How to press flowers

How to press flowers

Table of Contents

One way to keep the beauty and sentiments of a gorgeous bouquet - like the ones that 1800 Flowers, FromYouFlowers, or SendFlowers deliver around the country - is to press the blossoms instead of throwing them away.

It’s simple, easy to do, and can be accomplished with objects you already have lying around the house. So, if you’d like to keep the joy of flowers alive in your home while waiting for your next subscription from BloomsyBox, Monthly Clubs or EnjoyFlowers to arrive, follow these flower press instructions for simple but stunning ways to effectively press blossoms at home.

Ever asked, ‘how do you press flowers?’ Well, by the end of this article, you’ll know!

Choosing the best flowers to press

How do you know which blossoms to press? While there are certain varieties more suited to pressing than others, there are a couple of simple tips to follow when selecting the blooms you’d like to dry.

First of all, make sure your flowers are freshly picked and either just bloomed or still in bud. Picking your flowers at their prime will also help to avoid color fade. Choose blooms that are also as free from imperfections – like tears or blemishes – as possible.

Finally, the best time to pick blossoms to press is in the morning after the dew has burned off. This is when they are freshest but also not too wet as wet blooms can cause mold and interfere with the drying process.

List of flowers that press well

When considering the best flowers to dry and press, it’s important to think of the flower’s shape. Flat-faced blooms are typically the best blooms to press – while fuller flowers make great drying options. Flatter buds are easier to press because they keep their shape and take less time to reach their final form.

Some of the best flowers we recommend for pressing are:

  • Violets
  • Pansies
  • Daisies
  • Open-shaped or single-petal roses
  • Sunflowers
  • Delphiniums
  • Verbenas

However, if you have your heart set on pressing a particularly special bloom or bouquet of fuller flowers, you can still do this by cutting the bud down the middle with a pair of scissors. Alternatively, you can try pressing different parts of the bloom and then reassembling them as a whole in a framed picture.

The best paper for flower pressing

Now we’ve established the best flowers to press, let’s look at our materials. Whatever pressing method you’re using will involve some form of paper – but what type is best?

The truth is, you can use any kind of paper to press flowers once it is porous and absorbent. To minimize household waste when pressing, ideally reuse pieces of paper you might already have lying around your home such as tissues and tissue paper, coffee filters, kitchen towels, parchment paper, plain white paper, newspaper or even cardboard. Blotting paper for flower pressing also works.

In short, anything that is porous and absorbent will do when making your own press. The one thing you need to avoid is using any kind of paper with patterns, texture or indentation on it – think here of kitchen towels or corrugated cardboard – as these indentations will imprint onto your flowers when you press them.

Can you press already dried flowers?

Though it is generally recommended to avoid this press method as the brittleness of dried blossoms might cause them to disintegrate with further pressure, there are some methods that can successfully press dried blooms. The wax paper and iron method is one way you can press these kinds of dried blossoms.

How long do pressed flowers take to dry?

Depending on your method it can take anywhere from a few minutes to several weeks to successfully press blooms so that they are adequately dried. Read on for the different press methods that can give you beautifully pressed posies in a few weeks or in a matter of minutes!

How to dry flowers in a book

Perhaps the most popular method due to its sheer simplicity is the book press. All you need for this is a heavy book, your assorted blossoms, some absorbent paper as outlined above, and then some added weights.

Simply open your book – things like encyclopedias and phone books are ideal – and place a sheet of absorbent paper inside.  Put your flowers on the paper, arranging them face down and taking care they are not overlapping. Cover them with another piece of absorbent paper before closing the book, ensuring the bloom doesn’t move in doing so.

Place your chosen weights on top – more books are perfect here – and then leave in a place that isn’t likely to be disturbed for 2-3 weeks. You can check on your blossoms during this time, replacing the paper if needs be. Then, once you are satisfied your flowers are properly dried, carefully remove from the book to display as you wish!

How to press flowers with wax paper

Another simple and fast way to press blossoms is using wax paper and an iron. To do this, place them between two pieces of wax paper and then sandwich the wax paper between two sheets of parchment or other absorbent paper. You can also use a thin cloth.

Then, with an iron on a low to medium heat and no steam, gently press down on the pieces of paper, moving it slowly for 15 to 30 seconds. Check your flowers and continue until they have been adequately pressed and dried.

How to press flowers in microwave

For the impatient, DIY a microwave press and have pressed blossoms in minutes! All you need are your chosen blooms, your absorbent paper of choice, a microwaveable plate and, you guessed it, a microwave.

Similar to other pressing, place your buds face down on one piece of paper. Layer another piece of paper on top before putting everything on your microwave tray. Top with the plate.

To make sure your blossoms press properly, turn your microwave on low for short bursts of thirty seconds to a minute. Check each bloom and then repeat the process, checking more frequently to make sure you press flowers without them turning brown.

Once dry enough, it’s recommended to leave them in a dry and warm location for a day or two before displaying.

How to preserve color in pressed flowers

Unfortunately, all pressed blossoms are bound to fade over time. However, two ways to lessen the intensity of their color loss is firstly to ensure you are using flowers picked at their prime. A blossom picked right at its bloom will give a more colorful print. Secondly, when displaying your dried blossoms, try and keep them away from direct sunlight or even strong artificial light as both will expedite fading.

How to dry flowers for framing

Finally, a great way to display dried blooms is by framing them. To do this, simply place your pressed flowers face down in a spotlessly clean frame, arranging them as you wish, then place the back of the frame on top and seal.

Hang or display with pride!

As you can see, pressing flowers is easy and a perfect way to preserve a beautiful bouquet or special memory for years to come. To start your dried blossom collection, find the most sumptuous bouquets at one of these flower delivery services and enjoy their affordable, sumptuous arrangements as freshly-cut bouquets and stunning pressed flower frames. 

Flower delivery services:


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