Friday, July 9, 2010

Pressing Flowers

Back in January, my good friends in Colorado gave me a beautiful flower press. Have you ever pressed flowers? Before people had cameras, they would press flowers from special occasions to help preserve their memories.

This evening I went to a nearby field to see what I could find. If you're going to press flowers, you shouldn't pick them from a neighbor's house or anything. People might be very angry at you, because they work hard to grow their gardens! If there is a specific bloom you want, you should always ask for permission first.

It is so beautiful here in Utah during the summer. Look at the pretty mountains behind me! We were up pretty high in the foothills, so I could look out over the valley.

And look at these beautiful flowers I found!

I gathered up a big armful and we headed back home.

With my flower press came this wonderful book, all about how to press flowers correctly. It even gives information on what different flowers mean.

In her book, Caroline Tiger says that it's important to press the flowers as soon as possible after picking them. This helps them to keep their color and shape better. She also says you might want to avoid picking flowers after it has rained. If the flower is wet, it will take a lot longer to dry in the press. Lucky for me, it has been hot! hot! hot! here, so I didn't have to worry about that.

First I laid a piece of cardboard inside my press, and a piece of blotting paper. The blotting paper helps to absorb the moisture in the flower and dry it out. I arranged my flowers carefully, it's important to help them lay as flat as possible.

I put another piece of blotting paper on top, and did another layer of flowers.

Then one more piece of blotting paper, another piece of cardboard, and it was time to close the press up! My dad helped me screw on the wing nuts really tight.

The flowers will probably take over a week to dry completely. Every day I have to tighten up the wing nuts even more. Tightening them will help to keep my flowers from wrinkling up as they start to lose their moisture.

I put them in a dry place that didn't get sunlight - our closet!

Did you know that you don't need a special press like mine to press flowers? You can use a big book instead - like a phone book! Make sure to get permission from your parents, because thicker flowers can ruin the binding of a book. Put paper towels around your flowers just like I did with the blotting paper, and spread them throughout the book. You can stack more books on top of your phone book to add more weight and help really flatten the flowers out. Caroline Tiger says it's okay to check the flowers to see if they are done, but be careful because they can rip really easily. She says they are ready to be removed when they are stiff and don't wilt when lifted up.

I can't wait for my flowers to be done! I'll let you know when they are, and show you how to mount them in a display book called a herbarium.


  1. Wow, picking flowers in a pretty meadow sounds fun right about now! :)
    I haven't really tried pressing flowers myself, though, but maybe I will someday. Or maybe I'll just use the pressed flowers I found among the pages of a book for some kind of craft. My teacher started pressing flowers five years ago by putting them within the pages of a book and then promptly forgot about them!

    I LOVE your pretty shirt and skirt. My teacher has a shirt practically identical to yours. Too bad she really loves it, or I'd see about cutting it down to my size!

    By the way, congrats on winning the title of Little Miss Playthings! Your photos were beyond amazing! :)


  2. It looks like you had lots of fun pressing flowers. The flowers you picked are beautiful, as is your outfit. Congratulations on winning Little Miss Playthings!

  3. Hi Piper,
    The flowers you chose are lovely. I can't wait to see how they turn out after they've been pressed!

  4. Pressing flowers is definitely fun! I've not done it for a while but I received a flower press from my aunt a few years back. The weather we're having here is perfect for this kind of activity--thanks for the inspiration Piper!

  5. Those are pretty flowers you're pressing. I've done them once, using the book method but then I forgot all about them, haha. I'll have to try it again sometime. That book looks neat.

  6. Well that is something you don't hear everyday! :)
    The flowers you got were so pretty!

    I bet your "flower pressing" will turn out great, Piper! :)

    -Jess & Lexii

  7. Olive's great aunt loves to press flowers. I've never tried, but it sounds like fun!

    Also, what a coincidence! Olive is wearing an outfit almost exactly like yours right now.

    Can't wait to see the results. :)


  8. What a neat idea! Pressing flowers looks like a lot of fun. We've done with same with books. I hope yours turn out nicely. Your outfit is very cute, too. You are so adorable, Piper!

  9. Congrats on your Little Miss Playthings .. you did such a awesome job ..

    Mama loves pressing flowers .. she still has some flowers that she pressed back in 1991-1992 .. when they were totally dry she used clear contact paper like tape and covered them and they have lasted in her Bible all these years.

    You have inspired us to do some flower pressing this year, we used to do it for all the traveling girls who went hiking.

    Ta Ta,

  10. Piper! You look sooo pretty! I just love your blog! If you want to check out mine, go to Love ya Piper!

  11. Piper,
    I love to read your stories, the place where you live is beautiful.
    Congratulations for winning the LMPT contest. My foster sisters and I were cheering for you.

  12. Hi Piper! It was really fun at your tea party last night! Thanks so much for inviting us! Send us some pictures, OK? LOL, molly and emily. P.S: check out our blog, From a Dolls Point of View.

  13. Hi! I was just going to let you know that your blog background has a warning that it will disapear on Friday. Unfortunately the site is down and it might not be back up till Saturday! Just thought I would let you know!

  14. I love your photos as always! ^_^ The lighting is lovely.
    I used to press flowers when I was younger too, and I still press four-leaf clovers! I used the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, though, because I didn't have a press and the CRC Handbook is the largest book I could find ^_^
    Also, Piper, your outfit is lovely! You have a great deal of good fashion sense.
    Thanks for this beautiful post!
    Sitara & Ruthie

  15. You always have such gorgeous photos! Great depth and contrast!

    Such a cute outfit too!

    And we can't wait until Spring comes to press some flowers here! There are so many pretty wildflowers in Kansas!

    ~The Dolls