Pressing botanicals is an incredibly simple way of preserving the beautiful flora we see around us.
As a child I was given a small flower press, I remember fossicking around outside looking for the perfect specimen to press and the anticipation of revealing the outcome of my pressed treasures.
I still love all these things about flower pressing especially getting outside and foraging for new plant materials, enjoy slowing down and getting amongst nature with this great little project.
What you will need:
- 2 flat pieces of wood cut to the same size
- 4 bolts with wing nuts
- Pencil & Ruler
- Card & blotting paper – cut to fit the size of your press
- Acrilic paints and paint brushes (optional)
Place your two pieces of wood on top of one another – I used 2cm thick sturdy untreated plywood which I cut down to 28cm x 35cm.
Using your ruler and pencil mark out where you the holes are to go in each corner – I did mine approximately 2.5cm from either side.
Holding your two pieces of wood perfectly inline together (you can use some clamps if that makes it easier) start drilling your holes in each corner. I used a drill bit that was ever so slightly larger than my bolts to ensure they slide nicely off the wood for easy use.
Smooth any rough edges from your holes then pop your bolts through and tighten the wing nuts on top to clamp your two pieces of wood together, if required smooth out any uneven edges with sandpaper (or an electric sander to make it quicker).
Now your flower press is constructed you can decorate it if desired or skip to step 5 and get to pressing some pretties.
I decorated my flower press using acrylic paints with fitting wild flower illustrations.
Time to create your pressing layers, you can have as many as the bolts of your press will allow while still being able to tighten the press.
Inside your press lay a piece of card followed by two sheets of blotting paper, continue this pattern until you have your desired amount of pressing layers – making sure you finish with a layer of card on top of your final blotting paper layer.
– When you wish to press your botanicals simply place them between the two layers of blotting paper, with the card and top of your press put back in place tighten up your press with the wing nuts.
Note: it’s important to make sure your botanicals are nice and dry before picking them for pressing, particularly after morning dew or rain.
Continue tightening the wing nuts as your materials start to dry, these should be ready after two to three weeks of drying.
Now you can press botanicals till your hearts content!
This flower press can lead you onto many more crafty DIY’s to explore using your freshly pressed beauties.