Pressed Flowers – A Guide to the Art

Pressed Flowers – Why learn to press flowers?

Pressed flowers, the art of pressing a flower between two objects until flat and dry, is a popular form of art that many enjoy as a hobby, and that some enjoy as a profession. It has a history of use as a form of craft in both Asia and Europe, with two distinct styles being prominent in both locations.

The appeal of designing art with pressed flowers is that you can use real natural components in your creation without running the risk of them decaying or wilting away. Because it is such a unique style, chances are you won’t have much competition if you’re striving to create pressed flowers for a profit. If you’re looking to do it for fun, joining an arts and crafts club is a great place to start.

Pressed Flowers – List of Preparatory Steps

This guide has been assembled to allow budding hobbyists a chance to learn how to create beautiful pressed flowers. These basic steps will allow you to see the results you desire with a minimum of trial and error.

First of all, it’s important to press your flowers immediately after cutting them so they remain fresh. If you can’t do this, conditioning your flowers is the only way to keep them in suitable shape for later work. To condition your flower, use the follow steps:

· Hydrate. To hydrate your flowers, place them in a cleaned (bleach preferable) vase filled with water. It is best to leave them for at least twenty-four hours for best results. You can add floral food to the water to protect against bacteria and provide additional nutrients to the flower.

You must also perform the following:

1. Remove any leaves that would be below the water line to prevent rot
2. Cut the stems at an angle at least an inch off the base of the plant to increase water uptake
3. Be sure to use the correct amount of flower food as shown on the container
4. Keep flowers in a cool, well-ventilated place out of direct sunlight

You may also wish to use a floral treatment solution for your pressed flowers. What you do is dip the cut flowers in an inch or two of the solution before placing them in the vase. This will dramatically increase water uptake and keep the flowers alive and healthy.

When cutting the flowers, make sure to do so when they are at their freshest, and when they have no moisture on them. This will increase the quality of the final product.

Pressed flowers – The act of pressing

To create the best pressed flowers, keep in mind how you want them to look. Avoid letting parts of the flower overlap unless this is a desired feature, and lay the leaves out straight and to the sides. There are several primary ways to create pressed flowers:

· Books. When pressing flowers in between a book, use two sheets of paper to protect the pages of the book itself. Leave about an eight of an inch of pages on each side of the pressing, and then close the book. Be sure to weigh it down with something, as well, such as other books. Wait a few weeks, and the pressed flowers will be ready.

· Flower press. Obtain a pre-made botanical flower press if possible, to allow for better air circulation. If you can’t find one, you can make one if you are skilled at woodworking.

· Microwave. Using a special microwave flower press for this is best, to allow for best air circulation. When pressing in the microwave, make sure you don’t over-do it! Start out with short bursts at a medium setting, perhaps 30-60 seconds, and then experiment with the timing if you desire. Let the plant cool off between sessions. You can open the press to let steam escape.

Pressed flowers – More information

Pressed flowers are perfect little artistic tidbits that you and your family will be sure to love. You can mount them on felt or paper backing, or perhaps on a small canvas you’ve covered with water color paint in a desired pattern. Enjoying the art of pressed flowers can be fun for the children too, which makes it a great bonding exercise (and a good way to pass time over summer holidays).

If you are interested in advanced methods, or would like to browse examples of pressed flowers, there is a great amount of useful information available online. You can also stop by your local florist’s shop to seek advice, and they just might be able to provide you with some unique and interesting blossoms you might not be able to find in your garden. If you’re familiar with garden varieties of pressed flowers, you might want to experiment with something exotic for a bit of extra fun.

Copyright (c) 2008 Brant Florist

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