Making a Homemade Flower Press Without the Hardware Store


| 7/17/2014 11:11:00 AM


Homemade Flower Press In Action

I have been pestering my husband for over a year to make a plant press for me. At one point, I even madeit public by writing a few blogs to drop the hint. Alas, our farming activities have included so much growing, harvesting and processing of plants that there was little time to spare to make me more equipment to study them.

Anyone who wants to learn more about their local medicinal plants should have a plant press. In some spaces of course, such as anational park, it is inappropriate to take plant specimens. This is a project more suited for outings in privately owned wild areas where you are given permission to hike. A good guide book is essential, but there are times when it is inconvenient to stay out in the field long enough to research the identity of any new find. For these times a good pocket knife and plastic baggies are just as important as the field guide.

A plant press will allow a budding naturalist to preserve plant specimens in a more permanent way. Keeping a library of dried plant material connects us with the earliest botanists and medicine makers. When I first started I used phone books and old magazines stacked between heavy encyclopedias. This is a great way to work in a pinch, but invariably I lost track of which books held my latest collection and they were easily damaged or forgotten. I had in mind a plant press that James Green describes in his Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, A Home Manual, but making it required a trip to the hardware store... insert my previous comments on lack of time here....

Finally, this year for my birthday, my husband came up with a new design that was quick and easy enough to get done in between weeding the garden and taking care of the kids. I couldn’t wait to share it with others as I believe it is a practical way for anyone to make their own press. So many do-it-yourselfers don’t have a wood shop, so his solution will allow anyone who can operate a simple cordless drill to connect with their environment in this ancient way.



A Cutting Board Plant Press

Time is always of the essence, so going to the local store and buying two matching cutting boards was a quick choice.  You can pick the size of the board to meet your needs.  We selected ones with handles so that it can be carried around the farm or on trips.  With materials in hand, this project took us about 15 minutes to complete and is much more cost-effective than ones you can buy on the internet:

bbmerc
7/28/2014 10:39:55 AM

How unusual to see an article on pressing flowers & thanks for including it. I've been pressing flowers for years & have made several of these wood ones. You have to tighten the wing nuts every day as the flowers dry. However, the best press I discovered is one used in the microwave as it dries yours cuttings in minutes with much better, longer lasting color. I realize this doesn't work in the field but you can dry press your cuttings, then transfer them to a microwave press when you get home. Be sure your microwave is large enough & has a carousel so your press rotates.


carlroman
7/23/2014 2:28:44 AM

This indeed truly beautiful and I will definitely make it. http://camilla.com.au/shop/knitwear.html




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