I’m an avid collector of many things, but old books are one of my favourites. I’ve found many treasures tucked inside yellowing, musty pages, including some flattened Easter-egg wrappers from the 1940s, a birthday note from an aunt to a favourite niece, and best of all, several beautiful pressed flowers.
When I was a child I used to press flowers with my Grandma, and I remember never having enough patience to wait the weeks and weeks before the flowers were completely dried and pressed. Luckily for me, while I was researching this project, I discovered that there are several methods of pressing flowers, some of which allow you to cheat, so you dont have to wait forever and ever before they are ready. This is good news for me, as I still have as much patience as a five-year-old!
My favourite flowers to press are wattle, as the flowers retain their beautiful yellow colour and perfect round shape. The leaves are delicate and such a pretty grey-green colour. I also love roadside weeds – they take on a whole new delicate feel once pressed. Plus there are winter blooms like magnolias and some rhododendrons!
YOU WILL NEED
Flowers/foliage. Ones with flat petals are best, and i like pansies, geraniums, flowering weeds – anything pretty and dainty
Book/iron/microwave. What you use depends on which method you choose
Paper or card. Try blotting paper, coffee filter paper of several layers of tissue paper.
Notes: Flowers should preferably be freshly picked to prevent browning.
Don’t pink your flowers too early in the morning as they will still have dew on them . The extra dew may cause them to go mouldy during the pressing process.
Flowers should have just bloomed, or be about to bloom. If they are to mature, they will lose their petals.
If the flowers have obvious stamens, remove them before pressing.
You can find a more detailed break down of instructions inside Sunshine Spaces, out now through all good booksellers – or buy online here!
Beci Orpin is about to embark on a series of book event/workshops around Australia, including in Mornington, Adelaide, Byron Bay, Brisbane, and Sydney, before heading to the US. Also stay tuned for her next publication, a kid’s book through Scribble.