Sustainable Project #6: DIY Flower Press

One of the most exciting things about the warmer seasons are all the different types of flowers that come out at different times. Tulip and dandelions in the spring, morning glories and poppies in the summer and wild orange flowers and sunflowers in the fall.

While on a nature hike with the snug, admiring and taking pictures of all the different wildflowers, I recalled a plastic flower press I had as a kid. Thankfully for a mostly helpful photogenic memory, I was able to remember all the inert details of the press and decided we should create one ourselves.

It is super easy and requires minimum new products, thus becoming the next sustainable project!!

Here is what you will need:

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Two pieces of wood the same size (ours is about 4 inches by 6 inches), a drill, 4 threaded screws with flat ends, 4 washers and 4 wing nuts and some corrugated cardboard. Some paint for decorating, coffee filters and flowers.

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We had a piece of wood lying around that we cut in half. If you don’t have wood lying around, most hardware/wood shops have scrap piles or a scrap bucket filled with smaller pieces of wood that they sell for very cheap.

After you obtain your pieces of wood, drill a hole in each corner. Remember to use a drill bit to match the width of your screw.

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Put it together to make sure it all fits!

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Then decorate!

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Once the paint is dry, put the pieces back together and get the cardboard.

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Cut out 4 pieces of cardboard. The cardboard is going to go in between the pieces of wood, like a sandwich. It should fit side to side, but stop top to bottom before it reaches the screws.

Like this:

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Now you are ready to press some flowers!

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Find some pretty flowers and unscrew your flower press a bit, enough to easily slide the cardboard in and out.

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Place the flowers in between the coffee filters on top of two of the pieces of cardboard.

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Gently place the other piece of cardboard on top and very gently press them together and slide all the pieces into your flower press. Then push the wood pieces back together and tighten the wing nuts as tight as they will go.

IMG_5489Wait a couple of days and WHA-LA! You have pressed flowers that will last!

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I really, REALLY suggest an envelope for keeping them safe. They are paper-thin and will disappear faster than cookies out of the oven!

MISTAKE TIME!

When we first pressed some flowers, we used wax paper, bad idea!!!

Here is what the flower looked like before pressing.

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Here is after.

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WHOA!!! That is not quite right. Why did this happen??

The wax paper worked, firstly, like a glue completely attaching to the petals, making it impossible to peel off without ripping the petals to pieces. Secondly, the wax paper sealed the moisture way too well, causing the flower to degrade instead of preserve.

We have had amazing results with the natural coffee filters.

Mistake: Do NOT use wax paper to press flowers!!!

Happy Pressing!

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