Another very common and easy way to preserve flowers for future use as far as drying goes is just simple pressing.
Pressing amounts to putting flowers or foliage between sheets of some type of absorbent material, be it newspaper, some type of artboard or, as many of us did in our gradeschool days, use a simple phone book to press especially foliage.
The flowers and other material is, again, harvested at it's peak quality and in the case of the phone book press, it's nothing more simple than putting material between the pages of the phone book.
Here we have a fern and the pages are just folded over you can keep on layering more foliage between the pages and when you get all said and done basically closing the book and putting some type of the heavy weight righton top of it and leaving it there for several weeks.
In the process, the moisture is absorbed by the pages of the phone book and you can open it up and pull out your dried leaves.
Flowers can also be dried by simple pressing and it's just a matter of preparing the flower, and, again, utilizing some type of material that you place the flower on that's absorbent and leaving it there for a length of time to allow the plant material to dry.
In the case of pressing, especially when you're talking about flowers, you're going to end up with something that's kind of one-dimensional or flat and oftentimes these materials are used in picture collages, notecards, bookmarks, that kind of thing so these are going to be very one-dimensional, flat, but they will still retain their overall shape and form and oftentimes the colors.
The colors in regards to pressing flowers, the darker the colors usually end up with a darker colored flower.
They tend to get a little bit mauve colored or dark shades, that kind of thing.
Lighter colored flowers lik the whites and yellows and that kind of thing will retain their colors.
There's nothing easier than putting this material on an absorbent piece of paper, this happens to be a heavy piece of artboard, and then folding a piece of, in this case, newspaper right over the top and then putting something over the top of that that's stiff and firm such as this piece of cardboard and here again we're going to apply weights to this material and leave it there for several weeks at which time when you uncover this thing the flowers will be dried, flat, pressed and ready for use in a picture or notecard or bookmark, however you choose.
So this is a way in which you can do it at home.
The classic way of pressing flowers was always done with a plant press.
You see one right over here.
Basically several sheets of material are put between this plant press, which then is equipped with these screws that apply pressure to this whole system.
That's left there for certain length of time to dry the material and then you can just pick out what you need out of this plant press reclamp it down and you can store material here as well as use from it.
As you can see right here we've got some material that has been dried for quite awhile in this case foliage off an astilbe and this was using the classic plant press.
We can see how they turn out.
Very flat, very smooth, very dry.
These can then be either used in their entirety or broken apart and used parts of to reconstruct a flower, if you will, if you're doing a picture or whatever might have you.
Pressing flowers: very simple, very easy to do and you can do a wide variety of plant material.