Monday, April 1, 2013

DIY Flower Pressing/Drying in the Microwave :: Tutorial!

I am somewhat of a sentimental hoarder. I can't stand throwing away anything anyone (especially my husband) has given me, even if it is in total disrepair, or, in this case, crusty dead flowers. I love flowers. So much. My husband is like the super handsome master of flower giving. He brings me flowers semi regularly and I almost can't stand to throw them away even after they are dead, which is why I started drying mine and saving them. I've tried several different things, (hanging them up, putting them in a book and setting the couch on it for several days, etc) and you can buy a flower press, but this (imo) is faster, and basically free if you have plates and a microwave! Yay!

You Shalt Need:
: (2) Two microwave safe plates
: A microwave safe microwave
: Some sort of weight (I used a giant glass measuring cup)
: A piece of flat cotton fabric
: Scissors
: Flowers to dry!

Andddd let's go!

1. Grab your flowers. These are a week and some change old. Its easier to dry not already crusty dead flowers, and you get a prettier color when you dry them before they wilt. We like pretty, right!?

2. Pick out your lucky candidates. I try and get the really brightly-colored ones of the bunch because...again...we like pretty, right!?

3. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS. Erm. I like to cut most of the stems off, but you can just as easily leave them, if you'd like! It just helps me to handle them like this.

4. Take one of your plates, and lay your piece of fabric on it like so.

5. Then, arrange your flowers on the fabric. Arrange the petals like you like them and gently flatten them a bit with your hand.

6. Fold your cloth over...

7. ...and top with your other plate. It helps to use two identical plates, or two plates that stack flush with one another. 

8. Place your heavy object on top of your plate/cloth/flower sandwich. This just helps to press the flowers flat. I use this measuring cup because it is heavy as well as microwave safe. Don't use anything metal to weight the plates down...your microwave will throw a tantrum!! And maybe explode. O.O

9. Push down a bit to flatten everything out if it isn't already.

10. Pop everything into the microwave!

11. I set mine for two minutes, and its worked out well for most flowers. You might have to adjust depending on what flowers you use and microwave power strength, etc.

12. Do the microwave waiting dance!

13. When its done, CAREFULLY CAUSE IT BE HOT AND JUNK, remove your stack from the microwave and open it up! You now have dried flowers! I've found they retain their color lots better this way than other stuff I've tried.

NOTE: See how the cloth is kinda damp? That was a boo boo on my part...I had just washed my plates and they were still kinda wet going into the microwave (curse you, impatient brain!). DON'T DO THIS. Its not catastrophic, but it makes your flowers wet instead of dry. Double check to make sure your plates are bone dry before you do this. I just left these flowers in the sun a while to un-damp them :)

And there you go! The possibilities on this are really endless! It took me a few tries to figure out how to position the flowers and microwave times, and so forth, but after that, its not so hard! Here are a few of my most recents :

I like to tape mine to pretty paper and label them with the date or a note about when/where/why I got them. I keep them in a box with my other sentimentals.

Try it! It would be great for wedding flowers, corsages, or just because!

Much love!

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