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Good Old Days Florist

Save Your Flowers-Easy Victorian Flower Pressing

Now that your garden is in full glory it’s time for autumn, and soon they will be gone.  This lament has been going on for 100’s of years but no generation has done more for celebrating nature than the Victorians.  They were enamored with it, obsessed over it, and came up with ingenious ideas to save it. Pressing is the easiest, the quickest, and most cost effective idea; and all my phone books and catalogs are always in use.  Instead of lamenting “…oh no…another phone book” reuse and collect them instead.  Pressing is a very eco-minded craft.

As one who preserves flowers for a living; I think pressing flowers is one of the most versatile methods.  The genre of projects is endless; from decorated pictures, cards, lampshades, tables, frames; it just goes on.  Pressed flowers can decorate nearly anything you can imagine.  I have a low basket on my home side table overflowing with autumn leaves I have pressed every year.  As a tree lover of course I would, but it is actually an autumn  ritual now for me to find and add new pressed leaves ever year.

My favorite project
My favorite project

The Tools For Pressing Flowers

This is a nice short list!

  • Flowers/plants
  • Bricks/heavy books
  • Newspapers/magazines/phonebooks
  • White glue
  • Scissors & tweezers

 Sounds like kindergarten, and it is except with adult patience!  Everything we already have in the home, with nothing to buy except the item you are decorating them with, and then I don’t believe even that is a need.  I am sure, no… I am positive that if you look around your home you have an unused frame or some such object that could stand a use or updating.  Just think outside the normal use of an item;  try looking in the attic with a different eye.    I usually just stare at something for awhile and it will come to me.

 What Is Good For Pressing

Having a garden is not a criteria, but if you do-hooray for you.  Instead, having a watchful eye is the key.  Anywhere I go I see endless possibilities for pressing. You can press both cultivated & roadside flowers (actually roadsides and fields offer the delicate wispy things that you will find are integral to a project), leaves, evergreens, ferns, grasses, thin vines & twigs, berries, and even moss.  While you are looking, always keep that eye for the occasional gift of a feather, an abandoned egg shell, or spent bee or butterfly.

How to Press Flowers

There is only one thing that is integral-the items should be fairly dry to the touch.  However, my favorite time for collecting fall leaves is right after a windy, autumn rain; the selection is amazing, and the colors seem brighter.  I just quickly blot them dry with a towel.

 The premise of pressing is just as the word says and you need two components; some sort of paper and weight.  You are pressing an item between two paper objects to soak the moisture and the weight is to flatten them.  You can have items between 2-3 pages layers of newspapers under a brick topped board or even your mattress.   I’ve been known to put them everywhere, even under the cable box (heat makes them dry faster) and my shoe boxes.   Magazines and books are the easiest and space saving as you top one on the other; which creates even more weight.

 This is the 1-2-3-method I use:

1-Lay your items out on the paper-spaced so they don’t touch

2-Layer 2-3 paper layers on top again or inside a book/magazines pages.  Repeat for the next layer

3-For newspapers/magazines-lay a cookie sheet filled with something heavy like bricks, stones or a board with some flat heavy item on it.

That’s it!  Keep them for about 2-3 weeks like this and you will have a bouquet of pretties to display or use on a project.  Questions?  I am here to educate so just email me at Lynn@goodolddaysflorist.com.

And absolutely send me pictures of your projects. I will be showcasing photos and choosing a winner for a $50.00 “native bouquet”!  Yay.

Have fun-Lynn

*floating leaf  frame photo courtesy of the Pressed Flower Guild-love it
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