Pressing Really Large Flowers in the Microwave
It's starting to feel like part of the summer is coming to a close, I may be wrong and we may get a second wind, but I didn't want to miss out on preserving some of the wonderful flowers that are around right now, for projects later on in the year. It was my birthday over the weekend, a friend of mine bought me a beautiful bunch of flowers with my absolutely favourite peony in it, called Lovely Rose. I have been reading up on ways to successfully press flowers, I have been pressing since the beginning of the summer and had some good and some very disappointing results. Gorgeous poppies fading into a brown mush, surprisingly bad presses from flowers that are so pretty and colourful before drying.So I read up on some techniques, then stumbled upon microwave pressing. Genius! I had a look on Amazon at the flower presses, they are quite expensive, so as this was a first go I made up my own version. Essentially, I used two of the flattest microwaveable plates I have, plus kitchen roll.
I started with a large daisy to see what happened, placing one plate underneath, then two sheets of kitchen roll, then the flower upside down, then two more pieces of kitchen roll, then the top plate. On top of this I rested another couple of plates to weigh it down as much as possible.
Placing plates in the microwave on the hottest setting, I zapped the flower for 1 minute.
When removing the plates, they were hot. So oven gloves or tea towel is advised. When you lift the plate up there will also be a little steam, in fact I predict you like me will be surprised how much water even a small flower lets out. This also solved the problem of my flower press flowers, I didn't change the paper or air them out at any point which is why they must have rotted.
I was delighted to see the result, not quite as flat as a traditional pressed flower but it looked great!
So I chanced it and tried the same technique with the beautiful peony. Predictability was that the flower would give out a huge amount of water, so I doubled the kitchen roll. I zapped it for 1 minute then opened up the plates.. The kitchen roll was drenched so I changed it for new and gave it another minute. The flower was very hot at the end of the process so I left it on a bit of paper to cool.
I decided to also flower press this beauty for a few days to give it that finished flattened feel. I am delighted with the result!
Since this I have been pressing away, firstly taking the water out of the flowers in the microwave then pressing in a large flower press. The results seem to be much better.
1. Choose your flower. Have two microwaveable plates and kitchen roll to hand.
2. Place a couple of sheets of kitchen roll on top of first plate then add flower in the middle.
3. Place a few more sheets of kitchen roll over the top of flower then place plate on top. Press down.
4. Steam for 1 minute in the microwave. Remove plate and carefully replace kitchen roll.
5. Repeat and allow flower to cool.
5. Place flower in a press and leave for around 3-5 days checking blotting paper is dry.