It is not difficult to squeeze your favorite plants. When flattened properly, they can be used to decorate postcards, birthday cards, photos, bookmarks, or anything else that could benefit from being embellished with a flower or a leaf. Getting rid of the water in the plant is the most important step. Pressed flowers can adorn beautiful gift wrapping and work well with a number of other decorative projects. This article favors the use of books rather than flower presses, to obtain a well-preserved pressed flower.
Step 1. Pick the plants when they are dry, but preferably before the heat of the day has wilted them
Usually you only pick the flower, not the stem, but also pick a few leaves. Some roots are delicate and useful.
Pansies and violets are particularly easy to flatten and hold their color well
Step 2. Flatten the flowers
Remove the petals from the heart of the flower, which are too thick. Also flatten a few leaves so you can better identify the flower (even if you end up not using them). You can press with your fingers.
Step 3. Prepare a large book to place the flowers in
For example, telephone books, Bibles, or dictionaries are fine. If you are traveling, ask at your hotel reception if you can take their directory to your room.
If you pick your flowers in a field (on a road trip, for example), use any brochure or magazine (such as those that showcase the area's housing stock) to place your flowers in. When you get home, you'll transfer them to a bigger book
Step 4. Open your chosen book right in the middle
Insert a tissue or a piece of newspaper and fold it in half. This tissue or piece of paper will allow you to transfer your plants more easily and prevent the plant from staining the book.
Step 5. Place the petals, leaves and flowers in the folded tissue / newspaper
Close the book, and repeat the operation elsewhere in the book with your other flowers and leaves.
Step 6. Close the book after you have placed all your flowers and leaves in it
Add weight on it to help flatten well. Leave it like this for a week or more.
If you want, you can transfer the handkerchief / newspaper containing the flowers to one or more other books, several times. The idea is to help dry out the plant completely. After the third transfer, leave the plants alone until they are completely dry
Step 7. Collect the pressed flowers and leaves
Once they are dry, remove them from the tissue, and place them on acid-free paper (most papers no longer contain acid these days).
Step 8. Use them for creative and craft projects, or to display them
Some people like to leave pressed flowers in diaries, for example, in memory of a bygone era.
- Learning to squeeze flowers can be a good science project for young children. Here are some tips to make them last longer than they naturally can …
- White flowers should be avoided.
- If you pick a thought and put it on paper or plastic, it will shrink. You can flatten it later. It will keep its color and allow you to vary the sizes. Violets make very small dried flowers, which are particularly suitable for small photos.
- Do not pick too many flowers at once, as they take a long time to dry.
- Take note of the flower's name, as well as where and when you picked it. You can write it on the handkerchief and then on the paper.
- If you don't have a directory handy, very large dictionaries are fine.
- Some leaves may lose their color, unless you treat them first with silica gel.
- The maple leaves are superb, as well as the ginkgo-biloba leaves, which are picked in the fall when they are golden.
- A sharp instrument such as a skewer can be useful for placing your flowers and petals.
- The directories and Yellow Pages are distributed free of charge by your municipality.
- Beware of leaves and flowers that you do not know… Some can sting, and others are poisonous. Remember this rule: Leaves of three, you will not pluck (for leaves with three leaflets like poison ivy).
- Never pick plants in a regional park or a nature reserve, or even in the parks of your city: it is illegal.
- Pay attention to the flowers you pick! Wildflowers are very beautiful, but many species are endangered or endangered. Others live in fragile ecosystems. Some are protected by law in many countries (like edelweiss for example), and picking them exposes you to a fine.
- Many horticulturalists are happy to share, so remember not to pick anything without asking permission. If you pick a lot of flowers from a horticulturalist, consider thanking them with a decorated card or bookmark.
- Do not go too fast. Quickly done is not necessarily well done.