Creativity Inspired ~ Cool Tool: Microwave Flower Press

Earlier this year I obtained this neat little contraption called a Microwave Flower Press. They are available at many garden supply stores. I wondered if they really would dry flowers in minutes and still retain the same delicate quality of a flower traditionally pressed in heavy books.

The press is comprised of two terracotta slabs, wool pads and broad cloth. It boasts the ability to dry press flowers in as little as three minutes, and that it will retain the colour of the flower better than the slow-drying method.

After laying the wool pads and cloth onto the terracotta, take the flower(s) you want to dry and arrange them on the broadcloth. It was the middle of winter when I tried this experiment, so I obtained some plants with small flowers from the home improvement store.

After you have the flowers placed as you like, carefully place the other broadcloth, the other wool pad and then the other terracotta slab on top – sandwiching the flowers in between.

Into the microwave we go. It’s recommended that you microwave in 30 second intervals so not to over dry the flowers. Since these were small flowers, I complied with the suggestion. It took about 2 minutes to do most of these little flowers.

I did this experiment twice – and these are the successful flowers. One variety would not dry properly at all – either they were over done & flaky – therefore stuck to the broadcloth, or still retained moisture and stuck to the broadcloth – so just as unusable, either way.

These are the variety of flowers that did not work in the microwave press; I pressed them the traditional way – in heavy books – for 3 weeks. I agree with the claim that the colour is retained in the microwave press. The flowers I traditionally pressed did fade somewhat.

I look forward to trying out larger flowers this summer in the press. I’d also like to incorporate this into jewelry making somehow: maybe set the dried flowers in resin? Oh the ideas… :) Leilani Cleveland Deveau is a self-taught jewelry artist with over sixteen years of experience. 4 years ago she added the fiber arts (wool processing/dyeing/carding/spinning, knitting, crochet and felting) to her long list of creative interests. Leilani welcomes questions or comments from other crafters and handmade artists, as well as requests for custom, wholesale or consignment jewelry. Her home studio is located in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. You can contact her by email: leilani@bb3.com or stay informed by subscribing to her monthly newsletter (a draw for a giveaway each month!). See sign up button at right on main blog page.

6 comments on “Creativity Inspired ~ Cool Tool: Microwave Flower Press
  1. I like pressed flowers for somethings. Yet air dried flowers that have been dried on a clothes drying rack over a two week period have so many 3-d options. I have been working hard on making natural artwork that is expressive and long lasting.

    • Many many moons ago, I worked at a dried flower company. I dry my flowers whole using the tie-together and hang upside down in a cool dry place method, as I was taught. :) I love the look of the full flower as well. Perhaps if I can get the smaller pressed flowers to work in jewelry I can try some 3-D preserving techniques as well – maybe encased in a resin dome. But for now the flatter pressed look is inspiring me…and you can’t deny the colour retention of the microwave press. :)

  2. where did you find the terra cotta flower press? found one at Lee Valley in Canada? Wondered if you found one elsewhere? Love the press.

    • I did indeed buy it at Lee Valley! Use it with my kiddos all the time we love it! I also bought the silica crystals from lee Valley for when we want to preserve flowers in 3-D. Thanks for asking… ~ leilani :)

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