On Saturday, I walked into downtown Newburyport and explored some of my favorite local shops. While there, I stumbled upon various pressed flower designs by Jacki Harrington at Sisters We Three, a small shop that carries handmade items from local artisans. Feeling inspired, I returned home and began to eyeball the slowly wilting floral bouquet in my living room. With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, it seemed the perfect time to attempt pressing flowers and sharing them. Good news: Pressing flowers for a casual purpose could not be more simple. Here is a run down of my process.
STEP ONE: Select your flowers
In warmer months, taking flowers from your own garden and pressing them can be such a rewarding experience. Hanging in my kitchen is a frame with a small bouqet of flowers from our backyard, which signifies the first bloom in our home. We picked the flowers weeks after our wedding, and now five years later, our home holds four people. For my pressed valentines, there are no sentiments attached to the flowers themselves—just a local grocery store purchase. Keep in mind that larger flowers, such as roses, tend to be difficult to press due to their thickness. I used daisies, which flatten out fairly quickly.
Cut the stems so they will fit into your book without hanging over the edge. Remove any leaves that appear dead. Play with the flowers and position them as you would like them to look post-pressing. Cut out a piece of wax paper (or regular paper) in the shape of your book. When placed, the flowers should not touch each other.
Put paper on either side of flowers and close the book. Add books on top for added weight. Leave in this position for 2-3 days.
Scrap paper ( I used old gray envelopes and paper bags)
A collection of floral inspired poems
A bottle of wine (I had some pinot noir)
Sort through your newly pressed flowers. Some will be more visually eye-catching than others—these make great stand-alone flowers for a single valentine. Others may appear to compliment each other in groups. There is no right or wrong, just pour a glass of wine, put on the new Adele album, and find your creative side!
You can certainly write your own poem, if words are your thing. Or you can always look for inspiration around you—perhaps on a throw pillow you gave to someone years ago, like I did. (“If friends were flowers, I’d pick you.”)
A quick google search on “poems +flowers + love” yields hundreds of options. You can go local with Robert Frost; apparently the man LOVED a flower. I selected this little gem from my girl Emily DickINson. Which, in a lubricated error, I quoted as Emily Dickson. Amazing how dropping that IN really downgrades a name from classy to crassy. You may NOT want to drink as much pinot noir as I did.
STEP THREE: WHEN THE WINE KICKS IN GO FUNKY
At this point, my husband was in the living room yelling something about how Entourage was the worst thing he’d ever seen, but I didn’t take notice. His romantic chatter was just noise to me. I was too lost in my floral creative flow to recognize his advances.
ND NOTE: The fray job on the edges of the paper is not intentional, I just have terrible scissor skills.
ND NOTE: I have no idea what’s happening in this one. After going through all the effort of locating an iron and using it to create this wax paper eyesore, I could not admit defeat, and therefore added some yarn. I even debated shoving this whole thing in a mason jar—a true sign of crafting desperation. Probably will send this gem to my MOM.
STEP FOUR: PICK YOUR LUCKY VALENTINES
Even if your pressed valentines look like an intoxicated mid-thirties mother made them, don’t fret. Your valentine will love the thought and effort that went in to crafting these fine gems. And really, at least you have something to show for your evening.
xoxoxo my loves!