Flower pressing can be one of the most wonderful ways of getting creative and extending the enjoyment of the plants in your garden, and beyond.


An age-old tradition, which was likely brought over to these shores from Japan in the 1800s, but pressed flowers can be traced way back to ancient Egypt.

Pressed flowers from JamJar
Flowers pressed by Jam Jar Flowers © Andrew Montgomery

Different to drying flowers, pressing flowers is a way of preserving a flower or plant. Flower presses have not really changed much, and essentially work by flattening the plant between sheaths of cardboard and paper. Using a flower press is probably the easiest, least messy way of pressing flowers, but you can, of course, press them between almost anything flat and porous (books?).

How to press flowers

Read our piece from Jam Jar Flowers for more on pressing flowers. But below is a step-by-step guide.

  • Find the flowers you wish to press. This is a little more complicated than it sounds, and it is important that you have permission to take the flowers, and also that whatever you are taking is not doing damage to the plant, the surrounding eco-system, or is a rare specimen. Your choice of flower is also worth thinking of in terms of which flowers might press best: some flowers work better in presses than others. Delicate flowers, such as fennel, cosmos, poppies, geums and everlasting sweet peas are ideal.
  • Press fresh: flowers for pressing should be as fresh as possible and dry (not dewy).
  • Place and arrange on your flower press paper. Use tweezers, or something pointed to arrange them. Don't forget that once the second piece of paper is on, it's hard to open it up and rearrange. You want to try to arrange the bloom so it will flatten in the way you want it to look on the paper.
  • Place the second piece of paper over the top, putting pressure over it. Put the lid onto your flower press and screw down hard.
  • The less moisture the better. Leaving space around the flower helps the paper to draw out moisture.
  • Press for weeks. The flowers should be left inside the press for four to six weeks until the paper and the flowers are perfectly dry.

Flower press: the best to buy

Suziko Flower Press, Flower Press Kit

Flower pressing kit

Let's start with a full blown flower pressing kit. This Suziko flower press kit offers pretty much everything you might need to press flowers. Included in the flower press kit are all the tools such as wooden pressing plates, 30 pieces of lining paper, a pair of scissors, ziplock bags, tweezers, a craft knife, sponges and more. You can have up to six layers of flowers being pressed at the same time and the press is fairly compact, meaning you can quite easily take it outdoors. The press itself is made from hardwood and works without bolts, which can sometimes make your pressing uneven.

Suziko Large Flower Press with Photo Frame

Flower press

This very stylish flower press is a traditional method press, using bolts and nuts. It's 30 cm by 22 cm which is a fairly large space to press your flowers. This is also a kit, which contains 30 lining papers, 6 drying plates, sponges, ziplock bags, envelope bags, tweezers and more. You should find everything you need for your flower pressing adventure and we particularly like the chic dark design on the front.

Microfleur 9" microwave flower press

Flower press

While this doesn't really make the grade in terms of the traditional flower aesthetic, the Microfleur flower press may yet be an investment. With this flower press you can press flowers on the same day you pick them, by using the microwave. Coming in at 81 square inches, the flowers are pressed between cotton liners, two wool pads and two vented platens, held together by clips. It works by putting it in short bursts into the microwave and the cotton liners are washable, which means you can use them again and again.

More like this

Flower press wooden

Flower press

A great option that's not too hard on the wallet, this wooden flower press measures at 25cm at its widest part and includes plywood and 16 pieces of card inbetween for the pressing. This simple press is great for children to get started and has an attractive laser cut design. It's large enough for some fairly big blooms, too.

Heirloom wooden flower press

Flower press

This beautiful botanical flower press is something to be passed down between generations. A hand crafted press with a meadow flower illustration on the top, each press is handmade in the UK made from sustainable oak and painted in eco-friendly water based paint. There are six layers of 100 per cent recycled acid-free blotting paper and recycled card as well as instructions on how to get the best out of your flower press. It measures at 22.2 cm wide, 31.5cm long.

Personalised wooden flower press

Flower press

One of the nice things about this flower press is that it can be personalised. This little one is 15 cm square and could be the perfect gift for a botanical enthusiast. Made from sustainable wood and recycled boxes, it is the perfect tiny edition to someone's craft making box. Plus its small enough to be easy to carry on expeditions! Press in the field!

Seaweed flower press

Seaweed flower press

We love this alternative to flower pressing: the seaweed press is a great discovery which was inspired by a trip to the Isle of Arran in Scotland. The difference with this press is that it has waxed paper, which means the extra moisture from the seaweed shouldn't damage the corrugated card. There's instructions on how to press seaweed, as opposed to flowers, and we love the simple designs on the front. This measures 15 x 15cm.

Flower Press

Flower press from Toast

A simple, traditional flower press from Toast, created in conjunction with a flower studio in Frome. The flower press is sturdy and has stainless steel nuts. It's made in Scotland from FSC certified wood board and comes in a fetching drawstring pouch. This long flower press works for longer plants, and measures at 28 cm x 18 cms.

Compact flower press

Compact flower press

This simple and cheap option is a great one for tiny hands and small projects. It's also at the very affordable end of the flower pressing spectrum, so would be a great way of introducing a little one to the joys of pressing flowers. It measures at 18cm x 18cm x 18cm.



Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London