How to Dry and Press Flowers

Dried flowers and herbs on a notebook
Paul Viant/Getty Images

By drying or pressing your fresh flowers, you can creatively save your summer blooms to be enjoyed year-round! Both dried flowers and pressed flowers can be used to make pressed flower art, fun crafts, gifts, and decorations.

Tip

When it comes to picking your flowers, no matter whether you are drying or pressing them, it is best to pick them on a dry day. Try to do it in the morning, as soon as any dew has dried. You should also try to pick your flowers just before they reach the full bloom stage. Some flowers do open more as they dry.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • A heavy book
  • Large brick or rock
  • Hanger or hook

Materials

  • Fresh flowers
  • Newspaper
  • Tissue paper

Instructions

How to Dry Flowers

  1. Prep the Flowers for Drying

    Remove unwanted leaves, divide the flowers into small bunches, and tie them together with string, yarn, or rubber bands.

  2. Hang the Flowers

    Hang the flowers upside down on a hanger or hook in a warm, dry, dark place.

    Tip

    The location you choose must be dry so the flowers won't rot, and it should be as dark as possible because too much light might make the flowers fade.

  3. Check on the Flowers

    Drying flowers usually takes a couple of weeks. However, the length of time will vary depending on the kind of flowers you are drying, the humidity, and the temperature. Check on your flowers every two to three days. They should be dry to the touch.

    Tip

    Store your dried flowers in a dark, sealed container until ready to use.

How to Press Flowers

  1. Set up Pressing Materials

    Set out a piece of cardboard that is almost the same size as your book. Lay a piece of newspaper (about the same size of your cardboard piece) on top of that, followed by a piece of tissue paper (also about the same size as your cardboard piece).

  2. Lay Out the Flowers

    Place the flowers on the tissue paper. Make sure none of the flowers touch one another or hang over the side of the tissue paper. Cover the flowers with another piece of tissue paper, then the newspaper, and then cardboard. Continue this process, one on top of the other until all your flowers are prepared.

  3. Press the Flowers

    Once your stack is done, top it off with your heavy book and the brick or stone. Allow gravity to take its toll; the process can take two to four weeks.

Illustration showing how to press flowers
Illustration: The Spruce / Theresa Chiechi