Pressing Flowers with Skaam
By Simoné Griessel, Owner of Skaam
What better way to treasure a special bunch of flowers than by pressing them and exploring creative ideas. Whilst spending most of our time at home there is no better time to switch off and bond with family and close friends than with flower preservation. Step out of the rush and meditate with nature.
There are a few methods to preserve flowers at home, the best being in an old school telephone book. First things first! Grab your hat, a basket, a pair of scissors and head to the garden!
Here’s a few tips to remember when harvesting:
1. Choose Colourful Flowers – Flower preservation does fade them ever so slightly, so it is best to choose colourful, bright flowers to ensure your end product does have some bright colours to it. However, it is personal preference – some people prefer natural and neutral colours.
2. Harvest Late Morning – Pick your flowers when they are dry with as little moisture as possible. The more moisture, the higher the chances of mould, trust me, this can be heart-breaking! I usually take paper towel and gently remove any moisture still left on the flower before pressing.
3. Pick Perfect Flowers – Choose flowers with little to no blemishes or tears as blemishes become more apparent during the process. Also, make sure they are bug free!
4. Pick flowers with Flat Buds – Flowers with a thick centre need to be deconstructed (press the petals separately and cut the centre in half), you can reconstruct the flower once preserved.
My top picks for flowers that are best/easiest to preserve:
⁃ Baby’s Breath
⁃ Roses (A perfect example of a flower that needs to be deconstructed before preserving)
Pressing your flowers/greenery:
The easiest and most effective way to preserve flowers without a flower press is with a book. Preferably an older book (telephone books are best!). You want to press your flowers as fresh as possible to ensure they keep their shape & most of their colour during the preservation process.
1. Start by cutting up some parchment/baking paper slightly smaller than the size of your book. You’ll be placing the flowers between two sheets of parchment paper.
2. Remove the lower leaves from your flower stems and place the flowers between the parchment paper in your book.
3. Spread your flowers out – Leave at least 6-8 pages in between and spread your flowers out. This will avoid a moisture build up and prevent mould from forming.
Tip: Don’t preserve them all the same. Press some flowers with stems and some without, place some flowers on their sides and some facing down. This will give you a variety of flower shapes to work with.
4. Place a few books on top of your book, that contains the flowers, to ensure they press as flat as possible. We still want some airflow, so don’t go too wild.
5. Check your book after 4-5 days and replace the parchment paper if necessary. Only if the paper is damp.
6. You can remove your preserved flowers after 2 weeks. They should be sliding off the parching paper with ease, otherwise, remove them gently with a pair of tweezers if they are sticking to the paper.
7. Store your preserved flowers in an airtight container and in a cool dry place until you are ready to play around with them.
It’s time to explore some creative ideas with your preserved flowers!
There are a variety of creative ways to use your preserved flowers. I wanted to explore a modern method to showcase memories and the beauty of nature in a hardwood, locally made Skaam float frame.
Here are some DIY ideas for your preserved flowers:
1. Cards: Create a beautifully preserved flower card, whether it’s for Mother’s Day, a birthday or just to tell someone how special they are to you.
2. Decorate your home-baked cookies: Place your preserved edible flowers on the cookies as soon as they are out the oven. Slightly press down so they adhere. The heat will bond the delicate petals to the surface.
3. Bookmarks: Pick a longer stem preserved flower. Using a glue-stick, stick your flower to a hand cut bookmark (ideal size is 4 x 12 cm), punch a hole at the top and add a ribbon of your choice. To personalise it even further you can write a special note at the back and laminate your bookmark to ensure it lasts.
4. Frame them: Purchase a DIY kit online from Skaam and we’ll send you a frame size and timber of your choice with all the bits and bobs you’ll need to create your very own art piece at home.
Have fun creating and remember to share your creations with us.
Visit our website and explore our services – www.skaam.co.za