Saturday, 1 June 2013

Flower pressing; Modern style

...using a microwave oven....


 ....on Wednesday I showed you how to press flowers the traditional way, but if you are impatient like me, and don't want to wait 4 weeks for your results, the more modern technique of drying and pressing flowers in the microwave oven gives more instant results....

Today I'm going to show you how I did it...



 In an effort to get little Miss Moo out and about this half term, despite the dreadful weather, We've done a lot of flower picking this week...
.....making pretty wildflower posies and pressing flowers....
Little Miss Moo loves helping Mamma with her projects, so this really has been perfect for half term.....


The weather has not really been ideal for flower pressing ....ideally you should pick flowers when its nice and dry outside...just before midday, when the morning dew has evaporated, but the heat of the day has not yet started making the flowers wilt....

.....but we decided to not let the British weather hold us back....

 

As a rule pressing flowers will distort their colours:
white will become yellow or caramel brown,
purple will become navy,
pinks will go brown and
orange or red flowers will become maroon.
But this technique using microwave will reduce the colour distortion dramatically  compared to traditional flower pressing....

 

How to make a microwaveable flower press:


All you need is 2 pieces of cardboard/hardboard approximately 20x20 cm square, 5-6 rubber bands, some paper sheets for "filling" and 3 pieces of absorbent paper/ tissue paper to fold the flowers into.....
 

I used a cheap notebook that I cut up to fit in the microwave oven.
I used the papers inside for filling, and some sketching paper for the folds to put the flowers in...
......At first I used some tissue paper to fold the flowers into, but I found it hard to remove the finished pressed flowers from the tissue, so I decided to use folds of sketching paper instead...

 

 The preparation of the flowers remains the same as with traditional flower pressing.....
....make sure your flowers are clean and dry, trim any bulky leaves off your specimen, and dissect your flowers so that they lay as flat as possible in your press....
(see my post on traditional flower pressing)
Tip: Keep the flowers in the fridge while you prepare your press...


Lay one piece of cardboard down, and cover with 3 pieces of absorbent paper...layer your prepared flowers in a fold of paper, cover with 3 pieces of paper then the second piece of cardboard on top.........

You can do several folds of flowers in one parcel....just make sure they are all of a similar size and thickness....(because some flowers take longer than others)
....take care that the flowers inside your parcel doesn't slide around, but stay put where you folded them in....
...you don't want the flowers to lay on top of each other, as they will stick together when pressed... 



Wrap the rubber bands around to hold your parcel together... 




Place in the microwave on medium heat for 1 minute....allow to cool....

 check to see if the flowers are fully dry and flat...if not pop the parcel back in the microwave for another 30 secs-1 minute....keep repeating until you are satisfied the flowers are completely dry...


Take care not to overcook , as the flowers will burn...
You might have to experiment with the timing and settings on your microwave oven, as some are more powerful than others...

 

...remove very carefully from the paper fold, as your finished pressed flowers are very fragile....

 

Microwave flower pressing really preserves the colours and hues of the flowers and foliage.....

 

When you have pressed your flowers and they have cooled down... ....transfer them onto a sheet of paper, this way they are all displayed out so you can easily choose the best of the bunch....
Now you can get creative with your arrangements...


Framing your pressed flowers....



Get creative and play around with the arrangements, before going onto the next steps...

Cut a piece of paper to fit your frame, then lightly spay with adhesive...
 
 
Then carefully arrange your flowers how you want them....

 ...wait for your adhesive spray to fully dry, before putting them  in the frame...


I decided to do some simple arrangements in these two frames.... 

 

....in keeping the traditional feel of pressed flower displays...

 
....But let Little Miss Moo loose with the rest of  the flowers for a more abstract feel....


...she is so proud of her pressed flower picture....


Thanks for popping by....

xxx

June


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I used to do this with my mother (with a dictionary) and I'd end up forgetting them after a day and find them later that year. I'm excited to try this out for nostalgic reasons! thanks for sharing!

june olsen said...

Thanks for popping by anonymous! Yes , flowerpressing is very nostalgic to me as well! a nice thing to do with kids!!

Megan Oriah said...

Do the rubber bands not melt in the microwave?

june olsen said...

Hi Megan! In the two years or so I've been using my microwave flowerpress, the rubber bands are still the original ones and have never melted in the microwave...I did use the thick office ones, though, maybe they are more robust??

Anonymous said...

Just looking to clarify if you used a microwave (rotating plate) or microwave oven (griling racks)? Thanks for this post! :)

Anonymous said...

What adhesive do you use to stick the flowers on the paper. Is there a spray that I can use to keep the flowers in tact afterwards.

"