Texas Living

DIY Flower Pressing Guide

By Jillian Kring 9.7.22

Feeling crafty? Learn how to preserve a beautiful piece of nature with this flower pressing guide.

You will find everything you need to know and gather to begin flower preservation, from selecting flowers for preparation to necessary materials and methods. Discover four ways to press flowers here — after, try craft projects and display formats that will allow your dainty and colorful blossoms to shine.

Selecting Your Flowers

Flat-faced flowers that are just budding are best for pressing. Make sure to select flowers in late morning, after the early morning dew has dried. Cut the stems leaving a generous length to make for easier conditioning. Tie flowers in small bundles with twine and hang until dry in a cool, dark place for three to 14 days.

Great flowers for beginners are zinnias, pansies, cosmos, clematis, dahlias, California poppies, French marigolds, rose of Sharon, verbenas, shrub roses, Queen Anne’s lace, and borage.

Conditioning Your Flowers

Before pressing your flowers, it’s best to condition them. Immediately place stems in a sink full of water and recut the bottom of the stems at an angle. Fill a vase with water and mix one teaspoon of sugar into the water. Place flowers in the vase and remove any leaves on the stem that will be submerged in the water. Place in a cool, dark place for several hours so that the flowers thoroughly hydrate. Remove from the vase, cut the stems to the length you wish to press, and pat the flowers dry.

The Book Method

Six pieces of cardboard (same size as book)
Six pieces of newspaper (same size as book)
Untreated facial blotting film
A wide, heavy book
A large rock or brick

Method: Take one piece of the cardboard and lay flat. Lay a piece of the newspaper on top of the cardboard and then several pieces of blotting film on top of that. Arrange flowers facedown on blotting film without touching. Once the layer is full, cover it with blotting film, followed by a piece of newspaper, a piece of cardboard, a piece of newspaper, and finally, blotting film. Arrange flowers on a second layer and repeat the sandwiching process. You should have enough materials for five layers. Place the book on top of your stack and a rock on top of the book. Check after one week and replace any damp papers with new ones. Let sit for an additional one to two weeks and you will have beautifully pressed flowers.

Pros: This method is extremely cost-effective.

The Iron Method

Iron and ironing board
Two sheets of computer paper

Method: Set the iron to the lowest heat level; do not add water. Place a sheet of computer paper on top of the ironing board and arrange the flowers facedown on the paper. Place a second piece of computer paper on top of the arranged flowers. Place the warm iron over the sandwiched pieces of paper for 10 seconds in an up-and-down motion instead of a gliding motion. Repeat until dry and firm.

Pros: Flowers are ready to use immediately.

The Microwave Method

Two ceramic tiles
Flat coffee filters
Two rubber bands

Method: Place the ceramic tile smooth side up on the counter. Place several flat coffee filters on top of that, followed by facedown flowers, several more coffee filters, and, finally, the second ceramic tile, smooth side down. Use rubber bands to wrap around the tiles to hold them in place. Microwave 45 seconds at a time, remove tile from the microwave, and allow it to cool. As a precaution, use oven mitts when removing tile from the microwave. Repeat the process until the flowers are dry; arrange newly dried flowers inside a new coffee filter so there is room between them. Place inside a heavy book for two to three days to complete the flattening process.

Pros: Speed and attention to detail.

Flower Pressing Method

A flower press
Blotting paper (same size as press)

Method: Take the bottom of the flower press and place on the table with the screws facing up. Put a piece of blotting paper the same size as the press on top followed by your first facedown layer of flowers. Finish the layer by placing another piece of blotting paper on top of that and repeat. Continue this process with as many layers as you want. Align the wooden top with screws, place washers on top of the screws, and twist the bolts tightly into place. Allow two weeks to dry.

Pros: Ability to complete large batches with efficiency.


The creative applications for your beautiful and preserved bits of nature are endless. Check out these craft project and display formats if you need advice or guidance on how to best use your little blossoms.  

Explore more fall crafts here.

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