ISSUE 21  |  On the Lawn

DIY: How to Make Transcendent Pressed Flowers

May 25, 2012 3:30 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

The Victorians cataloged their botanical (and romantic) obsessions by pressing flowers; our friend Rebecca Willis continues the tradition for similar reasons; creating memories from cataloged flowers, while inadvertently creating art (sign us up).

Above: Willis (she's an editor at the Economist’s Intelligent Life) frames the results of her flower gathering efforts.

Above: Every summer, Willis and her son collect flowers from their garden to preserve in the flower press. "Don't be put off by big bulbs," she says, "the blotting paper will take the moisture out of the flower and it will become as flat as the others."

Above: The flowers take six to eight weeks to dry out before they can be arranged into frames. Willis brings her dried flowers out in the winter; a weekend project on cold, wet, dark afternoons.

Above: Flower presses come in a variety of sizes; a Six-Inch Square size is $16.98 at Amazon and a 10-by-6-Inch size is £7.95 at Amazon UK.

Above: Place a sheet of cardboard down first; press the flowers between layers of blotting paper or newspaper. After the last layer, put down another sheet of cardboard before closing the press.

Above: One final tightening of the screws before leaving the press for six to eight weeks.