Whenever I have fresh flowers in my house, I’m just a little bit happier. A wild bouquet of colorful blooms brightens my mood and makes my space feel (and smell) great. Although, I rarely have fresh flowers out, because my cats love to munch on them. This DIY is all about preserving your flowers in an artful and creative way, or in my case, protecting them from the destructive mouths of small beasts. Whether it’s a special bouquet you’d like to keep forever, or a way to have flowers around even when your allergies or pets won’t cooperate, this project will keep your home forever in bloom. —Jessica
Pressing flowers is an easy way to preserve their beauty. You can use heavy books (remember using phone books? Those work well for pressing flowers), or you can go pro by making your own press. In our wall art, we’ll use pins to float our pressed flowers, creating depth and dimension much like in the artwork of Anne Ten Donkelaar, who uses pressed and paper flower cutouts for her layered and fantastical 3d botanical collages. Check out Anne’s work for a heavy dose of floral inspiration.
I visited my favorite local flower and skate shop (yep, best combo ever), Park Deli, for this stunning collection of bold yet delicate and brightly colored flowers. I think the best part of this project is the excuse to get some beautiful fresh flowers. You’ll be able to enjoy them for a very long time with this DIY.
– Pressed flowers
– Floral scissors
– Parchment paper
– Heavy books or flower Press
– Shadow box frame (I used an IKEA Ribba frame)
– Craft foam sheet
– Colored paper
– Pins (I used specimen pins, because I love the gold tops and matte black stems)
NOTE: Specimen pins measure about 1.5″ long, which extends beyond the shadow box frame’s glass. If you’d like to keep your final piece under the glass, you can use another type of shorter pin or cut your specimen pins down with jewelry wire cutters.
1. Cut the flowers close to the base. I experimented with a lot of different flowers, and found that small, thinner flowers that could lay flat worked best for pressing. Thicker, larger flowers took a lot of pressure to flatten and dry. Line a book with parchment paper and place cut flowers on the page without overlapping. Press for two to four weeks until they are completely dry.
Above is a collection of Chamomile, Thistle, pink Astrantia, orange Asclepia, white Veronica, and yellow Kangaroo paw. I have to say that the Astrantia, with their bold gradation of color and symmetrical starburst pattern, are my favorite.
Tip: Try to press your flowers when they are in full bloom to help get the best shape and colors. The colors will fade, but pressing them in the height of their bloom helps. Make sure they are completely dry, too, or they can mold.
2. Cut the paper and foam to frame size using the mat as a guide. Adhere foam to the back of the paper and frame. I used two layers of foam.
3. Compose an arrangement of pressed flowers. Once you decide on your layout, pin flowers in place starting with the bottom layer and working up. Use tweezers to easily pick up the pressed flowers.
Tip: Some of the dried flowers were so delicate that they cracked when pierced with the pins. Layering a small piece of foam just behind the flower as you pin helps avoid cracking and can also aid in adjusting the flowers at different heights on the pins.