Flower pressing is an amazing hobby to start. Firstly you have to go out to the garden or woods and collect flowers which is always lovely to do. Then you have to get creative!
Finding an affordable and suitable flower press to get you started can be a little confusing.
So, we have put together this quick and simple guide to buying a hobby flower press.
Traditional Style Press
Hobby Flower Press Buyers Guide
How Do You Use a Flower Press?
The first step to using a flower press is to gather suitable flowers and prepare them accordingly. This means halving any thick flowers, like daisies, and removing extra leaves (these will likely just fall off anyway).
Once you’ve got your flowers ready and set aside, open up your flower press and lay down some absorbent paper. The best choices are parchment or blotting paper, though some will opt for a paper towel (which can leave an imprint).
Then, making sure they don’t overlap, arrange your flowers on the paper. Place another sheet down, and close the flower press. The press is then tightened. If it’s a microwave press, it’s set in the microwave. If it’s a traditional press, it’s set aside for at least a week. With a microwave flower press, it takes under a minute (usually around 1 minute and ½).
You will know they’re done when they’re completely dry, and they no longer stick to the paper. At this point, they’re ready to admire, in pressed flower books, or made into artwork!
Learn more about flower pressing here. Read our complete hobby guide today!
Microwave Flower Press
When it comes to flower pressing methods, a microwave flower press works the fastest, by far. Whereas more traditional flower pressing methods, like the wooden flower press or a book, take a week or two, a microwave flower press works in roughly 1 minute and ½.
Rather than just flattening the flowers, microwave flower presses zap the moisture right out of them, quicker than ever. It’s a great choice for those looking to grow their collection, or who want enough flowers to make a lot of artwork!
Wooden (Traditional) Flower Press
Wooden flower presses are made of a variety of woods or a mix; birch is one of the most popular. This is a sturdy hardwood that can withstand the pressure needed to press flowers, and it won’t warp or crack.
To use a wooden flower press, open it up by unscrewing the wingnuts or loosening the straps (it may use either). Place your absorbent blotting or parchment paper. Arrange the flowers on it, and then close the flower press again. Finally, twist the wingnuts or pull the straps nice and tight again, set aside in a dry place, and wait at least a week. Then, you can take a peek!
Why Makes Flower Presses so Useful?
A flower press is perfect for those with a flower pressing hobby already, or the beginner! It can streamline your process and is more effective than the method that uses a weighted book. This is because it can apply even more pressure, making it work better and faster!
There are also a couple of types of flower presses to choose from: the traditional (often wooden) flower press, and the microwave flower press. When it comes to dry, paper-flat flowers, either of these will do the trick.
The hobby of pressing flowers is a way to preserve seasonal flowers, to enjoy any time of year. The flowers can also be made into a variety of beautiful artwork.
What Should You Look For?
Few products are built the same; some are just designed better. To find a top-quality flower press, you’ll want to know what to look for!
What’s it Made Of?
One of the main things to consider about a flower press is what it’s made of. For example, some prefer their flower press to be made of a sustainable, recyclable material. Or, maybe there is a certain type of wood you’d prefer. Hardwood is the most durable, and won’t warp or crack.
Microwave flower presses are generally made of silicone that’s specially heat-proof.
What are its Size and Capacity?
How many flowers are you looking to press? For many, the answer is the more, the better. For this reason, many flower presses are available that are multi-layer. They can have up to 6 layers, sometimes more, and each layer has its own sheets of absorbent paper.
This means that you can press a lot of flowers at once, to add to your collection, or transform them into a myriad of artwork. If you aren’t looking to dry in bulk, there are also plenty of flower presses that are single-layer (most microwave presses are, for example).
Is it Easy to Use?
Any hobby flower press worth its salt should be user-friendly. This means the wingnuts are nice and easy to twist, or the straps easy to pull, etc. Microwave presses especially should come with instructions, so that you know how long to microwave them for!
What Does it Include?
A quality hobby flower press should at least include instructions and absorbent paper. These can be very helpful to a beginner.
There are also entire kits, which contain these things, and more! For example, a kit might contain scissors or a knife, mod podge, glue, tape, sponges, tweezers, etc. These are available to help you prepare the flowers and to start you off creating pressed flower artwork.
Flower presses are available in many charming designs, with hand-painted art, wood carvings, and more! This is especially true of those sold on homemade seller sites like Etsy (where you can often read about its craftmanship in detail). Those with an antique look are particularly popular!
Is it Sustainably Sourced?
Fortunately enough, many wooden flower presses are sustainably-sourced. They are frequently made with recyclable material. Not always, however. This is often an important factor for your average nature-lover!
Who’s it For?
Flower pressing is a rewarding hobby for adults and children alike; in fact, there are flower presses and kits specially made for children. These have extra easy-to-use plastic wingnuts or straps. Really, any age can enjoy the timeless beauty of a pressed flower.
Picking flowers and pressing them can be a lovely, bonding hobby for the whole family. It’s also a lovely solo activity. Whichever you prefer!
What Other Supplies Do You Need?
- Paper. Paper is the second most important part of flower pressing, next to the drying plates themselves. It is meant to help absorb moisture, greatly speeding the drying process along. So, for best results, you shouldn’t use just any paper. Your best bets are parchment paper, blotting paper, a paper towel, or cardstock.
- Scissors or a knife. When picking flowers, it’s always wise to have scissors or a knife on hand. This can be used to remove stems and to cut overly thick flowers in half.
- Flowers. Of course, for flower pressing, you’ll need some freshly-picked flowers. Some pro tips from our flower pressing complete guide: flowers that are naturally flat, like violets and pansies, are flat enough to press as they are. Other flowers, like fat roses or daisies, will first need to be cut in half. Additionally, make sure to pick flowers when it’s dry out, and not after a rain or when there is dew!