---By Flower Press---
Last week I’ve share my tips on drying flowers by silica gel. Today, I would like to share my way of drying flowers by using a flower press.
To start off, you will need a flower press. You can make your own or you can purchase them online or in nursery/flower shops. A flower press should look like a big heavy wooden book. It is basically two heavy wood bonded together by a string (or screw on to the wood) to create tightness so that the flower pressed in between it will dry well while staying in that position. The flower presser should also come with cardboard/dry plates and lining/blotting paper in the center. These usually comes in 2 sets meaning 4 dry plates and 10 blotting papers. If you looking to buy, I suggest you used these guidelines as the minimal requirement.
As I’ve mentioned before, drying flowers is all about planning before hand. The better you plan, the better your flowers (shape and condition) will dry. The main different between drying in silica gel and flower pressed is that the flowers you pick MUST be dry. So if you want to pressed Alyssum, pick the flowers in late morning to ascertain the wetness from morning dew had dried up. Another thing, please don’t use flowers or leaves that you pick right after a rainy day, these will take longer to dry even in silica gel. The reason is because if you pressed these flowers while still wet or damp, it will grow moths during the pressed process. Not only the specific flower will be damaged, it could also corrupt the whole batch of flowers on the same blotting paper.
So before you start pressing, trim your flowers as you want to design them. I usually arrange them face down, but it’s really up to the design. Pressed process are a better fit for flat flowers but if you like to press flowers that has more thicker shapes, like roses, it’s better to separate the petals and pressed them individually.
Pressed flower process goes this way → Press plates (heavy wooden plate) + dry plates/cardboard + blotting paper + arrange flowers on blotting papers + blotting paper (cover the flowers) + dry plates + Press plates.
Each blotting papers can fit up to 10 individual flowers (depending on the sizes). Arrange them in a way that once pressed it doesn’t push the other flower away. The usual recommendation for the flowers to stay in the flower press is one to two weeks but I don’t do that. Instead I leave them pressed for about 24 to 48 hours, once its pressed DOWN, I will remove the sheets and air-dry them in a dry and warm place. This is because I want them to look fresh instead of just pressed dried. Don’t forget to reuse your blotting paper too, just air dry them or use the oven (efficient and save time)
If you have tried pressing flowers before, you will notice that the flowers usually will lose some colours once dried. Through experience, I’ve notice that warmer colours (pink, red, yellow) will gradually lose colour if not used immediately after pressed. These types of flowers, I will store them in freezer. Cooler colour flowers (blue, white), keep their colour well so these I just keep them in tight containers.
It’s really fun to pressed flowers. I enjoy doing it very much because it gave me a sense of peace and restfulness from my daily life. I truly hope you will try some of my tips and have a successful time with your dried flowers, and please, share your experience. I would love to hear tips and advice from fellow flowers lover too!