The title is a misnomer. We have 3 different flower presses in the house, and when my older daughter was given no. 3 for her 4th birthday, the thought crossed my mind that 3 may be one too many. But oh no, it is not, you can never have enough flower presses!
Why is it a misnomer? Well, you can press an awful lot more than just flowers. Basically, try and pick anything you come across and see how it works. Leaves, grasses, oh yes, and flowers of course.
And it’s not all about the end product. There’s a lot of fun and learning on the way: First up is the walk in the woods, the back lanes, the garden to pick the raw material. When out and about it’s best to take the press along because the fresher the flower/grass/leave, the nicer it will look. Then there’s the pressing which requires a bit of dexterity and possibly, depending on age, a helping grown up hand. Once all is pressed, one to two weeks later, there’s the surprise of what was in the press, and the excitement of creating with it.
The shared learning is quite fun: A child who asks for plant names that, sorry, mummy doesn’t know. A mummy who is bewildered of what her daughter decides is worth pressing. A child adamant that she wants to decorate cards and not create a bog/moore landscape.
As for the actual press, you can buy one or make it yourself. The principle is that the flower/leaf/grass is sandwiched between 2 sheets of paper (blotting paper will work best but any paper goes), then the paper is sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard, the cardboard is sandwiched between two pieces of wood or other hard material, which is bound together (with string, elastic band, velcro band). One press can easily hold 10 repetitions of cardboard-paper-plant-paper-cardboard-paper-plant – you know, for production line style pressing.