Written by Olivia Kanaley
Even the smallest buds and blossoms don’t go unnoticed those first few weeks of spring, so why not make them last a little longer by drying them in a flower press. This mini, DIY version doesn’t take long to fill with seasonal sprigs—plus, it’s sized just right for use as a gift or favor; you can even tailor it to match your springtime gathering with a custom label.
Makes one flower press
• Two 4-inch plywood squares (1/8″ thick)
• Acrylic paint, water, brush, and rag
• Printed flower-press template
• Masking tape
• 3/16″ drill bit and drill
• Printer paper
• Eight #10 flat washers
• Four #10-24 wing nuts
• Four #10-24 2.5″ machine screws
• “Pressed Petals” custom label
1. Lightly sand the wood pieces to remove any splinters and smooth edges. If desired, brush all sides of the wood pieces with diluted acrylic paint and wipe away excess with a rag. You can repeat to deepen the color. Set aside to dry completely.
2. Layer the printed template over the two wood pieces and secure all three layers together using pieces of masking tape. Drill four holes using the template as a guide (it’s OK to drill through the paper).
3. Using a pair of scissors and the printed template, cut cardboard into 3.5″ hexagons. You will need 7 for each flower press. Repeat this process with computer paper—you will need 10 printer-paper hexagons for each flower press. Stack the cardboard and paper pieces so that two paper hexagons are between each cardboard hexagon. When you use the flower press, place flowers and leaves between these pieces of paper.
4. Place a washer on each of the four machine screws and insert each into the four holes on one of the wood pieces.
5. Add the stack of cardboard and paper from Step 4 and the top wood piece.
6. Finally, add another washer on each of the screws, followed by a wing nut. Finish with a custom label.
• The easiest way to load and unload the flower press is to loosen all the wing nuts gently and remove one of the screws. You should be able to slide out the stack of paper and cardboard to add flowers and greenery.
• Flowers with less bulk, like hydrangea blossoms or violets, tend to work best.
• Flowers should be left in the press for about one week. Drying time can vary depending on flowers and environment.