Being in touch with nature is something you can only experience for yourself outdoors. But you can preserve what you discover for others to learn from and encourage conservation. Below, learn how to press flowers for your nature journal field guide or preserve your memories.
You can see how this edible flowers nature journal turned out for inspiration! It’s been a fantastic way to teach the kids not only awareness of the plant world around them but a great tool to help others learn too! Press flowers you discover on your hikes, have books for specific colors, regions, or anything else you can imagine!
You can even use pressed flowers to make your own homemade gifts! (see a list below of what you can do with pressed flowers!) A lot of pressing flowers is trial and error. If you’ve never pressed flowers before I would definitely recommend a few rounds of pressing flowers before trying to preserve anything that is irreplaceable.
If you’re hoping for a colorful preserve then try to choose a flower that has just bloomed. Preferably after it has been in the sun for a few hours as opposed to wet flowers in the rain.
For creating your field journal I begin by laying out all of my pages and specimens that I’ve collected. Then I write or draw on each page as desired. I like to include common names of plants as well as Latin names of plants as which makes it useful as an identification guide.
What paper do I use to press flowers?
You will want to use an absorbent paper like a coffee filter, tissue paper and/or parchment paper to press flowers between. You want a material that can help to absorb any moisture. I personally like to place my flowers between a layer of coffee filters and then parchment paper.
How do you press flowers in a book?
Use parchment paper or coffee filters (thin cardboard could be used as a last resort)
- Remove any unwanted leaves, greenery, or blemished petals.
- If your flower is very thick in the middle you may need to cut it in half or trim down as much as possible for the best result.
- Lay your flower face down in between your coffee filters and/or parchment paper and carefully close a book around it. Make sure not to shift the flower as you close your book. Using the paper will help to absorb moisture and the parchment paper will help to protect your book.
- Place the heaviest objects you can find onto your book to flatten your flower(s).
- In 3-4 weeks check on your flower(s) to see if it has sufficiently dried enough.
How do you use a flower press?
A flower press is a specific contraption used only for pressing flowers. It typically consists of two flat pieces of wood that you place your flower in between then press down and tighten together using wing nuts. You can buy a flower press here on Etsy.
You can also press flowers with a microwave press or by using an iron. This allows you to press quickly skipping the 4 week waiting period.
For more nature art try your hand at creating mushroom spore prints too!
How long does it take to press flowers?
For both the book pressing method and the flower press method you’ll want to check your flowers in 3-4 weeks. If you’re unsure if they are dried, then let them set longer. The flowers should be nice and stiff.
How do you keep pressed flowers from going moldy?
Discovering that your pressed flowers have gotten moldy is certainly dis-heartening! There are a few preventative measures you can take to help prevent pressed flowers from going moldy. Pick only flowers that have been out in the sun for a few hours on a dry day to help lessen the moisture content.
Ensure that you have an absorbent paper layer surrounding the flower before pressing between parchment paper. If you absolutely need to you can check carefully on your flowers each week and replace the absorbent layer with a dry one if you’re concerned about moisture.
Lastly, make sure your drying process is stored in a dry environment away from drafty windows and doors, higher humidity rooms like bathrooms, etc. Some people have even gone as far as surrounding the flower pressed area with gel silica, cornstarch or cat litter to help absorb any unwanted moisture!
Do you dry flowers before you press them?
No, drying flowers and pressing flowers are two separate techniques used for different types of preservation. When you dry flowers you keep the 3 dimensional shape of the flower where in pressing flowers you flatten them. Once you have dried your flowers you can no longer press them.
What can I do with pressed flowers?
The possibilities are endless of things to do with pressed flowers! Below are just a few ideas! You can:
Press them in between pieces of glass to hang on the walls
Add them onto bookmarks and greeting cards
Additions in your nature field journal!
Use in resin to make a paperweight
Add to candles
Design book covers
Sprinkle in bath products (bath salts, bath bombs, etc)
Add edible flowers to cookies
Create earth pigments