I'm working on another gift for a daycare friend, a Nature Explorer Kit, which I will share when it's finished. One of the things I wanted to include in the kit was a flower press, so I had a look around the net to find a tutorial to make one. I only found a couple of tutorials which involved using power tools (danger danger), so I decided to make it up, and I thought I would share how I did it.
If you know me, or have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I love to repurpose coasters, and I have a huge collection of them. So when I was looking at my old flower press from when I was a kid, it occurred to me that it is about the same size as a coaster, and the idea was born.
1. Take two coasters that are not particularly attractive or useful, but make sure they are the same size.
2. Cover the top of the coasters with whatever paper you choose. I used some pictures of leaves and flowers out of an old children's encyclopaedia. Use a thin layer of mod podge to stick the paper onto the coaster.
3. Decorate the coaster that will be the top of your flower press. I used stamps to put the words 'Flower and Leaf Press' onto it, then glued on a pressed flower and leaf.
4. Smooth the edges of the coaster using a nail file or fine sandpaper. Once the edges are smooth, put a coat or two of mod podge over the top of both (being careful not to smudge your ink like I did).
5. Layer some pieces of paper between the two coasters. I used a sheet of printer paper, cut to size to fit.
6. Clip on some binder clips or bulldog clips to hold it all together.
To use the press, layer your flowers and leaves between pieces of paper, like a sandwich, making sure there is a layer of paper on the top and bottom, so your nature finds don't get stuck to your coasters. Press it all together and hold tight with the clips. Put in your hot water cupboard, or some other dry, warm spot, for about a week. Pop open and admire your preserved pieces of nature.