I’ve always been interested by the idea of pressing flowers, the results look so pretty. I hadn’t tried it until recently though, since using a traditional flower press can be such a long and drawn out process. Recently we were sent a microwave flower press to try out, and this speeds up the drying and pressing process so much, and makes flower pressing much more accessible for children to use in crafting. We used our pressed flowers to make some Springtime sun catchers to liven up our windows and I’m sure we will use it in many more projects to come.
This is the flower press that we used, the Instant Flower Press (aff) from Interplay’s My Living World range. (RRP £9.99)
This really was super simple using the Interplay instant flower press. You just place your flower down onto the cotton pad. If the flower has been picked from very damp ground, you may want to leave it to dry out a little before using – up to 1 hour in damp weather. There will be no need for this step during warmer Spring days, or in Summer time.
Once your flower is positioned neatly in the flower press, use the hinge pins to close and place it in the microwave for 20 seconds, along with a half cup of water. The water is to prevent any singeing of the flower, and an adult should supervise this since water can become hot inside the microwave. It’s best to change the water every 20 seconds when you check on the flowers to prevent it the water temperature from building up too much.
Larger flowers may take a little longer to be fully pressed and dried, so open up the press after each 20 second turn in the microwave and check how they are getting on. If they need a little more time, just swap the water and put them back for another 20 seconds. Repeat as needed.
You will find that flowers with a flatter shape work better, and very large 3 dimensional flowers can be quite tricky to press. We did try with a daffodil just to experiment and it worked fine but the results are not as pleasing as with a flatter flower.
Once you have a selection of pressed flowers, you can make all kinds of fun crafts.
- Paper plate (coloured or pre-painted is best. Ours was painted yellow on another day)
- Contact paper / sticky back plastic
- A selection of your pressed flowers
- Scrap of paper and black marker pen (optional)
How to make a pressed flowers sun catcher
First, cut a large whole into your paper plate so that you’re left with only a narrow border and plenty of space to stick your pressed flowers.
Then, stick your paper plate border down onto a square of contact paper / sticky back plastic so that you have a sticky surface facing upwards, for children to add the flowers. You want the front of the paper plate to be facing downwards, as you will be working from the back.
Let the kids stick down the pressed flowers onto the sticky surface. The flowers can be quite fragile so they will need to work carefully to make sure they don’t rip any of the petals. A little overlap between flowers is fine, and they don’t need to be lined up perfectly straight.
If you want to, add a scrap of paper with the date or just the year written on it, as a nice keep sake.
The Interplay Instant Flower Press is really handy for making seasonal crafts like this. The kit is recommended for age 8+, but younger children can also join in crafting with pressed flowers as long as the craft is done together with an adult and the adult operates the microwave for them.