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framing pressed flowers

How to Frame Pressed Flowers

May 07, 20235 min read

Botanical art is beautiful and unique, especially when you create it from the flowers grown in your own garden. Gardens are ever-changing, therefore, any botanical art made from the plants, flowers, leaves, stems, and bark is also true. The art that comes from the garden and through your hands remains unique in every way. It's impossible to duplicate any piece.

When it comes to flower pressing, choosing flowers that take naturally to being pressed is key. For example, most of these blossoms that lie nearly flat (on their own) when laid out on paper are going to be single-petaled. Some flower species such as dahlias, zinnias, and Rose-of-Sharon come in both single and double-petaled varieties.

Double-petaled flowers (including French marigold) are trickier because the center is thick and doesn’t lend to pressing and drying well. These thick centers present a slight challenge, but it’s not a deal-breaker. Simply remove the center petals and press them separately from the flower. What you have left will easily press flat.

Once all the petals are dried, the flower can then be reassembled onto whatever art piece is being created. Remove flower heads from the plants on a dry day in the late morning (by 11:00 am). The time is perfect as the dew will have evaporated from the petals, yet they haven’t begun wilting from the afternoon sun.

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How to Press Flowers

Let's get started by pressing the flowers for your project. The following 'book pressing' instructions are the easiest (and cheapest) way to press your flowers. Of course, you could get all official and purchase a traditional wood flower press or try one of the new microwavable flower presses.

Gather Your Materials and Supplies:

  • Flowers

  • Sheets of printer paper

  • A large, thick book

 

Flowers that press well include:

·         California poppies (Eschscholzia californica)

·         Delphiniums (Delphinium)

·         Calendula (Calendula)

·         Hardy geranium (Geraniaum bohemicum)

·         Coreopsis (Coreopsis)

·         Borage (Borago officinalis)

·         Larkspur (Consolida ajacis)

·         Dahlias (Dahlia)

·         Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)

·         Zinnias (Zinnia)

·         Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

·         Johnny-Jump-Ups (Viola tricolor)

·         Nicotiana (Nicotiana alata)

·         Chocolate Daisy (Berlandiera lyrata)

·         Japanese Anemone (Anemone japonica)

·         Verbena (Verbena)

 

Start by pressing flowers between the pages of a heavy book.

Easiest Flower Pressing Technique

There are several great ways to dry and press flowers (more on those in another article). Using a heavy book (or books) is a tried-and-true technique that’s available to anyone at any time. Here’s how we do it.

1. Open the first 1/3 of a large, thick book. Lay a piece of printer paper onto one of the pages and place flowers on the printer page so they are not touching. Flowers with thick centers such as marigold, dahlia, and zinnia should have their petals pulled free from the heads before placing them in the book. Don't forget to write the name of the flowers at the bottom of the paper, as some of them change quite a bit!

2. Place another piece of paper over the flowers you just laid out so that they are now sandwiched between both sheets. Carefully grab the next 1/3 of the book pages and close it so that the flowers are sandwiched between the printer paper and book pages. Repeat the process using the same book.

3. Keep the pressed flowers evenly weighted by placing more books (or a cinderblock, etc) on top of the pressed flower book. In three to four weeks, the flowers will be fully dry. At that point, carefully open the books and remove your dried, pressed flowers.

Pressed flower art makes a beautiful gift.

Frame Your Pressed Flowers

Framed pressed flowers are so unique pieces for your home or as a gift that you won’t stop after the first one!

Gather Your Materials and Supplies:

  • Pressed flowers

  • Picture frames

  • Several sheets of decorative paper. You’ll want a variety of decorative paper on hand for gluing the flowers onto. You’ll also need a larger background paper that “frames” the art.

  • White craft glue

  • Toothpicks

  • Small bowl

  • Tweezers

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

 

1. Remove the glass from the picture frame.

2. Measure the back of the picture frame and be sure that the paper you’d like to use as a background is the same size.

3. If the frame is a different size, use the ruler and scissors to cut the paper so it fits properly. You can glue the flowers onto this paper, or you can use this paper to “frame” a smaller piece of paper which has the glued flowers.

4. If you choose to use a paper that fits the frame, as well as a smaller one that has the flowers, you’ll need to cut the one that will have the flowers on it about 1” smaller than the larger paper on all sides.

5. Choose the flowers you’ll use to create your botanical art piece. You might use various flowers that are all the same color tones. You could choose just two or three flowers, or just one type of flower. You could place the flowers separately or lay them on one another to look like a bouquet.

6. Using the tweezers, place them onto the paper that the flowers will be glued on until you’re happy with the design.

7. Squeeze glue from the bottle into the small bowl for easy access to the glue.

8. Pick up the flowers with the tweezers and use a toothpick to place a small spot of glue onto the back of the flower. Glue the flower onto the paper.

9. After you have finished creating the design, let the glue dry overnight. Then put the frame back together with the flower art inside. Your dried flower art is ready to hang in your home or as a gift!

Extra Shots

Nothing is written in stone here...there are other ways to do it! Make it a habit to press beautiful flowers all year round and you'll always have them on hand for floral craft projects.

pressed flowersframed flowersbotanical artbotanical craft floral craft
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Gardening has been a driving passion in my life, which led to my career as a garden writer and author for the past fifteen years. That said, for decades I've been neglecting this undeniable pull to share my other lifelong obsessions surrounding sewing and handcrafts.

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