I needed a very large plant press for a project on Texas grasses and wildflowers. The largest commercial press was not large enough and was too expensive anyway. I wanted something without tiny parts like nuts & bolts that I'd lost from other plant presses over the years. And it had to be something that my arthritic hands could manage easily. So, DIY!
Step 1: MATERIALS
- Two same size pieces of wood in the shape & size you prefer. I used two 18 inch wooden rounds that were in the garage from an unfinished project. You can use any size or shape you prefer.
- Newspaper or packing paper, enough to make two thick layers. Tip: If you use newspaper, be aware that the ink may transfer to your flowers or leaves, and place some plain paper between the plants and the newspaper.
- Two cardboard pieces to use as ventilators. I cut mine from a box to the right size. Tip: Make sure to have thick layers of paper between the cardboard and the plants, or you will end up with a ripple effect on your plants.
- Flowers, leaves, plants to press
Step 2: TOOLS
- Four or more C clamps at least twice the thickness of your wood pieces. For example, I used two wooden rounds which were 1" thick each. 1" + 1" = 2" X 2 (twice the thickness) = 4" clamps. Larger clamps are fine to use if you already have them. A minimum of four clamps is recommended. If necessary, you can always use more to apply pressure in a specific area.
Step 3: ARRANGE PAPERS & PLANTS
- Place cardboard, then thick layers of newspaper, then plain paper on one of the wooden rounds.
- Arrange your flowers, plants, leaves, etc. on the paper
- Place plain paper, then newspaper, then cardboard on top of the plants.
Step 4: CLAMP IT!
- Place second piece of wood on top.
- Apply the C clamps. It's helpful to apply the first 2 clamps across from each other.
- Tighten all four clamps as much as possible.
- Depending on the thickness of the plants and paper layers, wait 2 - 6 weeks for plants to dry.
Step 5: PRETTY IT UP!
- If you are artsy/craftsy, you can pretty up the wooden rounds as you please. I did a transfer of one of my wildflower pictures +0to the top of the press.