This simple flower press is a snap to make. It provides uniform pressure for drying flowers, petals, and leaves. The pressed, dried materials make elegant accents for decorating note cards, picture frames, and other home-crafted gifts. It's a wonderful way to enjoy the fruits of your garden throughout the year and to share those fruits with friends and family.
• Two 1-foot squares of 1/2-inch-thick plywood
• Drill with 5/16-inch bit
• Four 1/4-inch blots, 3 to 6 inches long
• Fast-drying glue
• Blotting paper
• Corrugated cardboard
• Assortment of flowers and leaves
• 4 wing nuts
1. Clamp the two pieces of plywood together and drill a 3/16 inch hole 1 inch from each of the four corners. Unclamp the pieces and lightly sand all surfaces of both pieces. These pieces will form the top and bottom of your press.
2. Thread the bolts through the holes of one piece of plywood. Apply a drop of glue to the underside of each bolt to help secure it to the wood.
3. Cut a dozen 11-inch squares each of the blotting paper, newspaper, and cardboard. Cut off the corners so that the papers clear the bolts.
4. Assemble the press by layering one sheet of cardboard, two or three sheets of newspaper, two sheets of blotting paper, several more sheets of newspaper, and another layer of cardboard. Continue until your press is filled. Add the top plywood piece, and attach the wing nuts.
5. After completing your press, gather the best-looking flowers and foliage you can find, and get it in your press before the plant material begins to wilt. Remove petals from thicker flowers like roses or sunflowers; also remove thick stems (and remember thicker pieces take longer to dry.)
6. Open your press, and arrange the flowers between the pages of blotting paper so that they lie flat and don't touch each other. I tag the page with the date and type of flowers, so when I check the press, I'll know what is finished drying.
Project pointers: Store pressed flowers between pieces of waxed paper in a dry place to prevent molding. Shallow drawers or shallow cardboard boxes will work fine.