Friday, April 16, 2010

How to Press Plants with Better Homes and Gardens



As well as pressed flowers, pressed plants can make provide a nice decorating idea. This fabulous tutorial is from Better Homes and Gardens.

Pick fresh, undamaged flowers and foliage in the morning, after the dew has dried. To prevent flowers wilting, press them between sheets of absorbent paper as soon as possible.
Plants suitable for pressing include violet, pansy, fuchsia, hydrangea (single blooms), delphinium, cyclamen, rose and rose petals, freesia, narcissus, jasmine, primrose, ivy foliage and fern.

Different plants take different times to flatten and preserve, anything from three to six weeks, whether you use a book or a flower press. Check every two weeks. The plants will not be harmed if you leave them in the press after they are dry, but you can damage them if
they are removed before they are ready.

Microwave presses are simple to use and create pressed flowers almost instantly. Colour retention is excellent and thick, fleshy flowers are easier to press.

To use a telephone book, place the flowers or foliage between two sheets of tissue or blotting paper. Leave at least 25 pages before and after the pressed plant. Make sure the blotting paper has a smooth surface, as any texture will transfer. Place a heavy object on top of the closed telephone book and leave in a warm, dry room for about four weeks.

To press flowers for a picture, press the petals, stems and leaves separately and reassemble once done.

Reduce the height of a thick calyx by snipping close to the petals with small scissors, and pare down thick stems with a craft knife. To remove excess moisture from a fleshy stem, place it in a folded piece of paper towel and squeeze gently.

When pressed plant is ready, remove it carefully with tweezers. Attach it to your chosen surface with clear-drying craft glue. 

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