Thursday, April 5, 2012

Dorm DIY: How to Make a Portable (and Recycled) Flower Press

Ever wanted to press flowers? Spring is the perfect time of year for this craft as blooms are in abundance. Traditional flower presses consist of buying lumber, drilling holes, and assembling with screws. Or you could buy one- for a price averaging around $80. This does not exactly fit the college budget.

To make this press, I used recycled materials and common supplies. You will need:
  • enough corrugated cardboard to cut (3) rectangles 8"L x 5 1/2"W (One medium sized box will usually suffice)
  • (1) newspaper
  • scissors
  • rubber bands (the wide bands work better than the thin bands)
  • Plant material such as petals, leaves, whole flowers (flowers that flatten work better than a whole rose bud. However, plucked rose petals can be pressed)
The Method
  1. Using scissors (or a boxcutter), cut three rectangles measuring 8"L x 5 1/2"W from the corrugated cardboard.
  2. Cut the newspaper into rectangles of the same dimensions as the cardboard. Use the whole newspaper. It takes less time if you fold the newspaper before cutting it.
  3. (Optional step) You can now decorate the rectangle of cardboard that you choose to be your press's cover.
  4. Collect the plant material you want to press.
  5. Place the bottom cardboard cover down first.
  6.  Add two or more layers of newspaper on top. Then arrange some of your gathered plants onto the newspaper layers. Try to not over lap too much; all of your plants do not have to be in the first layer.
  7. Layer a few more sheets of newspaper, then more plants, and more newspaper, continuing until you have about five layers of plants. Cover your work with a second cardboard rectangle.
  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7. When you have five more layers, add the final cardboard rectangle and wrap the entire thing with three or more wide rubber bands.
  9. After a week or so, your pressed plants will be ready!
Note: You can make this press as thick or thin as you like by choosing how many layers you want based on how many plants you have to press. Keep to the model of five layers or less between two pieces of cardboard, and your project will turn out well.

Have fun!