Do, Make, Play: Pressing Flowers
We’ve been enjoying the beautiful blooms of summer and, being the realists that we are, know that they won’t last forever. Today we have a great activity for you and the kids to capture all that luscious plant life before the chillier weather sets in – pressing flowers!
This is a really easy activity. It’s a great way teach kids about the different flora that grow around them and get their creative juices flowing. Incorporate some plant identification when you pick and press and then, a month later, when the flowers are ready you can test their memory as well as create some art.
What You Will Need:
A Flower Press
The first thing we need is a flower press and we have a couple of options for this. First, you can make your own. We found two great tutorials. The first DIY flower press needs access to some basic wood working tools and the second flower press uses cardboard and elastic bands. Using sheets of printer paper in between the pages of a heavy book also work. I use a press I purchased from local designer, Tamara Oake of Oake Living. I highly recommend them – they work great and are pretty darn cute (photo below).
Flowers and Plants
Finding flowers is easy. You can collect them from your own garden, your house plants or at a park.
Some of my favourite flowers to press are:
Flowers aren’t the only things you can press. Leaves are great too. Try pressing leaves when they are green and when they have changed colour. Experiment with grasses and shrubs.
You will want to let your flowers dry for 4 weeks. If your too excited to see how they turned out, you can try to open it up but you will want to be very gentle not to tear any of the plant material.
- It’s best to pick flowers on dry days and after the dew has dried. Wet flowers are a bit of a pain to work with.
- Press your flowers as soon as possible after you’ve picked them
- If your flowers are touching each other in the press they will stay stuck to each other. If you don’t want that to happen – leave space.
- Lay your flowers on paper that fits inside your press. You want to alternate between cardboard, paper and flowers – in that order. The amount of paper you use depends on how many flowers you want to press.
- We recommend using watercolour paper but regular white paper will do in a pinch. Avoid using paper towel.
- Make sure to apply even pressure when you tighten you press
- Get your kids to make something with their dried flowers. Use the flowers to create some art or cards to send to family and friends.