I’ve been eyeing this flower press from Lee Valley since Christmas. I think my hesitation in purchasing is that I know you can press flowers without any special equipment (just some patience) so it seems silly to shell out the $$. But there is something about having a dedicated tool that often encourages me to “do the thing” so I decided to make my own press using stuff I had around the house.
The simplest method for pressing flowers is to sandwich the blooms between two sheets of tracing paper or paper towel, slide them between the pages of a nice heavy book, and let sit for 3 - 4 weeks. I’ve done this before and it left unwanted marks on Mark (i.e. the pages of a Mark Rothko book that was gifted to me by my painting teacher). I’ve considered thrifting a second hand, unprecious atlas or encyclopedia to use, but turns out I'm attached to crafting a gadget. Note: you can also press flowers with an iron if you want the instant gratification, but I’ve never tried it because it felt like cheating somehow. The wait feels like a natural part of the process.
To make my DIY press, I started with some small wood panels from an art supply store that I normally use to make gouache paintings - one with a project appropriate painting intact. Add a little tracing paper and some jazzy rubber bands from the dollar store and voila, a flower press. Now, this is the premier test of my design, so I can’t make any promises on the results but the engineering is sound so I’m hopeful. I got a little help and extra weight from Mark.
Now you know how to make a flower press too.
While this time of year doesn’t offer much to press from the great outdoors, it could be fun to do what I did and go to your local florist to get a couple stems for a "dry" run *wink wink*.
Now for a message from Tarot: this time leading up to the Spring Equinox (March 20) brings big Queen of Pentacles energy. Even if you don’t consider yourself a gardener or green thumb, the mere act of noticing the buds and green emerging from the wet soil is an act of tending. It always feels like a miracle that after all the snow and ice, things come back to life again. I think of flower pressing as an act of reverence - preserving and admiring nature at its most beautiful. It makes me look closer and care better.
I’ll report back in about a month with the results from my DIY flower press and show you what I do with the pressed flowers. Hopefully by then, we will have real live flowers popping up around us.