Pressing flowers with a traditional flower press is more than a fun craft to pass the time.
It can form a beautiful family tradition or preserve special memories or moments in time such as birthday, wedding or anniversary flowers, or flowers from grandma’s garden.
Although you can press almost any flower or foliage, some varieties achieve better results than others.
The Best Flowers to Press with a Flower Press
When it comes to pressing flowers with a flower press, it’s important to choose flowers that press well and retain their colour and shape after the pressing process.
The best flowers to preserve with a flower press are one’s that have only a single layer of petals and are naturally flat as they take the shortest time to press. Here are some of the best flowers to press:
- Daisies: Daisies are excellent for pressing because of their simple, flat structure and vibrant colours.
- Roses: Roses press beautifully with their delicate petals and retain their colour well.
- Lavender: Lavender not only presses well but also retains its lovely fragrance.
- Pansies: Pansies have flat faces and come in various colours, making them ideal for pressing.
- Violets: Violets are small and delicate, making them perfect for pressing into intricate designs.
- Ferns: Ferns and other greenery can add a nice touch to pressed flower arrangements.
- Forget-Me-Nots: These tiny blue flowers have a charming appearance when pressed.
- Lilacs: Lilac flowers can be pressed to capture their lovely fragrance and colour.
- Buttercups: Buttercups press well and add a pop of yellow to your pressed flower art.
- Baby’s Breath: Baby’s Breath adds a delicate, airy quality to pressed flower arrangements.
- Marigolds: Marigolds have bright, bold colours that can make a striking addition to pressed flower compositions.
- Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums, especially the smaller varieties, can be pressed to create intricate designs.
- Cosmos: Cosmos flowers, with their delicate petals and varied colours, press beautifully and add a touch of whimsy to your pressed flower creations.
- Zinnias: Zinnias are known for their vibrant and long-lasting blooms, making them an excellent choice for pressed flower art. They come in various shapes and colors, allowing for diverse creative possibilities.
- Nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are not only visually striking with their bold and vibrant blooms but also press well, making them a fantastic addition to your pressed flower collection.
Tips For Choosing Flowers to Press in a Flower Press
Selecting the best flowers to press using a flower press is essential for achieving beautiful and long-lasting results. Here are some tips to help you choose the right flowers:
- Choose Fresh, Healthy Flowers: Select flowers that are in excellent condition. Avoid using flowers that are wilted, damaged, or have signs of disease or pests. Freshness is key to achieving vibrant pressed flowers.
- Timing Matters: Pick flowers at the right stage of development. Flowers that are fully open but not overly mature tend to press better. Early morning is often the best time to harvest, as the dew has dried, and the flowers are well-hydrated.
- Consider Flower Structure: Flowers with flat, thin petals and a relatively low moisture content press more successfully. Daisies, pansies, and violets are good examples. Flowers with thick, fleshy petals, like tulips or lilies, may not press as well. For pressing whole flowers or larger blooms like roses, we recommend only pressing the petals or splitting the flower down the middle using scissors or a sharp knife. Learn how to press roses here.
- Avoid Highly Fragile Flowers: Extremely delicate flowers, such as orchids or snapdragons, may not withstand the pressure of a flower press. Choose hardier options to ensure successful pressing.
- Test a Few: If you’re unsure about how a particular flower will press, experiment by pressing a small sample first. This can help you determine if the flower retains its colour and shape well.
- Consider Colour: Flowers with intense and vibrant colours tend to retain their colour better when pressed. Pastel-coloured flowers can also work well, but some colours may fade during the pressing process.
- Remove Excess Moisture: After harvesting the flowers, gently blot them with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Flowers with high water content can develop mould during pressing.
- Press Flowers Soon After Harvesting: To preserve freshness and colour, press the flowers as soon as possible after harvesting. Delaying the pressing process can lead to less vibrant results.
- Use a Flower Press Properly: Follow the instructions provided with your flower press. Ensure even spacing between flowers and layers of absorbent paper or cardboard to promote proper drying and prevent mould growth.
- Experiment and Document: Keep a journal or record of your pressed flower experiments, including the type of flower, pressing duration, and results. This will help you refine your techniques over time.
- Protect Fragile Parts: If a flower has particularly delicate parts, like a long stem or a protruding centre, you can carefully trim or flatten them before pressing to prevent damage.
- Consider Plant Pressing: In addition to individual flowers, you can press entire small branches or leaves, which can add variety and texture to your pressed flower arrangements.
Remember that the success of pressing flowers often depends on a combination of factors, including the type of flower, the pressing method, and the conditions during pressing. With practice and experimentation, you can develop your skills and create beautiful pressed flower art.
A Flower Press is a Great Gift
A flower press makes a perfect gift for kids, and serious and novice crafters or gardeners. It gives gardeners the opportunity to preserve homegrown blooms to enjoy long after the season has ended, and crafters will love adding pressed botanical elements to their creative projects. If you know someone who loves crafting or a gardener with a garden full of beautiful blooms, surprise them with a flower press. Find a range of flower presses here.
A Great Activity for Adults and Kids
Pressing flowers is a lovely, calming pastime that sparks creativity and gets you closer to nature. It’s a suitable activity for all ages but is particularly valuable for kids. Gathering flowers to press gets kids outside and fosters exploration while arranging and pressing the blooms and foliage encourages curiosity and creativity. And best of all, you can do it at any time of the year.
Pressing flowers is an activity that takes a few weeks to achieve your results of perfectly pressed flowers, but while you wait, you can start planning what you’re going to do with all your pressed blooms. The options are endless for the ways you can use pressed flowers, but they’re perfect for decorating cards and making botanical artwork in clear glass frames.