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How to Press Sunflowers - A Step by Step Guide

So your sunflowers are in full bloom and you’re thinking, ‘Gee, I’d love to keep these flowers year round”. Well, I have good news for you… there IS a way!
You can PRESS THEM! Pressing flowers is a great way to preserve the natural beauty of the nature that surrounds us.
Here’s a step by step guide with pictures how to press a Sunflower.

How to press sunflowers - A step by step guide with photos by Pressed Wishes

 

1.) Pick your Sunflowers while they’re at their peak

As tempting as it is to just enjoy your Sunflowers while they're in full beauty, it’s very important to press the flower while it’s still healthy & vibrant, with little to no bruising on the petals. This is to help ensure the flower comes out of the press in the best condition possible. Try to pick the flower when it is dry, and with no bugs.

how to press sunflowers - you must pick the flowers while they are at their peak

2.) Lets talk flower presses.

We’ve tried and tested several methods over the years and we’ve found working with a traditional flower press is the way to go. Simple. Straightforward. Great results.
A traditional flower press consists of 80 pound blotting paper and cardboard. The blotting paper sucks up the moisture in the flower, while the cardboard allows air to flow through, helping to ensure your pressed flowers stay mould free!
The flower press itself is typically made of a wooden base and wooden top, as well as 2-4 long bolts and wingnuts. The cardboard and blotting paper are sandwiched in between the top and bottom pieces of wood.

 A traditional flower press by Pressed Wishes. Available to purchaseWe have made several traditional flower presses. This flower press is available for sale. Please contact us directly if interested in purchasing one. 

3.) Let's start pressing. 

Start with a single piece of cardboard with a single piece of blotting paper on top. 

 How to press sunflowers in a traditional flower press using 80 pound blotting paper and cardboard

4.) Pick the Petals off the centre.

Why would you pick the petals off??!? This is because the centre of a sunflower is so much thicker than its petals. If you were to press the sunflower as a whole, the centre would press and the petals would just shrivel up into a yellow-brown mess. So, you must pick the petals off the centre and press them separately.
Lay your (dry) petals out on the piece of blotting paper like little soldiers, making sure none are touching. We typically like to press our petals face-side down.

 How to press sunflowers - a step by step guide. You must remove the petals from the centre

5.) Make a Sunflower Sandwich

Once the sheet of blotting paper is full of sunflower petals, place another sheet of blotting paper on top. Then cardboard. Then another piece of blotting paper and repeat.
Think of it as though you’re making a ‘sunflower sandwich’.
Cardboard - blotting paper - sunflower petals - blotting paper - cardboard - blotting paper - sunflower petals - blotting paper - repeat.

 how to press flowers in a traditional flower press

Image taken from: https://www.finegardening.com/article/pressing-flowers

6.) Press the Centre.

Once you’ve plucked and placed all your sunflower petals like little soldiers on the blotting paper, you can press the centre on a separate layer of paper, which will be included in the press with the petals.
Sometimes, we press the centre completely separately in a microwave press. (That’s a ‘How to” for another day)

 

7.) Put everything inside the flower press.

Place your blotting paper/cardboard/sunflowers onto the base of the flower press, then put the lid on. 

 how to press sunflowers - place your cardboard and blotting paper in the flower press

8.) Screw on the wing nuts.

This is a very important step! Snug the wing nuts down on the flower press. Please, PLEASE whatever you do.. DO NOT over tighten them!
The flower needs to let the moisture in the petals release on its own. So snug up the wing nuts to the lid and leave it. Check the next day if the lid as gone down, if so snug up the wing nuts again.

 how to press a sunflower - screw down the wingnuts but dont overtighten

9.) Check your flowers after a week.

Voila! After 7 days, your petals and centre should be pressed. Check them. If they feel dry to the touch, they are done. If not, leave them in the press to continue drying for a couple more days and check back later.

 

** Once the flowers are done drying, you have pressed your sunflower. Now, it is in more than one piece. From here, we typically reassemble the flower using white glue.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let us know below! 

Happy Pressing! 

 


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