Flower Pressing for Children

<h2>How to Use a Flower Press & What to Create with Pressed Flowers</h2>

<h3>The Lifetime of a Cut Flower</h3>

It’s fun to pick flowers and put them in a vase with some water. They look pretty and give off a nice smell. However, flowers don’t last for very long when you display them this way. After a few days, they begin to wilt and die.

<h3>A Way to Keep Flowers Longer</h3>

There is a way to preserve flowers so that they last for many years. This way is known as pressing flowers with a flower press. After the flowers are picked, they are squeezed between two flat surfaces. This removes all of the moisture from them. Once they are dried, you can use pressed flowers in all kinds of arts and crafts projects. You can decorate greeting cards and wreaths with them. You can create a suncatcher for your window, or a picture to hang on your wall. You can even make flowercicles with them!

We are going to talk about all of the wonderful things you can do with pressed flowers. First, you need to know a little bit about the process.

People have been pressing flowers for many years. They used to put flowers between the pages of heavy books. Then they would put more heavy books on top of those books. Now, there is a better way. You don’t have to have stacks of books all around your house! There are devices called flower presses that will help you preserve the blossoms you pick.

To get good results, you need to know which kinds of flowers are best for pressing.

<h3>Seasonal Flowers in the U.S. That Are Ideal for Flower Pressing</h3>

There are so many kinds of flowers. There are wildflowers and ones that grow in gardens. Are they all good for pressing? The answer is, “no.”

The best flowers for pressing are ones that have a single layer of petals. Some good ones are listed below. If you don’t know the names of all the flowers you see, don’t worry! Just pick ones that are flat (like violets), not fat (like big roses).

Flowers that press well include:

  • Asters
  • Black-Eyed Susans
  • California Poppies
  • Cosmos
  • Dahlias
  • Daisies
  • Delphiniums
  • Feverfew
  • Forget-Me-Nots
  • Geraniums
  • Gladiolus
  • Goldenrod
  • Larkspur
  • Lily-Of-The-Valley
  • Miniature Roses
  • Pansies
  • Queen Anne’s Lace
  • Sweet Alyssum

Green plants known as foliage also press well. These include ferns and Dusty Miller. 

Flowers that do not press well include:

  • coneflowers
  • peonies
  • lilies
  • large roses

Pressing flowers is a good way to learn about the names of flowers!

If you happen to pick a flower that does not do well in the flower press, that’s ok. Nature gives us many beautiful flowers. You can try other kinds.

<h3>Tips and Tricks</h3>

When to pick flowers

Pressing flowers dries them out. It removes all of the moisture from them. It does that so that they will last a long time.

You should start out with flowers that are as dry as they can be. Cut them late in the morning, after the dew has dried. Dew drops are tiny drops of water that form on flowers and leaves during the night. Have you ever looked out early in the morning and noticed that the grass was sparkling? It was sparkling with dew drops! If you pick flowers early in the morning, they will have dew drops on them. They won’t press well. Once the dew dries, though, it’s safe to collect flowers.

Don’t pick flowers after it has rained, either. Remember: the dryer, the better.

How to pick flowers

You will need a safety scissors and something to put the flowers in once you cut them, like a basket. A ruler would be good to have, too.

Only pick flowers that are in full bloom. Their petals should not be damaged. Collect blossoms that look very good.

When you see a flower you like, cut its stem with the scissors. Make sure what you cut will fit in your flower press. (Check the size of the press before you go out to pick.)

If you want your pressed flowers to stay colorful, choose ones that are yellow, white or orange. Flowers that are purple or red tend to fade. They will still be pretty, but they won’t be as colorful. Ferns will also fade.

Once you have some flowers picked, it’s time to use the flower press! In fact, you should put the flowers in the press right away.

<h3>How a Flower Press Works</h3>

 In a press, flowers are pressed – or squeezed – between two pieces of wood, or something else that’s strong. All that pressing makes the flowers very dry, so that they’ll last a long time. The flat pieces of the flower press are connected with pieces of metal called bolts and wingnuts.

In addition to the flower press, you will need paper to absorb liquid from the flowers. (*Absorb means it soaks up something that’s wet.) This can be parchment, tissue paper or paper towels.

Here is how to use the press:

  1. Take off the top layer by unscrewing the wingnuts.
  2. Put some of the absorbent paper in the press.
  3. Place the flowers you’ve picked on top of the absorbent paper. Don’t pile them on top of each other. Keep them separate.
  4. Place more absorbent paper over the flowers.
  5. Put the top layer back on. Screw the wingnuts so that the layers are tightly together.

Now comes the hard part. You will have to wait for about a month. That is so the flowers can be really, really dry. While you are waiting, though, you can plan all of the things that you will do with the pressed flowers!

<h3>Ideas and Inspiration for What You Can Do with Your Pressed Flowers</h3>

Once the month has passed, you can open your flower press. Unscrew wingnuts. Lift off the top surface. Gently lift off the absorbent paper. Your flowers will not look just like they did when you picked them. That’s ok. Pressed flowers are pretty in a different way from fresh flowers.

Now comes the exciting part.You are ready to make things with your pressed flowers!

Pressed flowers can break apart easily, so you have to be very careful when you pick them up. A good idea is to pick them up with tweezers.

For any of your projects:

  • You can use white glue (like Elmer’s) to glue the flowers down.
  • Once you glue them down, you can’t move them. Arrange them the way you like first, then glue them down.
  • Once you finish a project, you can spray something called a sealer on it to make it last as long as possible. (Ask a parent to get you some.) The spraying should be done outside, or somewhere there is a lot of air.

Make a wreath

You will need:

  • a paper plate
  • paint
  • safety scissors
  • glue
  • a stapler
  • a 6” long piece of string


  • Cut the round center out of the paper plate.
  • Paint the paper plate a pretty color.
  • Fold the string in half.
  • Turn the plate over and staple the folded string to the back of the plate, so that it makes a loop.
  • You will use this loop to hang the wreath on a wall or a door.
  • When the paint is dry, place your flowers on the paper plate.
  • Glue them in place. You have a wreath!

Decorate a greeting card

You will need:

  • glue
  • scissors
  • markers or crayons
  • a piece of thick paper (like construction paper)


  • Figure out how big you want the card to be.
  • Cut the thick paper so that when you fold it in half, it is the size you want.
  • Then write a message on front of the card. You could say:
    • Happy Mother’s Day!
    • Happy Birthday!
    • Get Well
    • Have a Nice Day!
    • Merry Christmas!
    • or something else
  • Glue flowers on the front of the card.
  • Now you are ready to write a message and your name on the inside and give it to someone!

Make a flower picture

You will need:

  • a piece of paper or cardboard
  • glue


  • Put your pressed flowers on the paper or cardboard in a way that looks good. (You get to decide what looks good!)
  • Glue the flowers down.

You can frame your flower art and:

  • hang it on a wall
  • put it on a shelf or just prop it up against something.

Just make sure it can be seen and enjoyed!

Make a glass picture

You will need:

  • a piece of glass that fits in a frame
  • a frame
  • glue


  • Arrange your flowers on the glass.
  • When you like how they look, glue them down.
  • Put them in a frame with the glass toward the front of the frame. (If you use the right glue, it will disappear when it dries.) Be careful when you handle the glass. You might want to have a parent do it for you.

Decorate a frame

You will need:

  • a frame
  • glue


  • Glue pressed flowers onto the front of the frame.
  • You can put them in a few places or cover the entire front of the frame with them.

Decorate a gift card

When you give a gift to someone, you put it in a gift bag or wrap it in pretty paper. Then you add a gift card that says who the gift is for and who it is from. Instead of using gift cards from the store, you can make your own!

You will need:

  • a thick piece of paper or construction paper
  • flowers
  • glue
  • safety scissors
  • a pen or marker
  • a hole puncher
  • a ruler
  • a piece of ribbon


  • Cut the paper into a small size (2” by 4” is good).
  • Use the hole puncher to punch a hole in one corner.
  • Write “To:” and “From:” on the card. Leave some space after each word for names.
  • Glue flowers onto other parts of the card.
  • Put the ribbon through the hole and tie it. Leave the ends free so that you can tie it around the handle of a gift bag, or around the bow on a box.

Decorate a phone case

You will need

  • a clear cover that fits your phone


  • Put the pressed flowers down on the inside of the case.
  • Once they look good, snap the phone into the case. You don’t even have to glue the flowers!

Make a bookmark

You will need:

  • a piece of thick paper (like construction paper) or thin cardboard
  • safety scissors
  • a hole puncher
  • ribbon
  • some clear adhesive material (Contac is one brand)


  • Cut the paper or cardboard so that it is 2” by 7”.
  • Arrange flowers on the bookmark and glue them down.
  • Cover the bookmark with the clear adhesive. Do this by cutting a piece that is 5” by 7”. Lay the adhesive over the top of the bookmark and press it down gently. Then turn the bookmark over and lay the ends of the adhesive down on the other side of it.
  • Use a hole punch to punch a corner near one end. This will be the top.
  • Tie a pretty ribbon in the hole.
  • Now you have a bookmark you made yourself!

Make a suncatcher

You will need:

  • a piece of thin cardboard (think enough that you can cut it)
  • safety scissors
  • clear adhesive material


  • Cut a circle out of the cardboard.
  • Then cut a circle out of that circle, so that what you have left looks like a ring.
  • Place the ring on a piece of adhesive that is facing up, so that the cardboard sticks to the adhesive.
  • Place flowers on the adhesive, inside the ring. They will stick right away, so it’s a good idea to test your design on a piece of paper before you put the flowers on the adhesive. Leave some space in between the flowers. This is to let the sun come through.
  • Put another piece of adhesive over the flowers and the ring, so that they are between two see-through layers.
  • Using the scissors, trim around the ring.

Hang this in the window and the sun will shine through it, making the flowers look beautiful! You can also give it to someone as a gift. It’s a nice idea to write your name on the cardboard ring, too. That way, everyone will know who the artist is.

Create a necklace

You will need:

  • a piece of sturdy paper or cardboard
  • paint
  • safety scissors
  • a hole puncher
  • glue
  • spray sealant
  • a string or ribbon


  • Cut a small circle out of the cardboard.
  • Punch a hole in one end of the circle.
  • Paint the circle a pretty color.
  • Glue some pressed flowers onto it (don’t block the hole).
  • Fold the string or ribbon in half so that it forms a loop where it is folded. Push that loop through the hole. Then take the ends of the string to the other side of the circle and put them through the loop.
  • Making sure that you can fit the necklace over your head, tie the ends of the string together.
  • Spray the necklace with a sealant. This will help protect it.

Use your imagination when you create your necklace. You could:

  • add glitter to it
  • Use a string of beads instead of string or ribbon
  • Make it for your mom by gluing a small picture of her in the middle of the circle and gluing flowers around it. (This would be a great Mother’s Day gift!)

Create flowersicles

You will need:

  • popsicle sticks
  • paint
  • glue


  • Paint the popsicle sticks. You could use green paint to make them look like flower stems. Or, you could use any color of paint that you like.
  • Once the paint is dry, glue flowers onto the ends of the sticks.

Flowersicles look great in a vase!

Make Christmas tree ornaments

You will need:

  • cardboard thin enough to cut
  • paint
  • glue
  • spray sealant
  • a hole puncher
  • ribbon


Cut circles or other shapes out of the cardboard.

  • Paint them on both sides.
  • Punch a hole near the edge of each one.
  • Glue flowers onto one side of the cardboard.
  • Spray with sealant.
  • Fold the ribbon in half so that it forms a loop where it is folded. Push that loop through the hole. Then take the ends of the ribbon to the other side of the circle and put them through the loop.
  • Leaving enough room so that it will fit over the branch of a Christmas tree, tie the ends of the ribbon together.

Create…anything you can think of!

The ideas listed above are only a start. Pressed flowers can be used to make or decorate many things. They add beauty and a touch of nature to all kinds of objects. With a little bit of glue and a lot of imagination, you can find new things to create with pressed flowers.

<h3>And Finally…</h3>

Now you know:

  • What pressed flowers are
  • How to use a flower press
  • The flowers that are best for pressing
  • When and how to pick flowers
  • What you can create with pressed flowers

Many people enjoy pressing flowers and making beautiful things with them. Now that you know how, you can, too!