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How to: press flowers

Photo - Colin Barlow

Isla and her friends Abbey and Elise chose some of spring’s prettiest blooms to press and turn into cards for Christmas. Here’s how to do it.

What you need:


Sheets of smooth white A4 paper, newspaper or blotting paper.

Heavy books, such as dictionaries, telephone directories, gardening encyclopaedias

Freshly picked flowers or foliage


What to do:

1. Pick some flowers early in the morning after the dew has evaporated. Choose the youngest, freshest flowers.

2. Place two sheets of A4 paper, or a sheet of folded newspaper, on the table.

3. Carefully arrange the flowers on the paper, making sure they don’t touch. Keep them as flat as possible. They can be placed face up, down or sideways. Large or bulky flowers can be cut in half so that they are easier to press. You can also use foliage from ferns, ivy, herbs or gum trees.

4. Place two more sheets of paper carefully on top so the flowers don’t move. Don’t use textured paper as this can mark or indent the flowers.

5. Place the sheets of paper and flowers on top of a large heavy book and then place another heavy book on top to sandwich the sheets between.

7. Place the books in a warm dry place.

8. Check the pressed flowers after a few days and replace the surrounding paper if it is slightly moist.

9. Keep checking every few days for about two weeks after which the flowers should be ready. Some larger and fleshy flowers can take up to six weeks to dry and press properly.

10. Use your pressed flowers – and your imagination! - to make cards for Christmas.


Great pressings

In our experiments these flowers worked best: pansies and violas, daisies, geraniums, dianthus, pelargoniums, petunias and rose petals.  


Text: Isla Barlow

About this article

Author: Isla Barlow