There is an undeniable old-fashioned air to pressed flowers. Here’s how to make your own.
Photographs by Erin Boyle.
Above: The same delicacy that makes violas and violets tricky as cut flowers makes them a perfect option for pressing.
Above: When selecting the flowers that you’d like to dry, choose blossoms that are clean and fresh. Resist the temptation to use flowers that are already past their prime because wilted petals will be difficult to flatten neatly.
Above: A flower press is a lovely thing to have—and not so very hard to make on your own—but using an old book to press flowers is just as easy and only takes up as much room as the book you use. Use two sheets of parchment or waxed paper to sandwich your flowers between the book’s pages.
Above: Erin recommends placing the flowers toward the bottom of the book so there would be plenty of weight above them after it is closed.
Above: For thin flowers like violas or pansies, a week or ten days is all you really need to get a nice press. Some people recommend switching out the parchment paper during that time, but it’s not necessary. Keep in mind that flowers will darken as they dry; they will also become brittle. Use extra care when moving them off the parchment paper where they’re been drying.
Above: After your flowers are dried, you can glue them to thank you notes or place cards as an impressive embellishment.
For more about violas, see Plant of the Week: Violas, A Love Story.