You can press all sorts of flowers using a regular household iron. It is one of the simplest and fastest ways of preparing beautifully pressed flowers that are ready to use in a variety of projects.
If you want to know more about the world of flower pressing, why not read our complete guide to flower pressing?
Using a steam iron for pressed flowers is cheaper and quicker than using a flower press or other fancy equipment.
If you can iron that pile of laundry in the basket, you are more than qualified to press flowers – it’s super-simple easy to do by anyone. However, before we proceed we advise that young children should have adult supervision and assistance while handling a hot iron.
Let’s take a look at how to press flowers with a steam iron. We’re sure that once you have used this tried and trusted method you will have the beginnings of a creative and cost-effective hobby.
Here are the two key methods for using an iron to press flowers
Number one: pressing flowers with parchment paper
Using an iron to press flowers with parchment paper is as easy as grabbing some flowers, and some parchment paper and giving it a go.
It can be done with regular paper or kraft paper too.
All you need to do is prepare your selection of flowers and arrange them on parchment paper. Place the paper on a piece of absorbent fabric on your ironing board.
Top your floral arrangement with another piece of paper to make a sandwich. If you need added absorbency you can add some additional blotting paper between the flowers and the paper. You can then apply your hot iron to the paper and press the flowers until they are completely flat.
Once you have gone over the paper with the iron a few times you can allow your hard work to cool.
Lift off the paper and you will find that you have some crisp freshly pressed flowers!
Number two: pressing flowers with wax paper
Wax paper is a great method for pressing flowers as it not only flattens them but can preserve them in a protective wax coating.
- Measures: 6″ x 6″ / 15cm x 15cm
- For cooks, bakers and candy makers, wax paper is the secret weapon for keeping food from sticking. Lined with a thin layer of wax on each side, wax paper is designed to keep food fresh longer.
- Moisture-proof and nonstick, wax paper won’t stick to fresh foods or freeze to meat. Ideal for preparing hamburgers and filets for easy separation.
You can only use wax paper to press flowers if you have an iron. Make sure that you protect the iron and your ironing board from melted wax using protective cloth layers.
This quick and effective technique simply involves, taking your fresh flowers and sandwiching them between two layers of wax paper.
Pressing the flowers down with a hot iron melts the wax causing the paper to go from opaque to translucent when fully pressed.
Allow the wax-pressed flowers to fully cool. Once the wax has hardened again you can cut out individual pressed flowers or work with the wax paper sheet as a whole. The translucency of wax paper means that the flowers look great held up against the light or mounted against a window.
Here are some great projects you can create using iron-pressed flowers
- Why not create some pressed flower writing stationery?
Detailing greetings cards, handwriting notes, or wedding invitations with beautiful pressed flowers will give them whimsical vintage charm.
- If you enjoy intricate creative projects, Oshibana pressed flower design is for you!
This form of exquisite flower pressing, practiced in Japan for centuries creates expansive, yet detailed scenes.
- With découpage, you can add your iron-pressed flowers to anything.
Découpage is a decorating technique that uses pressed flowers layered with glue to cover items as diverse as phone cases and tea trays.
- Your pressed flowers can be mounted on candles to create a beautifully customized gift.
Plain or scented candles can be uniquely detailed by applying flowers pressed with wax paper.
Last-minute tips for using a steam iron to press flowers
- Don’t be afraid to use heat. If you want to bypass weeks of watching a flower press you need to be bold and apply a decent amount of heat to your blooms as you press them. A medium-hot setting is ideal. The sudden application of heat from the iron will ‘fix’ the flowers and you won’t have to apply the iron for as long.
- Use an iron with a thick soleplate. A thick metal soleplate retains heat and carries significant weight to help you press your flowers more efficiently.
- Steam is a no-no! Remember you are trying to dry the flowers as well as flatten them. Using steam is not only counterproductive but also carries the risk of pigments in the flowers bleeding.
- Use direct pressure rather than moving the iron up and down. Moving your hot iron over the flowers like you are doing regular ironing will distort the flowers. Flower pressing with a steam iron works best if you press down vertically onto the flowers repeatedly with the iron.
- Press the flowers with the iron on both sides. Pressing flowers on both sides enhances the flatness you can achieve.
- An iron is an ideal solution for bulk flower pressing projects. If you want to create epic Oshibana Japanese flower pressing scenes, you will need a ton of pressed flowers. The speed and effectiveness of ironing mean that you can be working with the crisp flat flowers you need in hours rather than months.
An iron is one of the most effective ways of preparing delicately pressed flowers with consistent results. We hope you’ll feel confident in creating your hobby-pressed flower projects using iron-pressed flowers.