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pressed flowers

Flower Guide

Crafting with Dry Flowers – A Guide to Drying and Pressing

March 1, 2017
Crafting with Dry Flowers

Flowers have always been used to symbolize beauty and fragility. Implicit in this association is its ephemeral nature, especially when they’ve been plucked from the garden. Yet it is possible to extend the life of fresh cut flowers, all you need is a little know how and some crafty skills. Before those pretty flowers start to wilt, begin the process of preservation through drying methods. Here are a few of the proven and simplest ways to dry flowers to add a new lease on their life.

Pressing

You’ve probably done this one at some point in your life. Maybe a special someone send you a bouquet roses and you wanted to preserve this token of affection for sentimental reason. Or maybe you bright idea of making flower-infused bath bombs off those flowers you bought from an online florist in Singapore. Whether that worked out or not, keep these three steps in mind for pressing flowers using books in case you need to preserve some blossoms.

  1. Open a book and Place a piece of paper about halfway or one-third of the way inside a thick book (preferably hardbound for added weight).
  2. Place the flowers carefully on the piece of paper then place another paper on top of that before closing the book.
  3. Place the book on an even surface and add weights (could be other books or any heavy object) on top of that for added pressure.

After four weeks, you should have perfectly pressed flowers ready for your crafts. Just make sure that the flower is completely dry before pressing in order to avoid soaking the pages and possible decomposition.

Hanging

Another simple and fuss free way of drying flowers is through hanging. This is the preferred method for drying a bunch of flowers as any dry and covered space will do. Here are the steps for drying flowers through hanging.

  1. Prepare the cut flowers or freshly plucked blooms for hanging by clipping the stems to similar lengths, taking out the leaves and other dirt that can cause rotting.
  2. Tie similar flowers securely in a bunch with a rope or rubber band.
  3. Hang them upside down about 6 inches from the ceiling in a warm, airy and dry place.

Again, this would normally take 4 weeks to completely dry them out. If you’re harvesting flowers straight from the garden, make sure you choose the ones which have just fully bloomed because they have the least amount of damage and thus will incur less damage through the process of drying.

Via microwave

This one’s a bit unconventional, but fairly easy. Not everyone has the time or space to dry out flowers, but almost everyone has a microwave at home. So for those pressed on time or simply don’t have the patience to wait for weeks before working on a project, then try out the microwave method of drying flowers.

  1. Cut the flowers close to the bud, taking out stray leaves and dirt in the process.
  2. Take a microwave-safe container, fill it with about an inch of desiccant (silica gel, cat litter, borax or cornmeal). Lay out the flowers on top, making sure they are spaced evenly so each bud gets equal amount of heat, and then bury the flowers under the desiccant.
  3. Place a cup of water inside the microwave with the container. This would absorb some of the radiation and prevent burning the flowers.
  4. Depending on the thickness of the buds, you can set the microwave heat accordingly. It is advisable to start with a low setting, heat for 2 minutes and then check. For bigger blooms with thicker petals, WikiHow estimates 8 minutes of medium to high setting.
  5. Once you are satisfied with the crispness and dryness, take the container out and let it cool for one day. Important: Do not poke the desiccant with your bare hands while checking in order to avoid burns. Use a toothpick instead.

Once you have perfectly dry flowers, you can let your creative juices flow. The proliferation of the DIY culture gives you plenty of resources to make your own works of art. You can even spend quality time with your partner working with your hands while you make repurpose those flowers. Here are a few suggestions.

Personalised cards or bookmarks

You can use those pressed flowers to create personalised cards or bookmarks. Her Creative Spirit shows you how it’s done with some PVC glue and tissue. Or if you’re a bit of an artist yourself, you can take a cue from Meredith Wing and use those dried blooms as part of pretty illustrations. They don’t even have to be pressed. The hang-dried flowers can work just as perfectly for added texture and volume.

Framed art

Paintings can be costly. So why not make an art wall of those dried flowers to decorate the wall of your apartment? Instead of having them turn to dust in a box of nostalgic memorabilia, create a pressed flowers framed art instead. This way, you can actually show tangible appreciation of the gift given to you by your loved one.

Therapeutic candles

Take the life of your flowers full circle by repurposing them as DIY aromatherapy candles. Fittingly, the saying “smelling the flowers” allude to leisure and appreciation, the very same purpose of scented candles. Any aromatic flowers will do. The popular ones though are jasmine, chamomile and ylang-ylang, but feel free to add a rose or two in the mix. Check out the full instructions at Home Guides.

Flower Guide

Perfectly Pressed Flowers

April 8, 2016
pressing-flowers-book

We spend our whole lives trying to preserve beauty, grabbing and reaching for every possible solution to keep our beauty forever. Although this task is quite frustrating for us, when it comes to flowers, preserving their beauty couldn’t be easier.

People press flowers for various reasons. Whether it’s for pure sentimental value, and they want to hold on to a memory, or to enrich their collections of beautiful blooms. If you want to learn how to perfectly press flowers, go through these super-simple steps, to preserve every single detail as best as possible.

  • Right Picking Time

Before storing your pressed flowers away to dry, make sure that you chose the right flower at the right time. It’s best to press fresh flowers, picked in the morning, after the dew has evaporated. If you’re framing or storing the flowers into your collection, you should make them harvest them right before their peak. The way they look at the moment of harvesting is the way they are going to look pressed, so make sure they are looking their best.

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  • Drying Materials

In order to dry flowers before they start browning, use blotting paper, coffee filters, newspapers or plain, untreated tissues to absorb the moisture and speed up the drying process. This will help preserve the beautiful and vibrant color of just about any flower.

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  • Methods of Pressing

And finally, you need to learn the techniques of pressing. The three most popular ways are pressing with a book, microwave, and a flat iron.

  • The Book

Put the flower between two layers of absorbent paper, and place a heavy book on top. Or, you can press the flowers within the book itself, which is the most common pressing method.

  • The Iron

Once again, put the flowers between two pieces of absorbing paper. Set the iron on low heat, and make sure not to add water to it. The steam will add moisture to the flower, and you don’t want that. If you can, before ironing place a heavy book to additionally help with flattening. Place the iron onto the absorbent paper and hold it there for 10 seconds. There’s no need to move the iron around. Afterwards, wait for the paper to dry and remove it to see whether the flower is pressed and dry.

  • The Microwave

This unusual method involved either using books (without metal binders) or ceramic tiles to press the flower together. Place your desired flower between absorbent sheets and in a book or between two ceramic tiles, which you are going to tie together with rubber bands. Heat it up in the microwave for up to 60 seconds at a time. The results are amazing!

 

Once you go through these steps, you’ll have perfectly pressed flowers and a moment caught in time that is forever yours to keep! Do you have a special technique for pressed flowers? Share with us, we’d love to hear!