Depending on the temperature and humidity where you live, you'll want to leave the flowers to dry in the books for 2-6 weeks. Thanks for sharing this. You picked such pretty flowers and they look so nice all smooshed :D. Years ago my grandmother taught me to use a piece of waxed paper on both sides of the flower when pressing it into a book. Fold it in half so it fits nicely in the book. But by following the instructions below, you can even press flowers and leaves between the pages of an ordinary phone book. This alleviates staining of the pages and also does not allow the flower to stick to the page and therefore rip upon removal. You likely have all the materials you need already, without needing a special … I have a huge library of books with tons of flowers and leaves in them. The only catch with this is that you need patience. Avoid leaves that are moldy or have rot. Allow to flatten and dry for at least 24 hours. Individual flowers (as shown in the photos) left to dry on their own will dry faster and shrink more. As a kid I used to do this all the time with my mother. Waxed paper will be hot after pressing. :D, About: I work at instructables by day, and turn into a stitch witch by night. :). Flowers with small, flat receptacles (violets, daisies, pansies, zinnias, etc.) The leaf pigmentation may have changed slightly (I find this has more to do with how soon the leaf was going to turn brown), but the color that remains will continue looking beautifully preserved for several more weeks. Press and Dry Leaves. Flowers with large receptacles (roses, peonies, hydrangeas, dahlias, carnations, etc.) :), This all depends on how the flower is connected to the stem! :D. The first step! Share it with us! How to Preserve Leaves: Wax Paper Pressing Method. Before you press your leaves it is a good idea to make sure they are dry and flat. While you are waiting for the leaves to dry you can look online or in books to identify your leaves. are great for pressing in books. I've dried large flowers in books before and also hung flat ones to dry. (Place them petals up or down - whichever way they lay the best!) For those who don't want to use books, an old tennis racket press with 2 bits of chip board works really well as a flower press. Allow to flatten and dry for at least 24 hours. They're easy to work with and will lay nice and flat without extra work. Walk around your neighborhood or near by woods and collect colorful leaves. I live in the mountains in Colorado, so I only needed to leave mine a couple weeks thanks to the low humidity! But by following the instructions below, you can even press flowers and leaves between the pages of an ordinary phone book. You don't want to warp the spines of your books! In this instructable, I'll teach you how to press and hang flowers to dry. IMPORTANT: If you're pressing really vibrant flowers, you may want to add a second piece of paper. This is my other preferred method of drying - not only does it work great, but it also looks and smells nice. All Rights Reserved. I have a bad habit of sticking something I want to press into a book and then forgetting which book I put it in, so sometimes I get a nice surprise when I pull a book out. ^_^. A kitchen towel will work very well, as it does not inhibit the transfer of heat but does allow the wax paper to create a strong seal and press the leaf completely flat. Have a look at Pinterest for ideas, and make sure to share any fantastic ideas you have in the comments. Open the papers carefully and slowly to avoid losing any petals or leaves. The books might stack a little weirdly at first (see the open spaces in the pages? Get more! are best dried by hanging as they don't want to lay flat while drying. Flat or fine blossoms and leaves, such as pansies, violas, verbena, Queen Anne's lace, and many ferns and herbs, press especially well. I wouldn't wash them, even if treated with white vinegar & salt (1 C v, 1/4 /c S, 1 gal water) used to set dyes. When pressing leaves with an iron, use some sort of material as a barrier between the iron surface and the top layer of wax paper. :). I have yet to find a leaf I need to hang to dry - I always press those! Once that's done, lay your flowers out on a clean surface and get ready to press! Reply Pressed leaves also make wonderful sun catchers! This area of the flower is called the receptacle and contains the flower's major organs. :D. Did you make this project? Keep hands away from hot surface of iron. I have a bad habit of sticking something I want to press into a book and then forgetting which book I put it in, so sometimes I get a nice surprise when I pull a book out. Gather clean specimens that are free of blemishes and spots. Once the stems are cut off, grab a piece of paper. The Press Tuck leaves between the pages of old phone books. Once your pressed leaves are cool you can now show them off! 3 years ago. As the flowers dry, they may leech some of their color onto the pages of the book. (For a full look at flower anatomy, click here!). I also hammer flowers onto white cotton fabric. Source: While I mostly dry flowers and leaves for sentimental reasons, there are also loads of crafts you can use them in! Be careful when checking to see if your flowers or leaves are dry. Before you press your leaves it is a good idea to make sure they are dry and flat. Click here for a printable version of the wax paper pressing method of leaf preservation. Gently press waxed paper with medium hot iron moving slowly over entire surface for about 10seconds. Martha Stewart Living, March 2002. Flat or fine blossoms and leaves, such as pansies, violas, verbena, Queen Anne's lace, and many ferns and herbs, press especially well. More Fall Ideas . Thank you. Allow pressed leaves to cool before using. I'll also explain which technique is best depending on the type of flowers you have.