I remember taking some long bolts and two pieces of really thick plywood with bolt holes at the corners, and some paper. I then remember going out three or four times and collecting blooms and putting them in between the bits of paper and then cranking down the nuts on the bolts.
I then have a vague memory of pulling some of those dried flowers out, laying them in the plastic that then gets run through the laminator.
I have a flower press just as you describe. I also use old phone books for the same purpose and they work really well.
I have done lampshades with pressed flowers, pictures that I framed, greeting cards, use them like decoupage on wooden items, use your imagination. Not all flowers press well or keep their color. Blue bells turn out really ugly, and fireweed turns a pretty blue. I have a stack of old phonebooks right now full of flowers, but have not made anything in quite a while. You just put a bug in my ear.
A favorite flower press of mine is made out of an old baby cradle. It was damaged, someone was throwing it away. I took one look at the slatted sides and said "Eureka!" I cut both ends off of the two sides, use giant rubber bands cut from old inner tubes to hold them together. I sandwich newspapers in between cardboard, with the plants between the newspapers.
About fifteen years ago when I was a child I traveled to West Virginia a few winters in a row, to visit a father's girlfriend's mother's home. (Confused?) Her bookshelves were a treasure trove of pressed flowers. She would pull out books, open them up, and inside were beautiful flowers. Thinking back on her backyard, she would have been an excellent person to teach all kinds of permaculture-related skills. Physical separation and alzheimer's prevented me from knowing her further.
I think pressed flowers make excellent gift-card adornments!
One year for mothers day I took the bark from a paper bark eucalyptus, backed it with some stiff brown card and glued pressed flowers and sea shells from my travels in Hawaii. took a picture of my self and glued it in the middle. Sent one to my mom and sis, I wonder if they still have it. Using the paper bark was really fantastic it gave a nice earthy background to the flowers and shells. I used a paperback book maybe 200 page book.
Who among you feels worthy enough to be my best friend? Test 1 is to read this tiny ad:
Building a Better World in your Backyard by Paul Wheaton and Shawn Klassen-Koop