I got this idea from my six-year-old niece who loves to collect things from nature: twigs, flower petals, dirt, leaves, etc. She makes “potions” most of the time. But occasionally, when she finds flowers that are spectacular (like dandelions!) she will press them for a project.
There are many ways to press and dry flowers. Some are more appropriate for older children, or for younger children who are supervised.
Using a heavy book:
Step 1: gather flowers that are clean and dry *some instructions say to gather in morning when wet with dew as this aids in pressing and if you wait until later in the day flowers are more prone to fading. Other instructions say the opposite. Experiment!
Step 2: open a heavy book to the middle pages and place parchment paper on either side. You can also try coffee filters.
Step 3: put flowers in between the parchment sheets and close the book.
Step 4: close the book and wait. Flowers should be ready in 7-10 days. If they aren’t you may need to change the filters.
Ok, for those of you whose children can’t wait 7-10 days (um, everyone?)
Press flowers with an iron (from BHG.com):
Heat an iron to a low setting. Empty any water from the iron and do not add water. You do not want to add moisture with steam.
Prepare the flower for pressing by placing it between two sheets of absorbent paper. Flatten the flower with a heavy book first, then press the warm iron on top of the upper sheet of paper for 10 to 15 seconds. You don’t need to make a gliding motion as if ironing. Wait for the paper to cool for another 10 to 15 seconds, then repeat. Check occasionally by very carefully lifting the paper to see if the flower is stiff and dry.
When flowers are dried, you can use them for collages or notecards/invitations, posters,