How to Press Bouquet Flowers: Our Guide for Beginners

by Robert Canning on October 15, 2021

Preserving your wedding anniversary flowers, mother's day bouquet, or any other flower arrangement is an excellent way of memorialising that special event. There are two methods people use to preserve flowers—drying and pressing. 

Drying flowers will retain their shape while pressing them will render them paper-thin. The point of both is to remove moisture since the oil and water in the flowers will lead to decomposition. Read on for things to consider when planning to preserve your bouquet.

Should I Dry My Bouquet?

When deciding whether you want to press or dry your bouquet, you must consider where you're displaying the end product. Dried flowers fade in sunlight. They are also susceptible to indoor heading and changing temperatures, and they will be challenging to restore if they become dusty.

What's more, you need to dry your bouquet quickly since fully matured flowers tend to lose petals in the drying process. If you intend to dry your bouquet, you cannot have the flowers sit in water for too long—the longer you have a bouquet in water, the more its flowers will open. If you want to preserve bouquets from an occasion where you cannot start preserving the flowers quickly, choose flowers with smaller blooms to ensure the best results. 

Should I Press My Bouquet Instead?

If you'd rather not think of the timing of your preservation, you can opt for pressing your flowers instead. Pressed flowers become almost translucent, which lends them a different aesthetic appeal from dried bouquets. Here are reasons why you might want to press your flowers:

  • You can store pressed flowers more easily – Many people frame their pressed flowers, but you can also put these in photo albums or scrapbooks. You can even personalise your belongings with these—some crafts enthusiasts decorate things like laptops or mobile cases with pressed flowers. 
  • You can use it in craft projects – A more experienced crafter could use pressed flowers in resin pieces. You can incorporate dried and pressed blooms in things like jewellery, bookends, or tabletop organisers. You can even use flowers in printmaking and fabric dyeing; you could make custom shirts or skirts with prints of your bouquet!

How to Press Your Flowers

One of the first things to consider is the shape of the flower you're trying to preserve. If it is circular, you will need to cut it in half before pressing. You could also press just the petals instead of the entire flower. If you can choose the flowers in your bouquet, you can ask the floral shop to use flatter blooms since they are easier to press.

Also, note how you place the flowers—the petals will be more visible in the final product since they become thinner during the drying process. The bloom might look fine when you lay it down while fresh, but you might discover that the petals are sticking out at odd angles once the flower has completely dried out.

If you're pressing a bouquet with sentimental value, try the process out on "practice" flowers to get the hang of things.

Using a Book to Press Your Flowers

Many people use books to press flowers. The method is simple—besides the book and the flowers, you only need parchment paper or newspaper. Start by placing the blooms face-down on the paper. Then, close the book on top of it. Wait for approximately ten days, then remove the flowers when they're completely dry.

Choose a book which you don't mind getting damaged—since the process is supposed to squeeze water out of the blooms, it causes pages to wrinkle. If you place newspapers or parchment paper between the petals and the pages, you can minimise the warping. 

Also, place heavier books on top of the one holding the flowers, and make sure you distribute the weight evenly across the surface area. Keep in mind that the thicker the book, the larger the curve in the spine. Consequently, the pages will have a higher arch, especially in the middle. Using a hardback book with fewer pages results in less bending.


Preserving flowers lets you look back on your memories of a special day. Whether you choose to dry or press your bouquet, you need to study the proper technique to ensure that you preserve the flowers in the best way possible.

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