When you buy a house you make a wish list; big kitchen, garden, roof, that type of thing but you don't often put awesome neighbours on your list. Well as luck would have it I have awesome neighbours either side of me. In fact the other week my lovely neighbours, (David & Scott), gifted me some lovely bulbs that turned into beautiful flowers. When I was little I had a flower press and seeing the flowers I was inspired to make myself a new flower press, so I did. I happened to have a few squares of plywood knocking around, yes my house is cluttered but these things are lying around and I do use them, eventually I will use them all.....eventually!
you will need;
4 long bolts
4 butterfly nuts
a drill and drill bit
a craft knife
white acrylic paint
2 squares of thick plywood
|(I got really excited & drilled holes and painted my ply white before a real before pic, trust me you didn't miss much )|
1. I already had 2x20cm squares of thick plywood but that is a good size as you need the pressure to press the flowers, if you go too big you won't get that. You can use other wood but make it a hardwood as softwoods will not give you enough pressure to press the flowers. Drill 4 holes a couple of cms in from the corners.
2. Sand the wood and give one side of each wooden square a couple of coats of white acrylic paint an allow to dry. When dry use your sharpie to draw a nice pattern on the top of one of the wooden squares. Why, because it looks nice and it is a little bit blogger to use a sharpie in your craft projects.
3. Cut several squares of corrugated cardboard, I still had some of my moving boxes from 6 months ago, (please don't judge me). In between each layer of card you need to cut 2 squares of thick cartridge paper. You can use blotting paper or sugar paper but you get really pretty ghost prints from the flowers you press so it is nice to use cartridge paper and get arty with it afterwards.
4. Once you have all of your squares ready cut the corners off so that they will fit into your press, remember you have the bolts to account for!
5. You are now ready to start assembling your press with the flowers inside. The fresher the better. Start with a layer of card, then paper, then place a flower in the centre, like so.
6. You now need to top this with a further layer of paper, like this.
7. Then another piece of cardboard, like so.
8. And repeat this process until you have used all of your flowers.
9. Then you need to place your wooden top on and begin to twist the butterfly bolts, like this.
10. Then you need to apply equal pressure. You do this by twisting in small increments, then twist the butterfly nut on the opposite corner the same amount. Do this to all 4 corners working your way around slowly until it looks like this.
11. As you twist and compress you will hear crunching and snapping noises, this is the sound of your flowers crying out in pain, move past this the results will be pretty. Over time you will need to keep tightening the press. Now be patient it takes about a month. If you are impatient you can check and then repress if they are not fully dried. Handle pressed flowers with care they are delicate.