I received my first flower press when I turned nine years old – maybe eight? The point is it was forever ago. I got it as a birthday gift from my best friend. The flower press came with a small instructional booklet on how to collect and preserve colorful wildflowers. On the front of the press was an illustration of Anne of Green Gables, happily picking florals and putting them into a giant basket. I still have that flower press, all these years later, with flowers wedged between the pages that are as old as the press itself. It was a fantastic gift that had me hunting for leaves and petals to collect and keep forever. Whether you’re making one as a gift for a kid who loves getting outside, or you want to give yourself an excuse to explore the outdoors, a DIY flower press is a quick and easy project to make.
- 2 small wooden plaques
- 4 machine bolts and 4 matching nuts
- Power drill
- Drill bit that is slightly larger than the machine bolts
- Corrugated cardboard
- Pen, pencils, or paint, to add a design
- Matte Mod Podge
- Masking tape
Start by wrapping tape around both wood boards to secure them in place. At each corner, make a mark. Clamp the boards to a steady surface, and drill into each mark, through both boards. Check that the machine bolts fits easily in the drilled holes. Remove the tape, and sand away any rough edges.
Now it’s time to add a little flair to the top. I used watercolor pencils and a marker to decorate my DIY flower press. You can use paint, markers, pencils, decoupage, or just leave it blank. If you do add a design, apply a thin layer of matte Mod Podge to the top to protect the design.
Insert the machine bolts through the bottom boards. Cut a few sheets of corrugated cardboard into octagonal shapes so they fit just inside the machine bolts. Lay the cardboard in the flower press, add the top, and screw the nuts in place.
To use your DIY flower press, lay blooms in between the pieces of cardboard. Make sure the flowers aren’t touching. Close up the flower press, and tighten the bolts. In two weeks, re-tighten the bolts for the final press. Wait another two weeks and your flowers will be ready to go.
The best flowers for pressing are the ones will shallow heads (i.e. not sunflowers), but other than that the world is yours! Use your pressed flowers to decorate paper, set them in resin, frame them, or catalog your findings.
Want to bring more of those lovely spring florals into your home? We have a whole list of DIYs to help you out!