Flower pressing is hugely popular with my trio. My little lady has a bought flower press (long before I became acquainted with sawing and drilling as something to let children use), but my mini men have to resort to a home made one of which we will show you how to do here. Once you have pressed and preserved your pieces of nature, the ways to use them are limitless. My trio love making and creating, and now we finally have a few flowers peeping through after the long, dark, and cold Swedish Winter, I am having to control their enthusiasm somewhat or else I’d have no flowers left in the garden!! Flower pressing is the vogue in our home!
To make your own flower press you need to have the confidence and trust in your little people to let them wield some “grown up” tools. I want to explain a little why I feel it is important for children to be able to handle these adult tools. Mine have handled them previously doing crafts at forest school, under the supervision of forest school leaders, and also at home to build simple things under my supervision. In fact they have a box in the garden, full of wood, a box of nails, and three short handled hammers, just for their use. Using such tools will require co-ordination, and having a project to build requires the use of creativity and imagination, not to mention using skills such as measuring. Using the tools gives the children responsibility and they learn to behave accordingly, and it heightens their sense of awareness as consequences for lack of it are more serious. Plus they lead to a real meaningful experience, it’s tangible, memorable, and the learning that comes from such an experience is immense. I kept this very simple for my double trouble, with no precision or measuring required…I had enough on my plate making sure they weren’t nailed to their own designs!!
You can be more precise and measure your wood etc, but we sawed roughly 2 same lengths of wood. You need 2 pieces for each flower press. Then drill holes through (at least 4), and insert screws and nuts (wing nuts would look nice, but we used whatever we had in our odd screws box). Make sure you cut 4 pieces of cardboard that are the size of the wood, to place between the flowers that require pressing, and you are all set to go flower pressing!
This whole project can be done outdoors in its entirety but we had drizzle today, so headed indoors for the painting and cardboard adding!
In the past our little lady has made book marks, collages, and greetings cards, all using the flower pressing method. Today though she was utterly engrossed in her own idea of a nature guide. She pressed various spring flowers from around the garden. Then she stuck them into a journal she had made from cutting paper and taping the sheets together. Then she added a flower to a page, and using a gardening book, wrote a little piece about each flower! This was all her own initiative and she passed a whole day away immersed in her little project. I think she will add to it as the seasons progress as well.