How to Press Flowers with Iron: A Professional Guide

by Jennifer

Pressed flowers have long been a cherished method for preserving the beauty of blooms. Whether for creating artwork, decorating journals, or as keepsakes, pressing flowers is an ancient art that continues to enchant. Among the various techniques available, using an iron stands out for its speed and convenience. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the step-by-step process of pressing flowers with an iron, ensuring your floral treasures retain their vibrant colors and delicate shapes.


Understanding the Basics of Flower Pressing

The Importance of Flower Selection

Selecting the right flowers is crucial for successful pressing. Opt for blooms that are naturally flat or have thin petals. Flowers like pansies, violets, daisies, and ferns are ideal. Avoid flowers with thick, fleshy petals, as they may not press evenly and can retain moisture, leading to mold.

Preparing Your Flowers

Before pressing, ensure your flowers are dry. Morning is the best time to collect flowers, as the dew will have evaporated but the petals will still be fresh. Remove any unwanted leaves and stems, and gently pat the flowers with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Tools and Materials Needed

To press flowers with an iron, you will need the following:

  • Fresh flowers
  • Parchment paper or non-stick baking paper
  • An iron (without steam)
  • A hard, flat surface (like an ironing board or a table)
  • Heavy books or a flower press (optional)

Step-by-Step Guide to Pressing Flowers with an Iron

Step 1: Prepping the Flowers

Begin by preparing the flowers. Trim the stems close to the base of the petals. If you’re pressing leaves or ferns, ensure they are clean and dry. Arrange the flowers and foliage in the desired pattern, keeping in mind that the final arrangement will be fixed once pressed.

Step 2: Preparing the Pressing Surface

Lay out a piece of parchment paper on your flat surface. The paper will protect the flowers from direct heat and prevent them from sticking to the iron. If you’re working on an ironing board, ensure it’s covered with a smooth cloth.

Step 3: Arranging the Flowers

Place the flowers face down on the parchment paper. If you’re pressing multiple flowers, ensure they are not overlapping. Cover them with another piece of parchment paper. This sandwiching technique helps to evenly distribute the heat and pressure.

Step 4: Heating the Iron

Set your iron to a low to medium heat setting, and make sure the steam function is turned off. Steam can add unwanted moisture to the flowers, which can interfere with the pressing process.

Step 5: Ironing the Flowers

Gently press the iron onto the parchment paper-covered flowers. Do not glide the iron as you would with clothing; instead, hold it in place for about 10-15 seconds. Lift the iron and reposition it as necessary to cover all parts of the flowers. Continue this process until the flowers are flattened and dry.

Step 6: Cooling and Final Press

Once you have pressed the flowers with the iron, allow them to cool between the parchment paper for a few minutes. To ensure they remain flat and dry, place the flowers in a heavy book or a flower press for several hours or overnight. This step is optional but recommended for the best results.

Tips and Tricks for Optimal Flower Pressing

1. Choosing the Right Flowers

  • Thin Petals: Flowers with thin petals, such as daisies and violets, are easier to press and retain their color better.
  • Dry Conditions: Collect flowers on a dry day to avoid excess moisture.
  • Variety: Experiment with different types of flowers and leaves to discover which press best.

2. Managing Moisture

Pre-dry Flowers: If flowers are particularly moist, pre-dry them by placing them between paper towels and gently pressing.
Avoiding Mold: Ensure all flowers are thoroughly dried to prevent mold formation.

3. Enhancing Color Retention

Quick Pressing: The quicker the flowers are pressed and dried, the better they retain their colors.
Sunlight Exposure: Avoid exposing pressed flowers to direct sunlight, as this can cause colors to fade.

Creative Uses for Pressed Flowers

1. Crafting and Decor

Pressed flowers can be used to embellish a variety of crafts. They make beautiful additions to handmade cards, bookmarks, and scrapbooks. Consider using pressed flowers to create unique pieces of art or framed botanical displays.

2. Home Decor

Incorporate pressed flowers into home decor projects. They can be used to create stunning wall art, decorative trays, or coasters. Pressed flowers can also be used in resin projects to make jewelry, keychains, and other decorative items.

3. Personalized Gifts

Pressed flowers add a personal touch to gifts. Create custom stationery sets, bookmarks, or framed floral arrangements. These thoughtful creations make perfect presents for birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions.

4. Educational Tools

Pressed flowers are valuable educational tools for teaching about plant biology, botany, and ecology. Use them to create plant identification guides, herbarium collections, or nature journals.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

1. Flowers Not Flattening Properly

  • Check Iron Heat: Ensure the iron is set to the correct temperature. Too low, and the flowers won’t flatten; too high, and they may scorch.
  • Even Pressure: Make sure you apply even pressure across all parts of the flower. Use a book or a flower press if necessary.

2. Flowers Turning Brown

  • Excess Heat: Browning can occur if the iron is too hot. Lower the heat setting and try again.
  • Moisture Retention: Ensure flowers are dry before pressing. Excess moisture can lead to browning and mold.

3. Flowers Sticking to Paper

  • Parchment Paper: Always use parchment paper to prevent sticking. Avoid wax paper, as it can melt and adhere to the flowers.
  • Gentle Handling: Handle flowers gently to avoid damaging delicate petals.


Pressing flowers with an iron is a simple, efficient method that allows you to preserve the natural beauty of blooms quickly. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create stunning pressed flowers for a variety of uses. From crafting and home decor to educational purposes and personalized gifts, pressed flowers offer endless possibilities for creativity and expression. Embrace this timeless art form and enjoy the lasting beauty of your floral treasures.


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