How to Preserve Flowers by Pressing

Quck answer

Pressing flowers is a simple and traditional method of preserving their beauty. To press flowers, start by choosing fresh flowers with vibrant colors. Next, remove any excess moisture from the flowers by placing them between two sheets of absorbent paper or tissue. Then, carefully place the flowers inside a heavy book or flower press. Apply pressure by adding more books or using a flower press. Leave the flowers to press for a few weeks, checking periodically for dryness. Once the flowers are completely dry, they can be used for various crafts or displayed as a beautiful keepsake.


A common saying suggests that diamonds are a woman’s closest companion. However, when it comes to making someone feel special, flowers are not far behind. Who doesn’t appreciate receiving a bouquet of roses on their birthday or Valentine’s Day?

Fresh flowers have been a beloved decoration for centuries. It is always delightful to bring something beautiful from nature indoors, where its colors and fragrance can enhance any environment.

Unfortunately, fresh flowers wither and die quickly. If only there was a way to capture and maintain their beauty. If you have ever pressed flowers before, you might be thinking, “There is a way to do that!”

Pressing flowers to preserve them has been a popular method for thousands of years. Scientists have discovered evidence of pressed flowers from various ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks.

Early botanists developed techniques for pressing flowers and plants so that they could bring multiple specimens back from their trips to the wild for later study and analysis. For example, even Meriwether Lewis made time to press flower and plant specimens he discovered during his famous cross-country journey with William Clark.

Pressing flowers was a popular pastime in Victorian-era England. In fact, many people associate pressed flowers with that period. However, flower pressing remains popular even today. In Japan, for instance, Oshibana is a well-liked art form that involves pressing various flowers together to create a complete picture.

Botanists discovered early on that pressing flowers was a simple way to preserve them without the use of chemicals. All you have to do is pick the flowers and plants when they are fresh. Place the flower or plant samples between two pieces of paper inside a large book, and place weights, such as additional books, on top to apply even and constant pressure on the pressed samples. Within two to three weeks, the samples will be completely dried and ready to be placed in an album or used for crafts.

The key to successful flower pressing is drying the flowers as thoroughly and quickly as possible. Common absorbent papers used to expedite the drying process include newspaper, blotting paper, printer paper, and plain cardboard.

Experts advise against using waxed paper (as it retains moisture) and textured paper towels or coffee filters (as they can leave imprints on delicate petals). For those who do not wish to wait two to three weeks, advanced drying techniques involving ironing or microwaving flowers before pressing have been developed.

Individuals who press flowers at home can achieve good results using newspaper and old, heavy books. However, botanists have designed various flower and plant presses over the years.

Some presses consist of large flat boards that can be tightened around the samples using adjustable straps. Others may use bolts and screws instead of straps to apply the desired steady and even pressure.

Give It a Try

Are you ready to delve deeper into the art of preserving flowers? Make sure to explore the following activities with a friend or family member:

Lewis and Clark, famous explorers who were on a journey to the Pacific Northwest, faced many challenges along the way. Despite these difficulties, Meriwether Lewis took the time to collect and press plant specimens for further study. You can learn more about Lewis’ Plant Press by visiting their online platform.

At the age of 14, renowned poet Emily Dickinson created her own herbarium, a homemade book containing around 400 pressed plant specimens. Harvard University has digitized Emily Dickinson’s herbarium, and you can explore it online. It is possible that her book served as inspiration for her poetry.

If you enjoy hiking and often come across plants and flowers that you would like to preserve for future crafts, it’s important not to simply stuff them in your pockets. Instead, you can learn how to create your own Pocket Flower Press online. Remember, you will need assistance from an adult friend or family member. Take your new press with you on a nature walk to gather plant and flower samples to press at home.

For additional information and resources, you can refer to the following sources:

– http://www.gardenguides.com/130787-history-pressed-flowers.html

– http://www.theartistandthegardener.com/histperspect.html

– http://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/projects/make-pressed-flowers/

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