DIY: Pressing Poppies

June 25, 2012

You know those poppies I shared a photo of on Friday? Well, I preserved some! My friend Caroline brought me a gift, decorated with a dried poppy, and it was so pretty, I just had to make some myself.

It’s super easy, so I thought I’d share in case you’d like to do it too. The funny thing is about those wild poppies: they can’t be cut and put in an arrangement — they wilt too quickly. So preserving them by drying is a wonderful way to extend their beauty. If you don’t happen to be surrounded by fields of wild poppies, no stress. This works equally well with the store-bought variety.

First, gather your supplies. All you need is a phonebook and the poppies. Oh. And something heavy for weight. (I used big books.)

Place your flowers, one at a time, within the the pages of the phonebook. The paper will absorb the moisture from the flowers as they dry.

You can use your hand to open the flower so you can see all the petals, or you can keep the petals closed. Either way, is beautiful!

Once the poppies are tucked inside, put something heavy on top to weigh down the phonebooks. If the weather is warm and dry where you live, it will take a few days. Here’s one after 3 days of drying in our humid climate:

Once they’re completely dry, you can use them any way you like.

To decorate the birthday present, Caroline placed it on the wrapped gift and added a layer of thin glue (like Mod Podge) to attach it. Isn’t it gorgeous?

I think it would be a fun summer activity for my kids to trade pressed flowers with a penpal. What would you do with pressed flowers?

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sonja June 25, 2012 at 7:10 am

Something I just learned last week: Pick poppy buds, preferably those where you can already see a little bit of red – they will blossom out in a vase and keep for three to four days. I enjoyed the prettiest bunch of wild poppies, cornflowers and camomille in my home last week!

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2 Janae @ Bring-Joy June 25, 2012 at 7:36 am

Is there any rule to what kind of flowers you can use to press? Are ANY flowers acceptable, or are some better than others?

I would like to press some flowers & make a handmade book & include them in it.

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3 bdaiss June 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

Janae – you can press pretty much any kind of flower, but bulkier ones won’t turn out quite as spectacular. Like traditional florist roses – their too thick. Wild roses however are amazing!

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4 annabelvita June 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

Oh this bought back memories! When I was little, my mum would take our big old flowerpress (like this http://pinterest.com/pin/104005072615182495/) on our holidays driving around europe and we’d press flowers. I think we’d write where they were from. I’d love to see that now, I think it’s somewhere at her house. Pages of flowers from holland, switzerland, portugal, france and spain. Thanks so much for reminding me!

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5 bdaiss June 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

I’ve never pressed poppies before (and haven’t seen many “in the wild” to chose from), but we did this all the time in the summer. I remember books full of flowers! The kicker was my 4 leaf clover collection. I seem to have a knack for spotting them. I always put them in tissue inside my mom’s dictionary. I had a whole photoalbum full! At one point my mom took her dictionary to school for a project. Her kids were amazed when a bunch of 4 leaf clovers fell out. Thanks for the happy summer memories on a hot muggy Monday!

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6 Gina @ Oaxacaborn June 25, 2012 at 11:35 am

It’s a rare thing to me to see picked (cut) poppies — it’s very illegal to pick any in California! What a beautiful project nonetheless : )

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7 Kathy June 25, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Oh this brought back memories of my Great-Aunt! When she died I inherited all of her amazing old books. They were full of pressed flowers! Some she had dried and then put between waxed/freezer type paper and ironed to make bookmarks. They were so beautiful. I will have to do this with my kids now!

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8 Mags June 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

In college I had a not-so-secret admirer put flowers pressed in wax paper in my student mailbox. It was such a sweet surprise! They definitely make great just-because gifts…

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9 Caroline from France June 25, 2012 at 2:13 pm

Les choses les plus simples sont souvent les plus belles quand elles sont faites avec le coeur. (simples things are beautiful when they are made with the heart… )

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10 Sharon Fischel June 25, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Darn it! We recycled our phone books! Any other suggestions? Newspaper with heavy weight on top maybe?

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11 Valery July 28, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Hi Sharon,
I use my Webster Dictionary…All my flowers come out very nice. As for poppies, I am very lucky to live in the French countryside where one can find them in the fields and the farmers do not mind if they are picked because they are seen as WEEDS! When my children were young they often picked them for me and I pressed them and made little cards.

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12 Lisa June 26, 2012 at 2:07 am

What a great idea!That’s amazing!
I want to have a try!

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13 Ioanna June 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Hello!
Your poppy looks beautiful!
I’ve tried to glue pressed wildflowers using mod podge but unfortunately they lost their wonderful purple color and turned ivory when the glue dried… :( I wonder if it’s because of the glue or the flower… Was the glue you used mod podge? Seeing your colorful poppies gives me hope and I will try it again using different flower and glue!
Thanks for sharing!

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14 jessica July 3, 2012 at 8:30 am

hello!
In one of your blogs this week I saw the add for Punjammies. Went to the website ordered two darling pairs for gifts and they came very quickly! Thanks for sharing! new to the blog and loving it!

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15 rebekah:-) August 2, 2013 at 7:01 am

just beauty-full!:-)

and a great tutorial:-)

thanks for letting us see:-)

rebekah:-)

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