Capture the sweet romance of spring with freshly pressed flowers or plants. Gather buds or leaves that tickle your fancy, follow the directions below, and you’ll have beautifully dry botanicals that will warm your heart no matter the season.

What you need:

  • Fresh flowers or plant leaves
  • Flat, no texture paper towels or parchment paper
  • Large heavy books
  • Time

Step 1: Collect Flowers

While it would be cool if you had an English garden or meadow to romp through to gather your flowers, it’s not a prerequisite. Pick a flower, leaf, or even a blade of grass that means something to you or that you just think is pretty. Thin botanicals work best to showcase delicate details like veins in the leaves.

TIP: Ferns are easy to start with and almost always dry beautifully.

Step 2: Air Dry

Carefully blot moisture from petals, leaves, and stems, air dry an hour or so, then arrange flowers in whatever shape is appealing to you on a sheet of smooth absorbent paper. Gently cover with a second sheet of paper.

TIP: Speed up drying time by pressing a dry iron on low heat on top of the paper for 15 seconds. Cool and repeat a few more times until flower is stiff.

Step 3: Press

Carefully place your botanicals in between the pages of a heavy book. Close the book, lay flat, and add more books on top to weigh it down.

TIP: Choose a book you don’t mind damaging, such as an old encyclopedia or phone book. You don’t want to wrinkle the pages of your “Complete Works of Jane Austen”.

Step 4: Walk Away

Leave it alone for a week or two before checking on them. Thin flowers like ferns and peonies may be dry at that point. Thick blossoms like roses or orchids can take up to 4 weeks, so just change the absorbent paper and keep the book closed.

Now it’s time to get creative! Make easy wall art by arranging dried botanicals between layers of clear glass for a modern look. Use glue or decoupage to create a special greeting card. The possibilities are endless. Share some of your ideas in the comments.