One of my favorite parts of spring and summer are the beautiful colors out in nature: The deep greens of the leaves and the bright shades of flowers. It’s a reminder of nature’s beauty and a sign of rebirth, life, and warmth. Because of nature’s inspiring associations, I wanted a way to extend this positivity beyond both the confines of the outdoors and its natural time-based limitations.
That’s when I discovered pressing leaves and flowers. It’s a simple way to preserve a bit of nature (as the pressed versions last significantly longer than their unpressed counterparts) and bring a touch of the outdoors inside. While pressing does take a bit of time, the actual work and effort that you have to put in is surprisingly minimal.
A guide to pressing
When it comes to choosing the best leaves and flowers to press, look for ones that are undamaged and, for the leaves, already pretty flat—doing so will give you the cleanest, best-looking end result. If you’re pressing a flower that doesn’t lie flat, you’ll likely have to cut off its back end so there’s a flat surface to place on the press.
Tyler Morris, the creator of the Tyler Morris Woodworking Leaf Press, has some tips for successful pressing. He says when he finds some perfect leaves, he’ll “place them between the blotting paper sheets then clamp them in the press.” Then, he’ll “empty the press after about one week.”
After this time, the blotting paper should have absorbed any extra moisture. Before mounting your dried leaf or flower, though, he recommends storing them “between the pages of large, hard-covered books” for a bit. Once you take them out, you’ll be ready to finish up.
When it comes to mounting them, “place a few dabs of white or yellow glue on the back,” stick it on your paper, and, finally, smooth out the finished product. Once the glue dries, you can frame it, use it on a card, turn it into a bookmark—your imagination is the limit.
A quick, easy way to start your new leaf and flower pressing hobby is with the Tyler Morris Woodworking Leaf Press. It’s easy to use and designed to last forever.
Images courtesy of Tyler Morris Woodworking.