Every gardener should have a flower press to preserve the beauty of their flowers.
Did you press flowers in the pages of books? and add more and more books on top of them for added weight? But what happened when you wanted to read one of those books? Here is a simple solution that I came up with. You can purchase a flower press but having a homemade one is much better. Winter is the perfect time to make a flower press and be ready for the wildflowers, flowers and leaves of spring and summer.
Several years ago my husband made me one that was large enough to get in lots and lots of flowers and leaves from my garden. I’ve given the sizes of mine but you could make it any size you want.
Cut two pieces of ply wood, or any other wood – 17 inches by 14 inches. Drill holes in each of the four corners. Put the two pieces of wood on top of each other to make the top and bottom of the press.
Put a 4 or 5 inch bolt with a wing nut on it though each corner. These enable you to separate the top and bottom of the press. The wing nut goes on the top part of the flower press. I added a decorative ivy stencil. You want a nice long bolt so that you can add as many layers inside as you wish. If the bolt is too short you will be limited on the number of blooms you can press at once.
Cut pieces of cardboard and sheets of plain newsprint to fit inside the press. They should be slightly smaller than the press to fit inside. Alternate layers of cardboard, 2 pieces of newsprint or paper towel, then another cardboard. Pick your flowers and lay out on a sheet of newsprint, add another sheet on top and put between two pieces of cardboard and slot inside the flower press. Tighten the screws and leave until dry. Various flowers take longer to dry than others.
Flowers that press well are pansies, violets, impatience and coreopsis. Don’t forget to press a variety of leaves as well. I can add many layers of cardboard and paper inside my press.
Once the flowers are dry I remove them from the press and keep them in a storage box between layers of newsprint until I need them. You can do many crafts with pressed flowers: notepaper, candles, envelopes, bookmarks, cards.