I like to start by making a fun activity out of collecting the flowers, creating either a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt. Be aware that flowers with brighter and darker colors tend to dry more attractively than light or white flowers, which will turn a tiny bit brownish. Pansies, violas, and violets are particularly beautiful when pressed. Also, the flowers need to be completely dry, so check the weather and only pick the flowers after dry weather. It is better to pick flowers in the morning, after the dew has dried, but before they can wilt in the hottest time of the day.
Separate flowers by their thickness. If you place thick flowers with very thin flowers on the same page, the thin flowers will wilt because they will not be pressed firmly enough. If you are pressing lilies, cut the anthers out, as the pollen will stain the flower. Place flowers onto absorbent paper, making sure that the flowers have space between them (and some might open more as they dry, so leave extra space). Also be sure that none of the flowers overhang off the edges of the page. You may want to write the student’s name next to the flowers they picked. Layer the pages of pressed flowers and then place sheet of cardboard on the top and bottom of the stack of paper and flowers. You could simply place this entire stack under some heavy books. Alternatively, you could place them between sheets of plywood and put straps around them tightly. I have also seen presses using plywood with holes drilled in the corners and nuts and bolts tightly keeping the pieces of wood together.
Expect thin flowers to dry within weeks. Thicker flowers may take closer to an entire month to dry completely. When making necklaces or bookmarks, I like to have my students glue them to colored paper, cut it out and then I laminate them. You may also want students to press foliage to keep records in their plant journal of different leaf shapes and structures, or to use in a collage.
- Pressed flower prints – a gift that will last (greenmumsblog.wordpress.com)