Home » Techniques » Modge Podge » CBJ Project #3A – Three Simple Steps To Press Flowers

CBJ Project #3A – Three Simple Steps To Press Flowers

“The number one way to preserve flowers and foliage is with a phone book. Yes, you heard me right! So instead of throwing that archaic phone book in the trashcan, bring it to the table to preserve flowers.” – Susan

STEP 1 – CHOOSE: Flowers are all around us, but it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out which ones are best for pressing. In my experience the flat-petaled small flowers, such as the yellow flowered shrub, are the easiest to press flat. The flowers with the fat/thick bottoms, such as Petunias work well only if you cut that bottom part off so the connected petals can dry. The more unique flowers, such as the Red Spiky Coneflower can make spectacular dried flowers if you pluck the petals and dry individually.

Small Yellow Shrub Flower

Small Yellow Shrub Flower

Flower Red Petals Banner jpg

Unique Petals can give fabulous results

STEP 2 – PLACE: Gently place a few flowers (petal side down) on a page in the phone book. A craft spatula may be helpful in keeping the petals flattened while you carefully turn 10+ pages over on this first layer of flowers. Repeat several layers throughout the phone book, being aware that too moist of flowers or too many of flowers may not dry throughly. If you have large rubber bands, it is a great idea to put four of them around the phone book to help keep it tightly closed. Put the phone book under something heavy and leave for a few days.

Flower going into Phone Book

Phone Book Covering Flower

STEP 3 – REMOVE: A craft spatula and tweezers are very helpful with removing the dried flowers/foliage from the phone book. If the petals are squished to the paper and hard to remove, carefully slide the spatula under a petal and release gently. Remove all flowers and place on card stock to store in plastic storage bins or scrapbook paper containers.

flower spatula

Lifting Flowers with Craft Spatula

Click here to view YouTube Video “#3A How to Press Flowers”

ADDITIONAL TIPS: Picking flowers/foliage at the PEAK of the growing season is very important for best color and texture. Also if you don’t have access to fresh flowers, you can go to a the floral department of a grocery store and buy a “mixed bouquet” for under $10, which will give you many varieties to dry and press.

So, now that you know this simple process, you can snatch up some of those tiny blooms before autumn takes them from you. And then you have what it takes to go to the next project, just click on the link below.

Next up… Project #3B – Pressed Dried Flowers and Modge Podge in Your Bible?

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5 thoughts on “CBJ Project #3A – Three Simple Steps To Press Flowers

  1. One of the best sources for tiny flowers and leaves seems to be the front lawn.

    Clover and Buttercup in particular.

  2. Susan and I kind of got obsessed with pressing flowers this summer . . . something I have done for years, and I have had no problems whatsoever with pages getting stuck together either in the short or long term. I tried multiple types of gesso and matte mediums and we decided that Mod Podge was the simplest to remember when going to the store to get or ordering on Amazon.com. Pretty basic reason, but that was it.

    The following are things to consider if you are having problems or are worried about having problems.

    1 – You want to use a MATTE product not satin, semi-gloss, gloss or whatever else inside your bible. matte dries with the LEAST sticky texture. Not sticky like gum drops, sticky like the other page might cling to and eventually stick enough to be a problem.

    2 – Don’t use any more product than possible. Use a soft bristle or foam brush, so the product goes on thin and smooth.

    3 – Only put product where the flowers are going . . . maybe 1/2″ out from where you expect the flowers and leaves to go . .. after you put the flowers down only coat those flowers and maybe 1/4″ out from flowers.

    4 – If you are doing it at home and have time, let it dry a day between layers if you are really worried. Not necessary, but if you are worried it would help let the moisture evaporate from middle layers.

    5 – Don’t get in a rush. No matter how few layers, don’t get in a rush to shut your Bible. Leave it open one or more days. The longer you leave it open the more moisture will evaporate.

    6 – Don’t think laying in the sun will make it dry faster, it will make the outermost layer skim, holding IN the moisture, and it will take much longer, to really dry.

    7 – If you are past the point of having put to much product down just leave it open to that page for an extended time. If you have used a gloss medium you might try taking a large make-up brush and LIGHTLY dusting the surface with some talcum powder of some sort (maybe floral scent??) . . .test a corner of the art first to make sure you have tapped out most of the powder before you start. . . I would not do this for at least a week of leaving the Bible open to get the majority of moisture gone. The object is to get rid of the clingy nature of a gloss surface. You don’t want powder streaks on your flowers.

    I hope this relieves your fears of embellishing your Bible with some of Gods most Beautiful creations !

    One other suggestion for those reading my ramblings.

    Make sure your flowers are DRY . . I am not talking a little dry, I am talking, Press them, and then lay them on a tray for a couple days. If they don’t stay perfectly flat they were not dry enough but are perfectly ok to use after you stick them back in another book to press flat again.

    If the flowers have ANY natural moisture at all left in the flowers they will fade or turn funny colors.

    Hope everyone is having a Blessed Day

    Jackie

    1. CBJ says:

      Great tips & tricks for drying fresh flowers and using them in your bible. I hope everyone reads Jackie’s posts, as she is a wealth of information coming from our Art Department!

  3. Carol says:

    I LOVE the idea of pressed flowers in my Bible!
    I have heard that mod podge sticks the pages together over time but I’m wondering what you’d say as you have obviously had it in your Bibles for awhile now? I wonder if Matte Gel Medium or Gesso would work to seal them in… have you ever tried those?

    1. CBJ says:

      Carol, thanks for stopping by to view the Weekly Project of Modge Podging pressed flowers on Bible pages. Pressed Flowers make a refreshing addition to Bible Journaling. You pose a great question about pages sticking together. I haven’t had any problem with the one page that I have done. Jackie, my sister and head of the CBJ art department, has much more experience than I. Please read all of her suggestions and let us know if you have more questions.

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