For hundreds of years people have been pressing flowers to preserve their summer blooms. Here’s a fun, easy way to press flowers with your kids. You can use pressed flowers to decorate cards, jewelry, boxes, or they can be framed as a picture. Fresh flowers can be preserved with their color and shape intact using this method.
What You Need:
• Corrugated cardboard
• Watercolor paper
• Colored pencils
• Thick rubber bands
• Various flowers and leaves
What To Do:
•This project is best done on a dry, sunny day. Have your child do as much of the project as he or she can.
•Start with a 9 x 12” watercolor pad. Cut two pages to four 4 ½ x 6” pieces each. Cut five pieces of cardboard the same size.
•Save a clean side of the cardboard for the date when you picked the flowers and your child’s name.
•Make a “lasagna” stack by placing two pieces of watercolor paper in between each piece of cardboard as follows: your cardboard base, two pieces of watercolor paper, another piece of cardboard, two more pieces of watercolor paper, your cardboard cover.
Pick flowers late in the morning when the flowers are in peak condition but the dew has dried. Choose flat flowers such as pansies, daises, and poppies for the center piece. Pick the best flowers you can find. Small spikes of flowers can be pressed sideways and then flattened. Don’t forget fillers, such as ferns and interesting leaves.
Cut as much of the stems off as you can. Place flowers flower-face-side down on the first piece of watercolor paper. Make sure they are not touching each other, with enough room for the pressing. Place another piece of watercolor paper on top of the flowers and then the next piece of cardboard. Give it a press with your hands. Place the next piece of watercolor paper and repeat the process.
When you are finished filling your press, place the cover on top and press very hard. Carefully place tight rubber bands around it to hold it tight. Place a heavy book on top of it.
The flowers should be dry in about a month, but they will last a very long time just in the press itself. Once the flowers are dry they can be made into a picture or used as cards. Use white glue to hold the flowers in place. If you want to decoupage the flowers on another surface, use a drop of glue to hold the flowers in place. Coat the surface of your wood, glass or other foundation with decoupage liquid medium, according to its package directions.