How to Press Flowers: a Beginners Guide

Like most things from my childhood, pressed flowers are making a comeback.   This tutorial will teach you how to press flowers for free! 


When I was a little girl, my grandfather made me a flower press in his woodshop.  He took two thick pieces of lumber, drilled holes in all four corners and held it together with bolts for each corner.  I loved to search for flowers to press. 

Dried and pressed flowers in purple and yellow colors.

I hadn’t thought about pressing flowers in a long time but the trending botanical prints have me feeling nostalgic and like most things from my childhood, pressed flowers are making a comeback.   This tutorial will teach you how to press flowers for free, using supplies you have around the house. No flower press or wood shop required!

Which Flowers Should I Press? 

You can press all varieties of flowers.  Some will turn out better than others.  I would recommend experimenting with wildflowers you find around your home or on a nature walk before you dive right in to press your wedding bouquet or other important blooms.  

Pick a variety of colors, sizes and shapes of flowers so you have lots of options after the flowers have been pressed and dried.  I also like to include greenery- look for ferns, leafy stems and other greens that you can add to your final project.  

Pressed Flowers in Three Easy Steps:

To press flowers the only real essential (aside from the actual flowers) is parchment paper and cardboard.  Parchment paper will prevent the flowers from sticking to the surfaces and weight you’re using to press the flower.  Create a sandwich of cardboard- parchment- flowers- parchment-cardboard.  This is an easy project for beginners and fun to do with kids too!

A variety of Fresh flowers ready to be pressed and dried.
Position fresh flowers face down on cardboard and parchment. Top I with parchment and cardboard and weight down with a stack of heavy books!
  1. First, pick your flowers. Freshly picked is best to ensure you have the most vibrant colors.  Choose blooms that are full petals with no damage or tears.
  2. Next, lay your flowers face down on a piece of clean flat parchment paper.  If your flower has a stem, gently bend the stem to ensure it dries flat in the direction and pattern you prefer.  
  3. Cover with a top layer of parchment and firm flat cardboard.  Make sure the flowers do not move or shift as you layer on the parchment and cardboard.  Stack with books and other heavy objects and set aside to dry. 

Let the flowers sit for about 7-10 days in a cool dry place.  Try your very best not to peak.  If the flowers haven’t fully dried they can be damaged if you remove the parchment too soon.  Your flowers are ready to be displayed or used in a project when they are dry to the touch and crisp.

Projects Inspiration for your Pressed Flowers

Pressed flowers are beautiful to arrange and display in a glass frame or backed on a cream or ivory cardstock.  You can use them for paper crafts or in a resin project. 

Check out these cute jam jars with pressed flowers- perfect for gifting!  Grab the tutorial and the Cricut cut file for the acetate apothecary jars here! 

Pressed flowers finished in a jam jar greeting card

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