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How to Create and Display Pressed Leaves and Flowers

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Pressed leaves and flowers are a creative way to bring nature into your home while also cleverly adding an artistic touch to any room. To inspire you, we share how to press leaves and flowers, as well as some of our favorite ideas for displaying pressed leaves and flowers around the home.

Flower pressing was an enormously popular pastime in the Victorian era when flower motifs were a prolific theme in home decor, found in everything from wallpaper to paintings and upholstery. 

Once pressed, flowers were framed or placed in lockets for posterity. They also played an important part in courtship rituals as flowers were used to convey certain messages.

Here’s how to press your own flowers and leaves.

How to press flowers and leaves.

You’ll Need…

  • Pruning shears or scissors 
  • Vase for placing stems in water 
  • Small roller
  • Craft knife 
  • Thick card 
  • Flower press
  • Blotting paper, muslin, or cotton sheets
  • Glass and/or frames

Method.

  1. Cut flowers first thing in the morning once the dew has evaporated and when they have just opened – not at midday when they’re likely to be past their prime.
  2. Immediately after cutting, plunge the stems into cold water and recut the stems underwater and at an angle. Place stems in vessels filled with water and allow them to stand in water to absorb as much water as possible.
  3. Remove any stamens and wipe the leaves clean. Dissect bigger flowers with a craft knife.
  4. Carefully roll flowers and leaves flat with a roller.
  5. Place cards and press followed by blotting paper. Then, place flowers and leaves in press. Place another layer of blotting paper and then card. Continue layering like this, finishing with a layer of card. Screw the press together. If you don’t have a press, heavy books weighted down with a brick or two will work. 
  6. Leave the press in a cool, dry place and wait a week, replacing the paper if necessary. Leave for a further 2-3 weeks.
  7. Your flowers and leaves should now be ready for placement and framing.

Planting Matters

  • Bigger leaves, flowers, and plants can take 2-3 weeks to dry properly.
  • You can use a microwave to dry small blooms for pressing in just a few minutes. 
  • Roses are notoriously difficult to press. Look for flowers with flat petals such as poppies – these are likely to give good results. Some examples of flowers that also press well are tulips, cosmos, calla lilies, Alstroemeria, daffodils, and freesias. 
  • Leaves that press well include those from sword ferns, leather leaf ferns, Monstera deliciosa, dusty miller, maidenhair ferns, and certain philodendrons.
  • Herbs and young vegetable leaves press well and look great as part of kitchen decor.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.

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