Introduction: Pressed Flower Plates
Pressed flower plates are a beautiful way to take an ordinary plate and make it into an elegant wall decoration, an artistic serving plate, an eye-catching jewelry dish, or a unique gift. This creative project will impress your friends, and it comes together without too much work. The active work time is about 30–45 minutes total, but the entire process takes about three weeks, including pressing and drying time.
- several small flowers or leaves
- flower press (or heavy books and parchment paper)
- clean white porcelain plate (or other dish with a flat bottom)
- clear glue
- resin and hardener
- disposable plastic spoon
- clear disposable plastic cup
Step 1: Prepping the Flowers
Pick your flowers, but note that smaller flowers are easier and faster to press. Smaller flowers also press flatter which will be helpful in step four.
Before pressing the flowers, cut down or fold the stem so that the flower lies somewhat flat.
Press your flowers using one of these two methods:
Standard flower press: Open the press and take out two pieces of blotting paper. Spread out the petals of each flower so they lay neatly on the bottom piece of paper. Make sure that none of the flowers are touching each other. Place the top piece of paper over the flowers and close your press by tightening the screws. Leave your flowers in the press for five to seven days, depending on the size of your flowers.
Two books: Find two heavy hardcover books and two pieces of parchment/blotting paper. Place your flowers in between the two pieces of paper. Make sure that none of the flowers are touching each other. Spread out the petals of each flower so they lay neatly on the bottom piece of paper. Place your two books on top of each other. Leave your flowers between the books for five to seven days, depending on the size of your flowers.
Step 2: Arranging the Flowers
Warning: Use glue sparingly. This step is only meant to keep your flowers in place when you pour the resin over them. If you use too much glue, it will show through on the front sides of your flowers and distort their colors.
Once your flowers are pressed, carefully remove them from the blotting paper. If they stick, use a second piece of paper to gently slide between the flower and the paper it’s stuck to. If your flowers have long stems, trim them down with your scissors.
Take your clean plate and arrange the flowers in a pattern that you like. This can be as simple or as complex as you want, but make sure that the flowers stay on the bottom of the plate and that no parts go up onto the raised rim.
Once your flowers are arranged, begin gluing them down. Pour ¼ teaspoon of glue onto a spoon or separate plate. Use a toothpick and dip one end into the glue. Gently pick up each flower and use the toothpick to lightly spread glue on the back. Press the flower back onto the bottom of your plate and continue with each flower until they are all lightly glued down. Leave your plate to dry for two hours.
Step 3: Mixing the Resin
After your glue has dried, you can begin preparing the resin. If your resin bottles feel cold, fill a bowl with warm (not hot) water and let the bottles sit in the water for 5–10 minutes. The resin and hardener will mix better if they are warm.
Gather the plastic cup, plastic spoon, resin, and the hardener. Pour equal parts resin and hardener into the plastic cup and stir them together with a plastic spoon. The size of your plate will influence how much of the resin and hardener you need to mix, but keep in mind that you only need to have about ⅛ in layer in order to cover your flowers (this may vary depending on the variety of flowers you pressed).
Step 4: Pouring the Resin
Pour the resin mixture onto your plate. Start with a little, then pour more if it’s not enough. Pour into the center of the plate first and use the back of your spoon to carefully spread the resin around to cover the flowers.
If your plate does not have a clear rim to guide the spreading, try to spread it into an even circle. Do not spread the resin up onto the edges of your plate at all. If your flowers are not entirely covered, pour more resin into the center of your plate and spread it around.
Step 5: Popping Air Bubbles
After you spread the resin evenly over the bottom of the plate, take a toothpick and pop any air bubbles that appear in the resin. Get as many of the air bubbles to pop as you can, but it’s alright if there are a few tiny ones (the small bubbles are much harder to pop with the toothpick). Use the toothpick to gently push down flower petals to ensure that there are no air bubbles hiding under the petals. Dispose of your plastic cup, spoon, and toothpicks in the garbage can.
Tip: If the bubble won’t pop, try moving the toothpick back and forth around the bubble. This can force the bubble to move to the surface and pop.
Step 6: Drying Time
Let your plate dry for five to seven days. Make sure it’s in a flat place that’s protected from dust, such as a drawer or cabinet. Put a sign out so that nobody sets anything on top of your plate. Leave the drawer or cabinet slightly ajar to allow for air flow.
Step 7: The Final Product
Check to make sure that the resin has hardened by tapping the edge lightly. When your plate is dry, wash it with warm, soapy water. Your plate is now ready to be used as a decoration, serving plate, jewelry holder, or gift!
Note: Do not use your plate for meals because utensils may scratch the resin. Do not put it in the microwave or dishwasher. Hand wash only.