This time of year, we have a small blooming plant that comes up everywhere that we call Johnny Jump Ups. They look like tiny pansies. Each year, I pick lots of them to dry for my crafts the coming year. I thought I would share my best tip for drying flowers with the dimensions these have.
As you see in the photo, lay the open side toward the spine of a book, slightly press open the larger ones to assure they will lay flat. Then slowly close the book, watching to make sure you don't bend a petal. This book is full of all sorts of leaves and blossoms. I store my dried things it in until I need them, that way they don't get broken.
If I need the room to dry more, I use a 3-ring binder with the clear plastic sleeves. Put the dried flowers or leaves on a used dryer sheet and carefully slide all down into the clear plastic sleeve.
By latrtatr from Loup City, NE
Editor's Note: Most flowers will leave a small stain on the pages of the book.
My family has used last year's phone books for pressing flowers for years. (That way, we didn't have to worry about the staining.) My kids not only did flowers (including johnny jump up violas like the ones pictured), but leaves, ferns, and grasses. They made pretty pictures and greeting cards with them. One year, I did enough fern tops to make our Christmas cards!
Way back when I was in school, we did flower pressing for a botany class. Professor suggested using tissue between the flower and any book pages, especially if it was a nice book. Flowers do stain paper, but if you don't mind, that's ok. Timing? Well that really depends on how "juicy" the flower/leaf/fern is. I would check it after a week or so, and go from there. Humidity will also have a HUGE impact on drying time. I found a leaf in a bible that I had put in 30 years ago (had gotten a new Bible just after putting the leaf in the old one) and it was in amazingly good condition.
I've been drying flowers for years, but never thought about putting them in plastic sleeves, let alone using a dryer sheet to do it. Thanks a lot, now I won't have broken flowers. Liz, Salinas, CA
If all you want to do is dry rose petals for potpourri cookie trays in the oven work great. My oven has a pilot light that keeps it warm enough. It takes about 24 hours to completely dry a tray of rose petals. "Mr. Lincoln" red roses dry to a very dark red. "Julia Child" yellow roses dry to a deep yellow, almost gold.
I find that they retain more scent than if just air dried on trays in the open.
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