The Basic Art of Flower Pressing

Updated on August 25, 2018
Pressed flowers make beautiful decorations.
Pressed flowers make beautiful decorations. | Source

Why should I press flowers?

Flower pressing involves the use of leaves and flower petals to flatten as a decorative piece. The process is done to remove any moisture and preserve the colors. An artist takes meticulous care in the placement of these preserved pieces to create a delicate and striking work of art.

The flowers are applied to different materials:

  • Ingress paper
  • Cotton
  • Japanese paper
  • Handmade paper
  • Linen
  • Silk
  • Velvet
  • Wood furnishings

The top countries in the craft are Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America. Others include Mexico, Australia, and France.

Pressing flowers is a simple process that I look forward to sharing with you below. Enjoy perusing the different ideas for what you can do to display the natural beauty found around your neighborhood!

How to Press Flower Petals

What You'll Need

The equipment you need to start flower pressing are basic and easily acquired. Also, it's convenient because you can use any type of paper.

  • Paper: Common papers used in the process are bond paper, blotting paper, and Japanese paper.
  • Scissors
  • Assortment of Petals
  • Book/Heavy Object
  • Glass frames
  • Secateurs
  • Plants


1. Choose the Flower

Choose the ideal foliage, shrub, or plant. They should have moderate petals with beautiful blooms. You can introduce different leaves, grass, or shrubs to experiment with, and it's easy to collect them from your garden, flower stores, or recreational parks. To avoid them wilting, press them immediately after gathering.

2. Place the Pieces

Make sure the flowers are dry before pressing. Gingerly place them face down on parchment paper. Avoid squashing the petals by using a tissue paper to cover them.

Other techniques to consider include placing the petal sideways. This will create an interesting effect in your display. The same applies to pressing whole flowers in the book.

3. Let Them Dry

The flowers need to dry properly before arranging them in glass frames. Make sure you leave the album in a dry place for best results. It takes between two to three weeks to press and fully dry.


Although the drying process will preserve the petals, their color might fade with time. This is due to many factors associated with the elements like direct sunlight, humidity. You could preserve them further by applying a spray, sealant, or vanish.


You might choose to arrange the flowers in a glass frame. This technique elongates the display in a more creative and artistic way. Make sure you trim the stem to fit smugly in the glass frame.

Bigleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tokyo Delight' Flowers
Bigleaf Hydrangea Hydrangea macrophylla 'Tokyo Delight' Flowers | Source

What are common flowers to dry?

  • Yarrow
  • Wheat
  • Sunflower
  • Sea thrift
  • Sea oats
  • Strawflowers
  • Pearl everlasting
  • Salal
  • Marguerite daisy
  • Millet
  • Mugwort
  • Lavender
  • Gyp
  • Blue hydrangea

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This image depicts a peacock and is made entirely from pressed flowers. This image was achieved using both leaves and flattened flowers.
This image depicts a peacock and is made entirely from pressed flowers.
This image depicts a peacock and is made entirely from pressed flowers. | Source
This image was achieved using both leaves and flattened flowers.
This image was achieved using both leaves and flattened flowers. | Source

10 Things You Can Make With Pressed Flowers

Dried or pressed flowers can be incorporated into many art project. I think they are ideal for home decorations, special occasions, and gift items. You can also use them to make ornaments, jewelry, and DIY projects.

Need a few ideas to get started? Here is a list of a few things you can whip together with pressed flowers:

  1. Flower petal necklace
  2. Floral luminary
  3. Flower beads from clay and bookmarks
  4. Pressed greenery on phone cases
  5. Candle decorations
  6. Wall clocks
  7. Decorative nails
  8. Wall art
  9. Leaf trays
  10. Flower bottles

Different Petals in Glass Jars
Different Petals in Glass Jars | Source

What flowers press the best?

Some flowers are more ideal that others in the pressing process. Here are a few that take well to the preserving method:

  • Rose of Sharon
  • Pansies
  • Dahlias
  • Larkspur
  • Cosmos
  • Coreopsis
  • Verbenas
  • French marigolds
  • Zinnias
  • Nicotiana
  • Borage

Nicotiana alata 'Crimson Bedder': The flowers are generally flat and ideal for pressing.
Nicotiana alata 'Crimson Bedder': The flowers are generally flat and ideal for pressing. | Source

What flowers are ideal for pressing?

The choice of flower is very important to the overall result of the press. You need to select blooms with vibrant colors, low moisture, and a flat surface area. Therefore, the best flowers should have thin petals, lay flat, and hold their color.

What are ideal petal colors?

The petals should showcase vibrant colors. Many petals lose some once they're dried or pressed. You should consider collecting petals in different hues of yellow, white, red, purple, or orange.

  • The pansy is one of such springtime flowers with such color characteristics. Other vibrant colored petals are found on ‘nicotiana alata’, Ammobium, and Anthemis.

What flowers are flat?

Flat flowers are ideal because they hold their shape well. A good example is the Coreopsis verticillata and Cosmos bipinnatus.

You can use flowers with thin petals because they dry easily and don’t have mold. However, some people experiment with flowers with thick centers by carefully removing the center and pressing them individually.

What paper should I use to press flowers?

A book or old photograph album is ideal. Make sure the pages are kept flat during the entire process. I recommend using bond paper, Japanese paper, or homemade paper. Whatever you use, make sure the paper is dry and acid free. There are also special albums made specifically for flower pressing.

Tips for Flower Pressing

  1. 1. Use tissue paper. Professionals use tissue paper by adding a layer to each arrangement. Then, place the flower or petal on the book. Place the tissue between the petal and exposed side. Remove the tissue after four days and repeat the process. There is no hard and fast rule to this technique. The tissue aids in drying the petal completely. The technique is ideal for flowers with large petals or for big displays.
  2. Add other items for visual interest. You can expand your display by adding other items. Common ones are twigs, grasses, and leaves. They complement the arrangement by presenting a more comprehensive picture.
  3. Place weights on the album. There are simple ways to add weights to your book. You could use a press or heavy flat object. This helps add more pressure and quickens the drying process.

How to Press Flowers in a Microwave


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • tony55 profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Nigeria

      Its fun and easy to do

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      2 years ago from Norfolk, England

      Thanks for the article. I'd love to be able to do something like this, flower pressing is such a lovely art.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)