Pressing in a microwave is a quick, easy way to preserve flowers from your garden. A homemade microwave flower press is made from cardboard and elastic, and can be reused as necessary for pressing all types of leaves and flowers. This method requires only a few minutes to perform, and results in beautifully pressed flowers that look like they've been pressed in a book or specialty press.
Cut the cardboard into two squares, about 8 by 10 inches each. Make sure the squares are small enough to fit into the microwave and turn without being impeded.
Place one cardboard square on a flat surface and cover it with three paper towels. Place the fresh flowers on top in a single layer. Keep all the flower petals, stems and leaves within the paper and ensure nothing is overlapping.
Cover the flowers with the remaining three paper towels, and then place the second cardboard square on top. Fasten all six of the elastic bands around the microwave flower press to hold everything in place. Tie the bands tightly to hold the press firmly closed.
Place the entire flower press into the microwave oven. Set to high power and heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the press and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the top piece of cardboard and check for dryness.
Replace the cardboard if the flowers aren't yet dry, secure with elastic and place back into the microwave. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes, remove and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat until the flowers are thoroughly dried. Thin flowers usually need no more than one or two cycles, but thicker flowers may need more time.
Things You Will Need
- Medium-weight cardboard
- 6 elastic bands, 1/4-inch wide
- 6 paper towels
- Fresh flowers
- If you can't find elastic bands, simply use dress elastic found in the sewing department of your local department or craft store. Cut off a strip of the elastic and tie it around the flower press as tightly as necessary. This is necessary to ensure the flowers are completely flat when they emerge from the microwave.
- Paper towels and elastic may need to be replaced occasionally, particularly if you're pressing very thick flowers that require a long time in the microwave. The paper towels will become wet if the flowers have a lot of moisture in them, and the heat weakens the elastic, causing it to snap or break. Keep extra materials on hand just in case.
- Do not overfill your microwave flower press. It's better to dry too few flowers at once than too many. If you place too many flowers between the cardboard squares, they may not dry properly and the edges may scorch.