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amy merrickDIYdiy projectsentertainingflowersFood & Drinkmade with love

made with love: flower press

by amym

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This project was born out of pure necessity. I’ve been pressing flowers all season long, tucking them into little books on my bookshelf. Honestly, I was pretty proud of myself, as pressing flowers is the kind of thing one loves but never remembers to do. But here’s the catch- I know I stashed dozens of Queen Anne’s lace blooms away, but I’ll be darned if I can’t remember which of my hundreds of books I used to press them. With my new flower press, I’m putting an end to this silliness so I can find my flowers when I want them!

CLICK HERE for the full project after the jump!

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What you’ll need:

– 2 rectangular wooden boards, mine measured about 6” X 12”

– power drill and 3/8” drill bit

– several cardboard boxes

– watercolor paper (to absorb moisture during pressing)

– 4 bolts and 4 nuts, preferably wing nuts

1. Find 2 identically sized thin, wooden rectangles (I found my on the street but you can use something from your local craft store or cut your own).

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2. Drill a hole in each of the 4 corners of both of your blocks. Measure and drill 1” out from each corner so corresponding holes line up exactly when the blocks are place on top of each other.

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3. Make a template for the sandwiched layers that will separate your flowers, ½” smaller on all sides than the measurement of the wooden block. Cut the corners of the template at a 45 degree angle. Cut out 5 sheets of cardboard in this shape and 4 sheets of watercolor paper.

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4. Alternate cardboard and watercolor paper in a pile and sandwich between the two wood blocks. Line up holes and insert bolts in each corner. Screw on nuts to tighten. I used regular nuts because it’s what I had on hand, but using wing nuts would make it slightly easier to open and close your press.

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5. And because I can’t help myself, I glued an old illustration of some zinnias to the top of mine. Now let’s all get out and collect some of the last flowers of the season to press!

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Comments

  • I have a flower press that I haven’t used in a very long time, going to get it out this weekend, lovely inspiration.

  • Thanks for posting this. A great end-of-summer project!
    I have some pressed flowers that I’d like to glue to paper and frame. What kind of glue do people use for that? Should I seal them down with Mod Podge?

  • With the fall upon us and memories of summer’s flowers waiting what a perfect post! Heading for the park this weekend!

  • That’s awesome! I have to say, though, that it’s always such an amazing surprise when I find some pressed flowers in a book that I’d completely forgotten about. I do understand that it can be frustrating, though.

  • Awesome! I’ve been meaning to press flowers this summer too… yeah it’s September.
    This is so cute, if I have the press i might be more likely to do the pressing!

    When do we get a tutorial for actually pressing the flower?!? :)

  • Thanks for this post, I love the idea of flower pressing – it’s so old fashioned and sweet. Hooray for more sweetness!

  • Does anyone know how to preserve color in pressed flowers? I pressed some hot pink dianthus and geranium in a book and they turned quite purple-blue.

  • oh! what a fun project! my dad made me and my brothers each a “nature” press when we were little. we had so much fun collecting pansies and pretty fall leaves! (I think my dad did use wingnuts with a washer underneath to screw the board tightly together). funny–I later worked in a herbarium pasting pressed plant specimens…

  • Thanks for this REALLY well timed post. I was JUST getting tired of smudges in my books from pressing flowers+ leaves and was trying to come up with a flower press like this one. I have been pressing flowers since I was 4 and am so happy to see others into it too.

  • This makes me want to get my mom’s old flower press out…I remember every summer we would press flowers and make a project at the end. Thanks for helping jog such a good memory:)

  • My sister made me one of these (with my dad’s help) when I was 7! I looooved it. I wonder where it is now . . . .

  • For those who missed flower-pressing season, I believe leaf-pressing season is coming up (assuming you get a colorful autumn).

  • I had a flower press when I was younger and I absolutely loved it – my dad was a keen gardener and kept me supplied with flowers to press even in winter. I wish I knew what happened to it.

  • OK, I’m an idiot. At first I thought the zinnia illustrations were actual flowers you had pressed (!!) What a wonderful idea. It reminds me of searching for four-leaf clovers to press at summer camp (I cheated and mixed together three-leaf clovers btw).

  • I used to press so many flowers I found unscrewing my press all the time annoying. So I used phone books and put some heavy college math books on top. I still put the flowers between paper, but used a manila paper type paper that I could buy by the ream. My favorite flower to press were pansies – they come out wonderful.

  • wow… I always thought flower presses were really hard to make and use and really expensive – this is such a wonderful project! I am definitely making this (for me, even if my boys won’t use one!).

  • I was given one as a wedding present 21 years ago. It still contains flowers from my wedding and is displayed in my home. I loved having it so much that I have often given one to brides that I knew would appreciate it.

  • Great project! This reminds me that I have a nice press I need to dig out and use again. It does away with the nuisance of unscrewing the press by using nylon webbing bands with these sort of buckles to tighten them.

  • I remember being a little girl and pressing flowers with my mum, very nostalgic and brings back many memories. I now press flowers with my children and it takes me back to when me and my mum did it

  • This is wonderful and so simple to make. Just one suggestion: Instead of corrugated cardboard in between the sheets of water color paper, use lots of newspaper. The corrugations will be imprinted on your flowers and leaves. I have a flower press too. A friend of mine presses flowers and leaves with which she makes cards, bookmarks, pictures, business cards, you name it, with hers.

  • I think most people will be surprised at just how easy it is to make a flower press. Thanks for sharing this project. I will be linking to it on Wee Folk Art’s Facebook page.

  • I’ve used vintage wine box/crate ends for this project a few times now, and they really turn out quite nice. Thanks for the post!