Make your own flower press (or use a stack of heavy books) to create a set of gorgeous pressed flowers. We'll show you how to turn fresh flowers into flat blooms that still have the original colors and patterns. Once you have a collection of pretty pressed flowers, use them to decorate a pretty handmade Mother's Day card for Mom.
To make your own flower press, drill a 1/4-inch hole in each corner of two plywood squares. Connect the squares with bolts and wing nuts. As shown, you can sandwich several flowers in a single press; the length of bolts depends on how many layers you press at a time. Cut squares of cardboard, blotting paper, and garden fabric to fit the press, trimming corners to allow room for the bolts. If you don't have the materials to create a flower press, you can put flowers in between sheets of blotting paper and place them in between the pages of a large book; stack several other books on top of this book to press the flowers.
Collect several fresh flowers to press; if you're cutting flowers from the garden, pick them after the dew has dried so they're moisture free. Use a fine paintbrush to brush out any bugs or small grains of dirt. If you aren't going to press the flowers right away, stand them in a vase of water until you're ready. Before pressing, snip off the stem of each flower as close to the petals as you can.
Sandwich a cardboard square, blotting paper, garden fabric, flowers (facedown), another piece of garden fabric, blotting paper, and cardboard. Place the pages in the press (or under a pile of stacked books) and adjust the wing nuts to make the press tight, but not too tight. Write down which flowers you're pressing and dates on the press; place in a warm, dry place with low humidity. Tighten the press slightly every few days. Check the flowers occasionally (view them through the garden fabric).
With tweezers or a crafts knife, position a pressed flower facedown on a ceramic surface, such as the back of a plate. Brush glue on the flower, being sure to cover the entire surface.
Use a brush to lift the flower and set it in place on a card. Be gentle; once a flower is coated with glue, it becomes especially fragile. Press the flower in place, blotting excess glue with a tissue. Arrange additional flowers as desired. Let dry overnight. If the edges of the flowers aren't adhered, ease glue under them with a small brush. Send the finished cards for special correspondence, or frame them, placing them out of direct sunlight.