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How to press flowers with wax paper ( Step by Step Guide )




purple flowers on the corner of the wax paper on top of the cardboard

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Flower pressing is one of the best ways of preserving the natural beauty of a variety of flowers and foliage.

If you are experimenting with techniques for pressing flowers, wax paper provides a simple affordable method for pressing flowers effectively with great results!

This short article will explain how to press flowers with wax paper, the benefits of using this tried and trusted technique and we will also throw in a few ideas of how you can use your wax paper pressed flower for gifting and home decor projects. 

press flowers with wax paper

Can I use wax paper to press flowers?

You may be used to using wax paper for lining your cookie tray or wrapping meat or fish, but that everyday roll of greaseproof paper sitting in your kitchen is all you need to create a beautiful pressed flower display. 

Wax paper or paraffin paper for flower pressing is a type of paper that has been treated with a layer of wax to waterproof it. It is this wax that will be advantageous in preserving pressed flowers. When heated, the wax melts and holds the pressed flower in place. The wax paper flower pressing method helps pressed flower retain their shape and color for use in your pressed flower projects. 

Great advantages of using wax paper for pressed flowers.

  • A great introduction to the hobby of flower pressing: we share a tried and trusted flower pressing technique that has been used for years. It is quick and simple and you can enjoy the results quickly, unlike the traditional flower presses.
  • All ages can have a go: With adult supervision, even young children can have a go at successfully pressing freshly picked flowers. Once you get the hand of this quick and simple method it can become a lifelong hobby.
  • Materials are cheap:  as you will see below, hobby flower pressing with wax paper is very cheap, using everyday household materials. If you love dollar store hobbies, this is one for you, as creating a beautiful pressed flower floral display won’t break the bank!
  • Wax paper flower pressing achieves good color retention: Pressing color-rich flowers in blotting paper often causes their color to fade as their moisture is absorbed. With wax paper, you get some very vivid results in your flower pressing, especially if the flowers you work with have waxy leaves and petals.
Norpro Square Wax Paper, 250 Pieces, Small, White
  • 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.

How to use wax paper to press flowers, a step-by-step technique.

This basic flower pressing method requires only the following items:

  • Fresh flowers of your choice
  • Wax paper (white paper provides the best results)
  • Scissors
  • An iron
  • An ironing board
  • 2 towels or sheet 

If you are a minor, you may need adult supervision to handle the iron for pressing the flowers. 

  1. Firstly you will need to prepare two identically sized sheets of wax paper. The sheets need to be an adequate size to accommodate your blooms and can be cut with scissors to a suitable size if necessary. 
  2. You must establish which side of the wax paper has the wax coating for the method to work. 
  3. The ironing board needs to be covered with a protective cloth to prevent it from being stained by melted wax. 
  4. Place one of the two sheets of wax paper on the ironing board with the wax-coated side facing upwards. 
  5. Take your selection of blossoms, flowers, or leaves and arrange them as desired on top of the wax paper. It is best to leave some space between the flowers and petals you press, perhaps no more than an inch.
  6. Now you can cover your floral arrangement with the second sheet of wax paper. This sheet needs to be placed with the waxed surface facing down to cover your flowers, creating a pressed flower/wax paper sandwich!
  7. You can also wrap your flowers in a single large sheet of wax paper, folded in half.
  8. Cover the wax paper and flowers with the second cloth to protect your iron from melted wax. 
  9. You will need a medium-high heat setting on your iron. Do not use steam.
  10. Apply the iron to your covered wax paper sandwich. You are aiming to melt the wax and press the flowers by applying repeated gentle pressure. You will be able to tell if the flowers are fully pressed by checking the opacity of the wax paper, which should go clear once the wax is fully melted. Any opacity in the wax paper means you need to repeat the pressing process or press from the other side.
  11. Once you have completed pressing, allow your flowers to completely cool. 
  12. You can now cut around your pressed flowers and peel off the wax paper leading to a thin margin of wax encasing your blooms.
  13. These delicate waxed flowers can be used in all sorts of projects and decorations. Why not try some of the ideas we share below. 
  14. Alternatively, you may want to leave your pressed arrangement within the wax paper and frame your pressing as is.

By pre-preparing flowers for wax-paper pressing, you’ll get better results!

As with other types of flower pressing, the results you achieve will be affected by the type of flowers your press. Globular blooms like peonies may not press effectively and more delicate blooms like baby’s breath require careful handling.

Flat flowers like daisies or pansies often work best. It may be easier to cut away stems and sepals or fully dismantle a flower and press its constituent petals. 

Read our complete guide to flower pressing here to learn this fascinating hobby.

pressing flowers using a wax paper on top of a cardboard

You can use your wax paper flowers for a range of interesting projects. 

This rapid flower-pressing method means that you can press a large number of flowers quickly and effectively. The flowers can be combined to create a range of beautiful displays. Here are some ideas for you to try out:

  • Bookmarks:  How about creating long rectangular strips of wax paper with the flowers pressed between them?
  • Window arrangements: By using white wax paper you will create translucent sheets of pressed flowers that look amazing when held up to natural light. They can be stuck to a window with some washi tape to enjoy, but remember that over time, sunlight will cause the pigments in the flowers to fade.
  • Greetings cards: 
  • Lantern: Your pressed foliage can be used to make the translucent panels of a simple tealight lantern.
  • Decoupage projects: You can provide yourself with an ample supply of flowers for decoupage projects of any size. 

Rounding up

Using wax paper is a cheap and effective way of pressing all sorts of flowers. It’s so simple that you can give it a try right now. Once you master this method, you are ready to experiment with different colors and varieties of flowers to curate an impressive collection of pressed flower displays!

Learn more about the wonderful hobby of flower pressing by reading our complete guide to flower pressing!

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