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How to Press Flowers, According to a Flower Artist

Photo: Kate Cadbury

Over the past few weeks, many of us have been on the hunt for things to keep our hands occupied, so as to avoid frantically scrolling through Twitter. In order to provide suitably engaging suggestions (that’ll yield genuinely successful results), we at the Strategist have consulted a slew of experts on everything from how to bead a bracelet (according to designer Susan Alexandra), to advice for the novice needlepointer (by way of Parker Posey, noted needlepoint obsessive). After spotting London-based artist Kate Cadbury’s beautiful pressed violets and daisies on Instagram, we decided to ask her how to properly press a flower. Cadbury, it turns out, has been pressing flowers for most of her life — she walked us through which flowers to use, and exactly what you’ll need (a lot of the supplies, as it turns out, are things you might already have at home).

The best flowers to press are ones that have only a single layer of petals. For example, pansies and violas have just the two or three petals to form the flower head — those will take the shortest amount of time to press, as little as two weeks. Daisies work well, too. These are also all plants you could grow in a window box, if you live somewhere without much outdoor space. If you’re pressing cut flowers, you could try using an anemone, which come in different varieties of colors — you can also try pressing the petals of roses. How much color the flowers will retain after pressing depends on how long they’ve been in bloom. The best flower to press is one that literally just opened up; one that’s been in bloom for a few days will be less vibrant. The fresher the plant, the fresher the color.