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Learn how to make this simple flower press and turn beautiful blooms into pressed-flower decorations that will last for years.
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Have a Lowe's associate cut two identical oak squares. (We made a 7" x 7" flower press; a 12" x 12" press would work well for pressing several flowers.)
If the board you're using has a slight cup from edge to edge (it'll rock slightly from side to side on one face), arrange the two cut-to-size boards so the curve faces up on the bottom board and down on the top board. Tightening the four bolts will then add extra pressure to the center.
Stack the squares and clamp together on a piece of scrap wood. Use a pencil to mark a point 1" in from the corner. Repeat for the remaining three corners. Using a 5/32" drill bit, drill through both boards to ensure a precise fit for the bolts.
Sand and stain both boards. Let dry.
Place washers on the bolts and slide the bolts up through the bottoms of both squares. Test the holes with the bolts -- the top board should be easy to move up and down. If not, use the drill to widen the holes slightly on the upper board. Now, you're ready to press flowers.
Cut a cardboard sheet to size (7" x 7" or 12" x 12") and cut notches near all four corners to fit around the bolts. Place the cardboard inside the press. Follow with a layer of paper to absorb moisture from the flowers. (Blotting paper works best, but paper towels work, too.)
Place flowers on top of the paper without overlapping the petals. Label the flowers if desired, and then place another layer of paper over the flowers. Repeat the entire layering order 2-3 times.
Add a washer and wing nut to each bolt. Tighten the wing nuts gradually, working in a circle, until they're all equally tight. Leave the press undisturbed for at least three weeks.
We used pressed pansies, violas, sunflowers, chrysanthemums, tulips, rose leaves, ferns, cosmos, and daisies to decorate our press. To decoupage flowers on the top board, mix three parts glue and one part water in a paper cup. Stir well. Spread a coat of the mixture over the top of the press with a foam brush. Arrange the pressed flowers over the surface and smooth out any air bubbles with your finger. Use the foam brush to spread a coat of the mixture over the flowers and let dry. Minor shrinking and wrinkling will occur as the flowers dry.