Pressing ferns and flowers is an ancient art style that is still being extensively incorporated in various kinds of design. If you love working with pressed flowers, I encourage you to press your own. Doing so will certainly bring out your creativity and just like any other craft, pressing flowers can be calming, stress-reducing and very fulfilling.
How to press
Pick mostly flat leaves, flowers or ferns with a low-moisture content. Make sure to gather them at their prime and freshest to ensure best results.
There are quite a lot of fine techniques for pressing flowers but basically the most common is to lay flat the foliage between two sheets of paper then place between the pages of a heavy book may it be a phone directory or any hard bound volume. Weigh the book down with blocks, rocks, bricks or some heavy wooden boards. Wait a couple of weeks about two or three and voila, You’ll be surprised to discover how you can accent almost anything using your pressed pieces.
How to Decorate/ Design using pressed flowers
There is so much you can accomplish with pressed leaves, ferns and flowers. The pieces are inexpensive to create yet they can make wonderful gifts.
1. Decorative stationary, greeting cards, photos and scrapbooks
Nature-themed stationery can be decorated with pressed flowers, ferns or leaves. There is actually no end to the variety of ways in which you can use them. You can add a natural touch to greeting cards, photos and scrapbooks. Ferns in particular can produce striking Christmas cards using the whole fern as a solo Christmas tree or snip off the fronds to make a set of trees decorated with glitters, shredded Styrofoam to serve as snow if you wish to spray your ferns in white for a White Christmas. Attach them to a folded handmade paper card or just mount them on felt or parchment.
2. Decorated Glass Jars and Bottles
As much as possible, use only flat flowers and leaves such as rose petals. You can achieve a much better result if the flowers will press completely against the glass. Glass jars can make appealing containers for spices, tea bags, craft materials such as beads and pebbles. You can also use them to hold flowers for a nice centerpiece.
3. Decorated gourds or squash
Decoupage gourds or squash using pressed ferns and flowers. The gourds are arched so it is great to aim for a natural flowing look by choosing elegantly curved tendrils or strands and leaves in your decoupage. You can finish you pieces by embellishing them with other charms or bordering the rim with woven rattan or dried pine needles.
4. Accented walls, shelves, lampshades, candles, tables, windows etc
Almost any furnishings can be decorated with sprays of pressed flowers. For instance, some wooden tables have glasses on top so aside from putting family pictures beneath, you can accent them with pressed ferns and flowers. Decorate a plain lampshade, bare wall and other furniture with leaves and fronds for a natural look. You may wish to go further by framing the ferns and hanging them on the wall.
5. Adorned jewelries, key chains and other charms
Be creative with your design and don't be afraid to experiment. Mount ferns and flowers on wood or glass earrings or key chains. Seal them off then polish with coats of lacquer or varnish.