Flower Pressing Makes a Comeback
In this era of COVID-19, with so much unemployment, working at home and more leisure time, some hobbies and crafts of days gone by are making a comeback, and flower pressing is one of those activities.
A Brief History of Flower Pressing
Flower pressing has long been practiced as an art form in China and in Japan, where it is known as oshibana. Outside of Asia, the art gained popularity in England during the Victorian era. Flower presses were usually made of wood with layers of blotting paper that were held together with leather straps.
Often flowers were put in between pages of books with weights on top of the books. It took weeks for the flowers to be completely dry.
Flower Pressing in the 21st Century
Today, thanks to modern technology, flowers can be pressed, dried, and ready to use in minutes when pressed in a microwave. There are several ways to press flowers in a microwave, but I prefer to use a Microfleur flower press. After decades of doing this, I've found that this gives me the best results.
With a microfleur, pressing flowers, ferns, leaves, and stems is simple and quick--and the results are truly amazing. You place the plant material between two cotton liners, two thick wool pads, and two ventilated platens, put on the clips to hold it together, and place the press in a microwave for a few seconds. The flowers or leaves come out completely flat, stiff, and wrinkle-free, and the rapid drying keeps the color of flowers so vibrant. Best of all, the pressed flowers can be used the same day. No need to wait weeks for them to dry between the pages of your dictionary anymore. It's instant gratification! To purchase a Microfleur click here or visit my Etsy Shop.
The Many Uses of Pressed Flowers
The decorative uses for pressed flowers are limited only by your imagination. They can be used for making floral wall art, note cards, bookmarks, jewelry, or for decorating candles. Pressed flowers can be used for book covers, bookmarks, paperweights, place mats, trivets and so much more. Here are a few examples of how I use them:
Anyone Can Create Pressed Flower Art
Pressing and creating with pressed flowers is for everyone from 3 to 103. No special skills are necessary. In this picture, a 3-year-old used a glue stick, pressed flowers and some magic markers to create this beautiful piece.
Flower pressing is a great family activity. Go on a backyard plant exploration to collect leaves and flowers. After pressing them, make cards to send to friends and family members. Wouldn't Grandma just love receiving a pressed flower card!
This was a workshop I led where senior citizens enjoyed pressing and creating with pressed flowers. After a short introduction and some useful tips, the participants delved into creating some very impressive cards and wall art pieces. Many went home excited that a new craft has come into their lives.
Flower pressing is fun, inexpensive, and a very effective way to reduce the stress and anxiety many of us may be feeling because of coronavirus. And the finished product(s) can be enjoyed for years. Give it a try!