Imagine, ten years from now, opening up your journal and a peony comes fluttering out. It brings you back, to today, and how – each time you wander past them – your arrangement brings a smile to your face.
There are some moments where you want your flowers to last forever. Part of the joy of fresh flowers is that they don’t last, they teach us to enjoy them in the moment – to pass by them and pause, knowing that in a few weeks they’ll be gone. Flowers can help us live in the now.
But flowers also often represent something special. Something that needs to be treasured, they tell us that someone is thinking of us, that they love us. When sent to us as a celebration they can remind us of our achievement. In those instances, wouldn’t it be lovely to have a memento of that particular arrangement? Or perhaps just a reminder of a certain spectacular stem?
All of that is possible with flower pressing. Pressing flowers is a wonderful way to preserve your floral memory, some of us even have petals from our grandparents, carefully stored between books. We don’t even have to know the memory behind the flower, to know that it’s special.
To create your own pressed flowers you don’t need to be particularly crafty, and you can use them in all sorts of things from bookmarks to photo frames, if you want to get extra creative. Here’s how…
Can I press flowers without a flower press?
Yes, all you need is a couple of heavy books – cookbooks are great for this, just be sure to remember why they’re all stacked up… and that they’re not a visual reminder to finally perfect that French Onion soup recipe.
Simply, after a week or two of enjoying your flowers, use floral scissors or secateurs to cut down your chosen flowers (leaving half an inch of stem?). Dry them, gently on some kitchen roll and then fold a piece of paper in half. Place your flowers inside, before popping the paper in the middle of the book, adding even more weight on top with other books or tins and bottles. Wait for five to six weeks for them to properly dry and voila, they’re ready for you to craft into whatever you want.
How to press flowers using a flower press…
It can be a bit pesky having books stacked up all over your home, so if you’re a regular flower presser using a traditional press could make life a little easier. We sell Freddie’s Flowers Flower Press, for £50, which arrives with blotting paper so you can create multiple layers of flowers all in one go.
Follow all the steps above, by carefully selecting and cutting out your chosen flowers before then unscrewing the four screws of each side of your press. Remove the top wooden lid and then place your chosen stems inbetween the sheets of paper. Pop the wooden lid back on, rescrewing it up tight, before leaving for five to six weeks.
What flowers are best to press?
Some flowers do press better than others. Watch out for the following in your arrangements… Alstroemeria, Limonium, tulips, agapanthus, lisianthus, eucalyptus, lilies, dephiniums, aster, stocks, phox, gladioli (heads only – no stem), crocosmia , carthamus and nerine.
Are there any flowers I shouldn’t press?
Watch out for those with a thick stem. They’ll prevent the press from closing, limiting its abilities. But watch out for blooms, alliums, snapdragons, brassica, lucadendron and anything with berries.
What can I make with my pressed flowers?
It’s nice to just slot them in your journal, to remind you of happy memories but you can also create beautiful mementos or gifts with your pressed flowers, including…
Sticking to a simple white background, or using a sample of contrasting floral wallpaper, you could arrange your flowers in a frame. Our floral frames are easy to open, so you could even change the flowers within them each season.
Make a bookmark
For a thoughtful home-made gift, you’ll need pressed flowers, scissors, box string or ribbon, glue and a laminator (for a finishing touch, if you have one)
One your flowers are pressed, cut the card to the size you want the bookmark to be. Arrange the pressed flower design and cover with contact paper, or laminate.
Using a hole punch, make a hole in the top and thread your ribbon or box string through.
Make a homemade card
Let a friend know you’re thinking of them, you don’t need to wait for a special occasion. Glue your pressed flowers onto a blank card and write a message. Did you know that Alstroemeria is the friendship flower? Its leaves grow upside down, twisting out from the stem as it grows – much