Craft stores have pre-packaged and ready-to-use pressed flowers for crafting.
But if you have access to your own flowers, you might like to try pressing your own! There are several techniques – from very simple to a bit more involved. Be willing to experiment a little to see which flowers press the best.
Choose fresh flowers that have been well hydrated, but whose petals and leaves are dry to the touch. Remove any pollen. Flatter flowers press better so, if the flower has a large, thick center, gently remove petals and press those, with the intention of reassembling the petals later.
The goal is to press and dry the flower quickly in order to retain the best color. Flowers are completely dry when they are firm and no longer cold to the touch.
Ways to Press
Book: Place flat-petal type flowers between two paper towels and carefully place in the middle of a hard-cover book. Stack additional books on top as needed to press firmly. Note: This can slightly discolor or warp book pages. (Try phone books if you are worried about staining.)
Waiting Time: Several weeks to a month depending on thickness and moisture of flower and humidity.
Iron: Place flowers between two layers of waxed paper and iron with medium temperature iron. (Protect iron and ironing board by using flat rags under and on top of the waxed paper.) This also works well with leaves.
Waiting Time: Immediate results, but may be less permanent, due to the possibility of residue build-up over time.
Flower Press: There are different types of presses, but basically, the flowers are placed between two layers of an absorbent surface (such as firm cotton batting) which are compressed between two wooden boards. Screws are used to tighten for steady pressure or bands of some sort that hold securely.
Waiting Time: Several weeks to a month.
Mircrowave: Place flowers between layers of paper towels. Place a heavy glass casserole dish on top to weigh it down. It may take some experimenting to get the microwave timing right, but start at just a minute or two at first, depending on the size and moisture of the flower and keep adding time as needed.
Waiting Time: 3 to 10 minutes
Microfleur: This is a convenient Microwave Flower Press that uses two 5" square (or the large size, 9" square) pieces of heavy-duty plastic with an inner sandwich of felt pads and cotton sheets. By inserting the flowers and tightening the straps, the flowers are secure. Simply microwave according to the package instructions.
Waiting Time: Takes 3-10 minutes