don’t let those flowers just wither and die!Posted: 23/01/2014
The Art of Flower Pressing
Don’t let those flowers just wither and die!
Nothing warms the heart like a bouquet of flowers, freshly-picked from your own garden. There’s a certain charm and sense of pride that comes with knowing that you’ve raised those flowers yourself, tending to them and caring for them every day until the flowers finally blossomed into beautiful blooms. We wish the flowers could last forever, part of their appeal comes from knowing how ephemeral their beauty is.
But did you know that there’s a simple way to preserve those beautiful flowers, and even use them to make some great home-made crafts? It’s all made possible through the art of flower pressing. Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart has often used pressed flowers in her projects, and the truth is, you don’t have to be all that talented to make your own pressed flowers.
The simplest, tried and tested way to press flowers is actually so easy, it’s a bit hard to believe. All you need to do is take the flower that you want to press (make sure they aren’t wet from morning dew!), place it face-down in the middle of phone book lined with newsprint or paper towels, close the phone book and weigh it down, leaving it undisturbed for seven to ten days. Better Homes and Gardens also has a guide on how to use a special flower press, which can be placed in the microwave to speed the process along. Using the latter method, drying the flowers out takes on three minutes.
Now, you could just store your pressed flowers in picture frames, but wouldn’t it be great if you could use them in some lovely projects too? Well, pressed flowers are a wonder to work with, and they can be used in a variety of projects.
Colorful pressed flowers can be used to decorate apothecary and Mason jars. The apothecary jar is like the Holy Grail for people who like to work with arts and crafts. There are just so many things you can do with this simple glass jar. You can use your pressed flowers to decorate glass jars for storing everything from pens and pencils to potpourri. Feel free to experiment with flowers of different shapes and sizes in your jars, but for a touch of elegance, M&S flower specialist Simon Richards recommends using just one kind of flower per jar. “‘The trick to making these jars look so good is simplicity. Just keep one flower to each jar and fill,” he says.
Pressed flowers could even be used to add a touch of your garden to your homemade candles. Angharad Jones of the Urban Crafts Center has made a quick tutorial detailing how to add pressed flowers to your candles. Be careful when working on this project, though, as it entails working with melted wax!
Once you’ve mastered the art of pressing flowers, there’s really no limit to the things you can do with them. You can use them in scrapbooks, bookmarks, and even greeting cards. Think of them as a new addition to your scrapbooking arsenal! You’ll always have a reminder of those beautiful flowers you grew in your garden.