Pressing flowers in rice paper results in a gorgeous texture, like flowers and leaves stuck within lace. This beautifully delicate, yet oddly sturdy, type of paper is very easy to create, and gives you something to do with all those flowers and leaves that will soon be wilting and dying in your yard come fall. Here is how to press flowers in rice paper.
You will need a heavy book you don’t mind getting dirty, leaves, flowers, stems, etc, and sheets of rice paper. I find rice paper at Michaels, and I am sure any craft or scrapbooking store has rice paper. You want plain rice paper, not dyed or decorated. The flowers you will be pressing will make the rice paper luxurious on their own.
Simply tear the rice paper into the size you like. Oddly enough, tearing rice paper keeps it in that naturally homemade-looking shape, as opposed to cutting with scissors. This is how I prefer to work with rice paper, anyhow. Use scissors if you’d like. Tear 2 pieces of rice paper the size you’d like for the flowers.
Open the heavy book to the middle pages, and place one sheet of the rice paper on the page, careful not to have the rice paper too close to the end, as it will then bend when the book is closed on top of it to press the flowers between its pages. Try to leave a one-inch margin all around the rice paper, at least.
Take your picked flowers, petals, stems, leaves, etc (pick these in the morning after the dew has dried off, later in the day and they are more likely to wilt- AM is your best picking time) and place them how you’d like to arrange them on the rice paper. When you are satisfied with the layout, place the other rice paper sheet on top as if you are making a flower sandwich, and close the book gently.
Move the book to a dry, clean area and ignore the paper for about 3 weeks or so. The longer you let the flowers press and dry, the better. Disturbing the flower paper too soon can ruin the whole thing. After 3 weeks, check on the rice paper. If the flowers look like they are pulling when you gently tug on the rice paper, then the flowers need to be pressed for another few days to a week.
Flowers particularly great for pressing include ferns, any type of herbs, rose petals, lobelia, larkspur, violets, any type of leaves so long as they are still green, and pansies. Patience is key when creating rice paper with flowers pressed in, but it’s a beautiful turnout! The flowers on the inside are clearly visible from the papers on top and bottom, and make these papers great for cards or scrapbooking! Choose brilliant colors as opposed to white or cream for the best results.