DIY Pressed Flower Art (Free Printable Backgrounds)

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DIY Pressed Flower Art: an easy tutorial for how to press flowers and how to make pressed flower wall art, including free printables for the backgrounds!

*This post was originally published in 2016. It’s been updated with current links, better images, and more information. Affiliate links included. See my disclosure statement.

framed pressed flower art

Sometimes it’s hard to get your creative juices flowing. Life gets in the way, and there either isn’t enough time to be creative, or you have more important things to do. This DIY pressed flower art can be done in stages, and it’s not the least bit stressful. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. It’s a very easy and fun craft that makes a great gift for someone special…or for yourself. It’s a beautiful way to add a personal touch to your decor. To get started, you don’t even have to go shopping. All you need are flowers and a newspaper. First, I’m going to show you how to press the flowers, and then we’ll make the wall art. 

little flowers on plate

How To Press Flowers

  • The first thing to do is harvest your flowers. Any flower with a thin stem will work. I used pansies and coreopsis. Other blooms that press well are daisies, black-eyed Susans, cosmos, larkspur, marigolds, bleeding hearts, or zinnias with small blooms. Greenery like ferns or herbs are also easy to press.
  • Fresh garden flowers work well for pressing. Fresh flowers from a florist or grocery store work beautifully as well.
  • Remove any leaves or foliage beneath the bloom.
  • Gather a few sections of newspaper. Fold the sections in half, and then in half again. Begin the drying process by carefully placing your flowers in the newspaper as shown in the picture below. Substitutes for newspaper that work well are regular copy paper, pieces of dry cardboard, or even coffee filters.
how to press flowers with newspaper
  • Fold the left side of the newspaper section over the flower blooms. Make sure that the petals are flat. 
  • Carefully place the folded newspaper sections in a large book. Stack a few more books on top so there is plenty of weight. If you don’t have heavy books, other options for a heavy object are pieces of tile, bricks, or old phone books. Just make sure the newspaper is flat, and the flowers are completely protected from any light.
  • Wait four weeks. At the end of the four weeks, your flowers will be dried and ready to make your DIY pressed flower art!

It’s best not to open the newspaper while the flowers are drying. Until they are completely dry, there is a good chance they will stick to the newspaper. Once dried completely, there is no danger of the blooms sticking.

How to Make Pressed Flower Art

Supplies Needed For Flower Artwork

diy pressed flower art supplies

Step 1: The Background

The first thing to do is print your background paper. Just use the sign up form at the end of the post to get your free PDF that includes four choices of background paper that looks like vintage parchment paper. Use good quality cardstock to print the backgrounds. Once you have your background, carefully place your flowers on the paper. Use your creativity, and move them around until you are happy with the way they look.

diy pressed flower art

Step 2: The Gluing Process

If you are using a glue pen, depress the tip until the glue is running smoothly. One at a time, lift each flower off the paper. Apply the glue TO THE PAPER and then gently place the flower on the glue. Tweezers can be used to place the flowers.

If a petal comes off, just glue it back on. Same with the stems. Two of mine broke, but I just glued them together on the paper. Regular Elmer’s Glue could also be used, but take care not to use too much. A very small paintbrush would be helpful to brush on the glue. I liked the control I got with the glue pen. I had no smeared glue at all. Once you have all your flowers glued, let them dry for 30 minutes. 

pressed flower art on vintage background

Sealing Your Art

If you plan to frame your pressed flower art under glass, there is really no need to apply the matte sealer. If not, the matte sealer will prevent the flowers from breaking or crumbling. Be careful when choosing a sealer. The sealer I used goes on dry and very matte. It did not discolor the flowers or the paper. Another option to make this wall art is to apply the background papers to an art canvas with Mod Podge. Once the background is dry, then apply the flowers. If using an art canvas, definitely apply the matte sealer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Pressed flower art is officially called Oshibana. Oshibana is an ancient art form originating in the 1500s where dried flowers or greenery are painstakingly arranged on paper.

When they are properly prepared and stored, pressed flowers will last for many years.

You definitely need something sturdy, so good quality cardstock is the best choice.

pansies and coreopsis in pots
This project was inspired by the book Garden Made.
The author is my friend Stephanie Rose from Garden Therapy. 

 Thanks for stopping by…see you soon!

If you are currently an OSP email subscriber, go ahead and fill out the form to get your backgrounds. You won’t have duplicate subcriptions!

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  1. Connie Swix says:

    Thank You. I love receiving your emails I’m on your list, and press my garden flowers all the time. Now collecting some weeds too. I have always used Sobo or Elmer’s glue on as much of flower as possible and press between glass and make stained glass frames. But, semi retired so just starting doing cards. I put mod podge all over the flower and tuck in where the pedals might lift up. Works, but time consuming. I may try to use the spray you use. Wish I could copy this whole page from Pintrest, but don’t know how to do that. I’m 83 and want to keep playing with flowers and make original artwork. Can you help me copy your directions?

  2. Did anyone else do what I learned in Girl Scouts many, many years ago? We placed the pressed flowers on a piece of folded paper and covered them with tissue paper and glue to make gift cards. At the time, it was most endearing to give handmade cards. Thank you Ann for reviving fond memories!

  3. Elaine Parker says:

    My mom always gave me little bouquets of Pansies when I visited her on the weekends, she grew them every year, her favourite. She’d wet a paper towel, put the Pansies stems in the wet paper towel, then wrap wax paper, then tin foil around the stems in the paper towel. I always made it home, with a little bouquet to have on my window sill, to remind me of mom. To this day, my daughter who is 44 still calls them “Nanny flowers”, not Pansies. I have a saddle stone with Pansies in it to place on mom’s grave tomorrow. Thanks for the sweet memories, I’m going to make something with them for both myself and to give my daughter in remembrance of her Nanny.

  4. Teddee Grace says:

    I receive your blog. Love that background paper. I don’t think I see it among your free printables available to subscribers.

  5. Sharon Field says:

    5 stars
    Absolutely WONDERFUL post! Although I am no longer able to have a garden due to medical problems (and a ripe old age of 73), and home bound, I have some lovely arrangements that I received for Mother’s Day from my children that I may be able to get some flowers from. I get your newsletter already, but I wanted the background papers, so I signed up. Thank you so much for something I can do that doesn’t require a lot of activity. And, by the way, I LOVE your site!

  6. Linda Johnston says:

    This is a charming way to show off those pressed flowers i find in books where I put them from my children over the years. Thank you for the inspiration.

  7. Thanks for the tips, Ann!
    I have a question – what do you think about pressing flowers in the microwave? I’ve tried it a couple of times, but I never manage to do it properly.

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Kate…I have never tried using a microwave so I’m afraid I am no help. I’m sorry!

  8. Susan Dupuis says:

    They are lovely and would make a great gift . I use paper towels to cover my flowers then put them in a layer of waxed paper as I find some times the ink from the newspaper rubs off. Lavender looks really pretty mounted too!

  9. I love pressed flowers and these look beautiful against the background paper.They are a nice addition to your entry.

  10. Denise :) says:

    So I wonder if pressed flowers like pansies do well under a coat of Mod Podge? I’ve wanted to decorate wooden eggs with fabric flowers, kind of broderie perse style, but it would be so much more fun with real, pressed flowers! Thanks for stirring up the creative thoughts this morning!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Denise…I’m not sure about putting the Mod Podge on the pansies. If you try it, let us know!

  11. Oh my goodness! I forgot about my pressed pansies. Thank you for your post! Now if I can remember which book they rested in during our very long winter……

  12. I love this project😊Pansy are some of my favorite flowers!!! Thanks Ann!

  13. Darling! They look great on your wall. Thx for sharing.

  14. Such a wonderful idea. We will be moving this year and this will allow me to ‘take’ some of my flowers with me.

  15. Bodil Conroy says:

    Nice and easy and straight forward instructions. Explanations a great help.

  16. Ann, I think I can even do this !!!!

  17. I used to love pressing flowers as a child! This project is really so beautiful. Thanks for your clear, concise directions. It’s so awesome to see the different ways you use the 3 frames!

  18. Love pressed flowers , will be doing this soon

  19. At first I was bummed because I haven’t watered a such as I should have and a lot of my flowers look withered and not so pretty. But then I remembered I had pressed several leaves and done nothing with them. I’m now super excited to do this and actually be ready for fall! I also have a few bird feathers and I wonder if they might press well…..

  20. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Ann, these are so beautiful! I love that I can use flowers straight from my garden. I know what you mean about staying creative! You do creative beautifully!

  21. Hi Ann, I have been meaning to press flowers for a project using my Mom’s letters to my Dad from WW2 as the backdrop paper…this has spurred me on…we used to do this when we were ‘kids’…your blog is so refreshing. Thank you !!!….Smiles….Anne

  22. I love the look of art with the pressed flowers. It’s simple and elegant and I’ve always wanted to try it so this time I think I really will. I have some empty walls in a guest room and I think this is the perfect idea for simple lovely art. Thank you as always – I always enjoy your blog.

  23. What an inspirational post! I am going to try this! I think the background paper make a huge difference. Thank you so much for sharing…..

  24. This couldn’t have come at a better time. We buried my mom on Monday, she had been living with me the last couple of months. You Know how hard this has been for me. I took some of the flowers from the gravesite and was wondering what I could do to preserve them. You came through for me. Thank you!

  25. This is one of my favorite posts! Can’t wait to press some flowers! Thanks for making it seem so easy…yours look lovely!

  26. Hi Ann, Thanks for the memories with this post. Used to press flowers as a child and had forgotten that its and easy décor trick. Back in the day it was a common practice to dry flowers from a special occasion. Have to tell you that I found dried flowers in an old family Bible. They brought me to tears as I wondered what the occasion was and who actually put them there. With that in mind, I think these would make wonderful Christmas gifts for my children. I love my garden and this would be a reminder of Mom’s garden and how she loved it. :-)

  27. Linda M Jung says:

    I have loved pressed flowers since i was a little girl. Now I have a beautiful place to put them. Thank you so much Ann.

  28. Thank you Anne ~
    I love this idea – You could use seasonal flowers –

    Love your ideas
    Have a great day
    Much love,

  29. These are so pretty Ann, it brings back memories when I was a child. I remember seeing this, maybe not as nice as you have presented it here. Looks awesome thanks for the downloads as well with the paper! I may have to try this once I get some time !

  30. Candy J Weiford says:

    These are amazing. This is something my daughter would greatly appreciate. I will have her start following you, today.

  31. Beautiful Ann! I am having my hallway painted this week and am looking for something new…this may be perfect!!!

  32. These are beautiful, Ann. Thanks for the great tutorial.

  33. i love these Ann! I actually have a flower press I haven’t used in years and years. I covered a hat box with dried flowers and pearl strands on top that were my grandmother’s and gave it to our daughter to keep her wedding veil in 24 years ago. Oh how I miss these old crafts…thanks for this updated idea and for motivating me to find that old press. ????

  34. How sweet, Ann! I’m definitely going to do this. I have all the right flowers blooming in my garden for this project. Love the background paper. Thanks for this idea! You rock!