How to Dry Flowers Flat

Overview

Drying flowers flat is more fool-proof than drying them in an arranged bouquet, and the result takes up less space. A plant press makes the job as simple, but you can also use an old, heavy book. You can also use this technique to preserve wildflowers so that you can bring them home and identify them later.

Step 1

Prepare your plant press. If you're using a plant press, insert fresh blotting paper. For pressing flowers in books, open the book to a section near the middle and line the pages with two sheets of newspaper, typing paper or blotting paper.

Step 2

Lay the flowers in the plant press or book. Arrange the petals and leaves of the flower before pressing, because you won't be able to change things once the flower is dry. If you are pressing wildflowers for an herbarium or to identify later, arrange the plant so that all the leaves, petals and reproductive parts will be visible.

Step 3

Tighten the bolts of the plant press or carefully close the book to compress the flower.

Step 4

Add additional weights, such as more books or cans of food, to the top of the book to further compress the flower. For the plant press, test the screws every day to see if you can press the flower any flatter.

Step 5

Change the blotting paper, newspaper or typing paper every day to dry the flowers quickly and retain the most color.

Step 6

Remove the flower from the press or book when it is thoroughly dry. This may take two days to two weeks or more, depending on the flower. Dried flowers are fragile, so handle them carefully.

Tips and Warnings

  • Take care in gathering wildflowers. Never gather any rare, endangered or threatened flowers, and always leaves at least 10 flowers growing for every one that you pick.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant press or heavy book
  • Newspaper, typing paper or blotting paper
  • Weights

References

  • Preserved Gardens: How to Press Flowers, Leaves and Herbs
  • Life Studies Online: How To Press Your Own Flowers
Keywords: pressing flowers, drying flowers, herbarium, flower craft projects, garden activities

About this Author

Sonya Welter graduated cum laude from Northland College in 2002, and has worked in the natural foods industry for nearly seven years. As a freelance writer, she specializes in food, health, nature, gardening and green living. She has been published on Ecovian.com, LIVESTRONG.com and several local print publications in Duluth, Minn.