One of my favourite things to do over the summer holidays as a little girl was to press flowers. Every year I would spend time choosing my favourite flowers, picking them and then pressing them ready for the big reveal two weeks later at the end of the holiday, when they would be stuck in to my summer holiday scrapbook as a memento of the glorious sunny days. And what with it being that time of year again, and my summer boredom buster tip of getting the kids to create scrapbooks, I thought I'd share my tips on pressing flowers so your children too can enjoy the fun. After all, there is nothing more fun than pealing back the paper to see whether it worked and what sort of condition the flowers are in.
So here it is, how to press flowers:
1. Choose your flowers, and cut them, making sure to cut the stem at an angle and remove any leaves. Remember flowers with naturally flat faces are the easiest to press.
2. Put them in water to hydrate them.
Pressing the Flowers
3. Time to press them ... you need them to dry out as quickly as possible so that they don't brown so with that in mind select some absorbant paper such as blotting paper, flat cardboard, or printer paper.
4. Choose the heaviest book you can find such as an encyclopedia or dictionary, but remember the water in the flower may cause the pages to wrinkle a little so best to use a book you don't mind damaging.
5. Place the paper with the flowers in, in between the pages of the book. You can press multiple flowers between different pages but leave space for the water not to be pulled through from one flower to the other.
6. Once the flowers are in the book, weigh it down with other books or a brick to make it heavy.
Leave the flowers for 2-3 weeks.
Once you have left the flowers for a couple of weeks it is time for the big reveal. Carefully open the pages of your book, to reveal the flowers. Using tweezers or very careful fingers so as not to damage the delicate dried flowers, remove them from the paper. You can then glue them into the scrapbook or use them to make pictures (another summer boredom buster!!)
One of the problems with scrapbooks is that over time bits can fall out or discolour, and pressed flowers are a prime example of bits falling out. They are so delicate that it is easy to lose petals or leaves. If like And Other Memories you prefer to make a digital album that can be printed, and will last forever, you can take photos of the dried flowers to put in. Alternatively, forget the flower pressing and send the children out into the garden with a camera to take some snaps of their favourite flowers. Another flowery alternative might be to try drying some flowers that you can keep as decoration or to make pot pourri. Maybe I'll tell you how to do that next week!
I hope that this is useful to you and will help keep the children entertained at least for a few moments this summer!
For help making a digital scrapbook check out the And Other Memories website.