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How to Press a Carnation Flower Into a Book

carnation image by Aleksandr Popov from

Pressing a carnation or any other flower is a great way to keep a flower that was given to you by a special person or on a special occasion. Flower pressing also can be a way to create artwork, greeting cards or other crafts that you do for enjoyment or as a home business. Carnations are not the easiest flower to press, because of their many petals and thick bloom, but their variety of colors and pretty silhouette give a beautiful result when you are done.

Find two heavy books. Hardbound books give much better results than paperbacks, because of the added weight and stability. The thicker the book, the more quickly the pressing will go, so choose the biggest books in the house.

Trim the stem of the carnation flower. You don’t want to press only part of the flower, so you need to cut it short enough to fit inside the pages of the book you are using. Cut it neatly and cleanly using sharp scissors. Blot any surface moisture from the carnation using paper towel, to avoid rot.

Open the book to about three-quarters of the way through. Place a sheet of wax paper cut to fit the book on the right-hand page, and then add a sheet of tissue paper on top of the wax paper to absorb any flower juices or stains. Place the carnation flower in the middle of the page, and be sure no part of the flower is protruding outside the tissue or wax paper.

Turn the head of the flower to face you as you look down at the book. The idea is to have the center of the flower facing up. Arrange the carnation petals. Use your fingers to gently push the petals out from the center, so that more of their surface shows, and they are facing out, not in. Lay another sheet of tissue paper and another sheet of wax paper on top of the flower. You can press multiple flowers in one book, but be sure they are at least an 1/8 inch apart.

Slowly and gently close the book. Be sure the petals and flower head are facing the same way you placed them and you don’t fold up the flower in an undesirable position. Place the second book on top for added weight. Leave the carnation to dry for at least 24 hours, but up to two weeks.

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