Published: 26 June 2024

Gardening and crafting are two of our favourite things. So, it probably comes as little surprise that we’re a big fan of flower pressing, because it brings those two things together. Preserving plants for years to come, flower pressing is simple, fun, and a lovely way to keep memories. It can also really spur on creativity, because once you’ve got your pressed flowers, there are so many things you can do with them. So, let’s take a little look at flower pressing, and how you can do it at home.

Everything You Need to Know About Pressing Flowers

Image credit: modernpressedflower

What is flower pressing?

As the name suggests, flower pressing involves selecting flowers (and leaves) and compressing them until they are flat, and all moisture has been removed. If done well, pressed flowers can retain their colour and vibrancy. Providing a lasting memento, if properly cared for afterwards.

How do you press flowers?

Flower pressing can be done in a variety of ways. And they’re all really simple, so can be a great way to get kids interested in plants and flowers

Flower press

You can buy dedicated flower presses. These usually consist of two pieces of wood with fine layers of paper piled between them. And screws or bands to compress the flowers once they’re in place. You arrange your flowers, close the press, then leave your flowers for at least a fortnight.

Book press

The old-fashioned way to press flowers (which most kids have tried at some point!) is to find two heavy books. You can lay your flowers between two sheets of paper, and then sandwich them between the books. Again, you’ll need to leave the flowers for at least two weeks for them to press and dry properly.


This is best done by grownups. But if you’re not a fan of waiting, then you can gently iron press your flowers. Just place them between two pieces of parchment paper and gently iron them on a low heat. Just beware that flowers pressed this way may not last as long, as it can be difficult to fully remove the moisture.  

Tips for pressing flowers

Whichever method you prefer for pressing your flowers, always make sure that the flowers are spread out and not touching each other. Definitely not overlapping.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that juicier flowers will take longer to dry, and may go mouldy.

If you are layering your flowers for pressing, it’s always a good idea to put a piece of kitchen roll between each layer to avoid moisture seeping through.

What can you do with pressed flowers?

The most common ways to use pressed flowers is to arrange them and glue them onto card. You can them use your arrangement on a greeting card. Or as a piece of decorative artwork- either on card, or clasped within a glass frame. But there are so many other things you can do with them.

  • If you enjoy working with clay, you can complete your designs by applying pressed flowers a thin layer of Mod Podge (or similar). You can do this on shop bought terracotta pots too.  
  • Glued on to the outside of a clear jar, pressed flowers can make a beautiful tealight holder.
  • If you press edible flowers – pansies, cornflowers, nasturtiums, borage, honeysuckle, among others – you can use them to decorate the most beautiful cakes.
  • If you are pressing flowers with children, a really fun thing to do is use your pressed flowers within a suncatcher. You just need to make a frame – out of card or ice lolly sticks – and place the flowers between two sheets of wax paper. Cover the wax paper with a tea towel and lightly iron until the wax begins to melt, slowly becoming transparent. Glue your design into your frame and job done!
  • For anyone feeling more adventurous, you can work with epoxy resin to make a whole range of decorative items from your pressed flowers. We even found a tutorial for making a phone case out of them!

Pressed flowers are beautiful and versatile. So, whether you’re working with flowers, leaves, and fronds from your garden, or wish to preserve a piece of a precious bouquet, why not try your hand at flower pressing? You’ll be ejoying the fruits of your labour for years to come!

Prefer to see your flowers in their natural form? Holker Hall Gardens has a feast of flowers throughout the year!