A friend of mine recently got married and I was her maid of honor. It was a beautiful wedding on a warm, lovely day. She ended up forgetting her bouquet in the flurry of leaving for their honeymoon so I brought it home with me. Her bouquet was absolutely gorgeous, with all white flowers including astilbe, freesia, ranunculus and scabiosa.
I knew she wouldn’t be into drying the whole bouquet – just not her style – so instead, I pulled out a few flowers to press for her to keep. In trying to come up with some kind of decoration or project to share with you guys for Litha, or the Summer Solstice, it occurred to me that pressed flowers can in fact be a beautiful way to celebrate the holiday.
Plus, I know there will be lots of weddings happening in the next few weeks so you can also press your own wedding flowers this way!
You can go out and buy fancy presses for flowers and foliage but a heavy book will do just as well.
Tools and Supplies Needed
- Heavy book such as an encyclopedia
- A couple of other heavy books to stack on top
- Wax or parchment paper
- Cut flowers or foliage
Open the book to about the middle. Lay the wax or parchment paper over the open pages.
Arrange your flowers or foliage on the page so they do not overlap each other. You may need to do two or three sections in the book so that none of the flowers touch. Some of the flowers will stick up if they are larger or bulky so you might need to gently bend the stems so they lay as flat as possible.
Fold the wax or parchment paper over the flowers and close the book. Stack a few other heavy books on top and leave in a cool, dark place to dry.
In two to three weeks, remove the stacked books and open to your pressed flowers. Check that they are fully dried out. If they need a little more time, close the book and leave them be until they are ready.
So what do you do with pressed flowers after they are finished? You can use them to decorate your grimoire, make laminated bookmarks or put them in a pretty frame as decoration.
Pressing flowers specifically for the summer solstice is a great way to preserve this precious time of year when the days are at their longest.