Beautiful spring wildflowers are everywhere! Take some home and keep them forever. Press and dry them! And then, oh, all the things you can do–including decorate the wonderful, the inimitable, the endlessly versatile, the sweetly simple canning jar.
(Aren’t canning jars amazing? What can’t you do with a canning jar?)
You can decorate a jar for all sorts of purposes, from holding your pencils to an actual jar of preserves to dress up a gift of jam, but flowers and candles go together like….flowers and candles! (I am SO PROFOUND.)
The simplest way to press flowers is the same way you did it when you were a kid. Separate flowers from the stems and carefully lay them down on a sheet of paper, cover with another sheet of paper then press between the folds of a book. Stack up more heavy books on top. Most light, delicate flowers will press flat in a matter of hours or overnight, but you’ll need to keep them pressing longer to thoroughly dry out. How long it takes flowers to dry varies by the flower type, but you can speed it up by drying them in the microwave. (Press the flowers at least a few hours or overnight before drying in the microwave.)
To dry flowers in the microwave, place the pressed flowers between sheets of paper on a microwave-safe plate. Place something else, microwave-safe, on top.
I’m going to ask you to excuse me for using a dirty bread pan here. I just want to show you how I press the flowers while drying them in the microwave while being a real person who sometimes uses a dirty bread pan as a weight.
Heat them in short bursts, 15-seconds on high, until dry. Let the flowers cool completely between bursts of heat. Light, delicate flowers will dry quickly by this method and you can get on with the fun!
To adhere pressed, dried flowers, use a clear craft glue.
Thin the glue with water. This isn’t rocket science or brain surgery–don’t worry too much about how much water and how much glue. I filled the bottom of this small container with water then squeezed some glue in and stirred it up with the brush.
Place a dab of the thinned glue on the jar where you want to place the flowers. Transfer the flowers carefully–tweezers are a good way to move them.
Place each flower as you want it and press down lightly with the back of a spoon. (It’s better not to use your fingers.)
Once you have each flower placed, brush lightly over each flower with the thinned glue mixture to seal.
The nice thing about this method, as opposed to using a varnish, is that if you ever want to do something else with the jar, you can simply wash it with hot water and soap to remove the flowers.
You can apply the flowers in any design you like, all on one side of the jar or wrapping around the jar. Get as creative as you like. You could add all sorts of other dried materials including leaves if you want.
I’m using a candle here in a very pale, barely there eggshell blue (you can’t even see the blue, it’s so light, in these pictures) with a “rain” scent.
For more on making your own candles, see how to make container candles.
Or see all my candlemaking posts here.
Go get some wildflowers and press them–we have to trap Spring and keep her here FOREVER!!!