When making cards and other crafts that use pressed flowers, one has two options. You can buy flowers that are already pressed, or you can press your own. While buying pressed flowers can save you some time, the costs can really add up if you use a lot of them. That’s why many avid crafters choose to press their own flowers.
Unless you know someone with a flower garden or buy fresh flowers to press, you’ll have to grow some flowers to get started. The tricky part is deciding which flowers to buy. Some flowers press better than others, and some are practically impossible to press. When you’re getting started pressing flowers on your own, it can be difficult to decide which flowers are best to plant.
Some flowers have certain characteristics that make them easier to press. Here’s what to look for:
* Flowers that are thin are the easiest to press. They flatten more easily, and they dry much faster than thick flowers. This not only makes drying more convenient, it also allows the flower to maintain more of its color.
* The smaller the flower, the more quickly it will dry when pressed. Large flowers take longer, and the largest ones are difficult to flatten in a way that is attractive.
* The flower should maintain its beauty when flattened. Sometimes the only way to determine this is to see the flowers already pressed. Purchasing a few and pressing them before you plant will let you see the results before you invest a lot of time in a particular flower.
* The more moisture a flower contains, the harder it will be to successfully press. Picking flowers during a dry time of day will help, but some just retain a great deal of moisture anyway. Using heat when pressing them, however, may bring good results.
* Thicker flowers should not usually be pressed as-is, but you may have success with pressing the petals. Once they are dry, try gluing them back together to create the look of the original flower.
* Many plants that consist only of leaves press very nicely. Ferns are a fine example. They look great pressed alone or with flowering plants.
Some good flowers for pressing include geraniums, hydrangeas, buttercups, sweet peas, pansies, daffodils, chrysanthemums and marigolds.
Most flowering herbs also tend to do well. The petals of almost any flower may be pressed.
Pressing your own flowers gives you great flexibility in your crafts. Choosing ones that press well isn’t always easy, but by following a few rules of thumb you can have a garden filled with easily pressable blooms.
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