Make a Portable Flower Press for Your Herbarium

Here’s the perfect little flower press to carry with you whenever you go for a hike or even a walk around your own backyard. We keep one in the car too because we always come across plants which we find pretty, want to remember a special event, or can’t identify so we can bring them home and look them up.

To make one you need:
corrugated cardboard from an old box
rubberbands (at least 3 thick rubberbands)
package tape or clear contact paper


1. Cut the cardboard into 3 rectangles that are 8″L x 5 1/2″W.

2. Cut the newspaper into 8″ x 5 1/2″ rectangles. These are your pressing papers.

3. Decorate the cover with stamps, flowers, and/or leaves. I used clear contact paper and packing tape to press the leaves and flowers onto the cover.

4. Gather your favorite flowers and leaves to press.

5. Place the bottom cardboard cover down first, layer a couple sheets of newspaper on top of the cardboard and place your flowers face down while smoothing them out as much as possilble. We usually write the location, date and name of the plants we are pressing onto the newspaper to keep a record of them.

6. Layer a few more sheets of newspaper on top of the first layer of flowers, then place more flowers or leaves face down onto the press.

7. Put on the middle piece of cardboard after you have about 5 layers of plants; continue to layer until you run out of flowers. Put the cardboard cover on top and put the rubberbands around the press. You can make the press as thick or thin as you want, just add more newspaper and cardboard as you go.

After a week or two, the flowers should be pressed and ready to remove. Please don’t forget the nature rule…..”if there’s more than 10 you may collect a few, less then 10 don’t be a greedy fool!” We NEVER pick any of our endangered plants and wildflowers. Enjoy!

33 responses to “Make a Portable Flower Press for Your Herbarium”

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  4. andrea the pomegranates
  5. Lauren

    Great idea! We’ll definitely do this one.

  6. Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica)

    My grandmother loved to press flowers-she had a large hatbox literally filled with pressed flowers. I can still smell them even though she passed five years ago and the box was pilfered by a selfish cousin. Ho hum.

  7. andrea the pomegranates

    oh my goodness! i am in love with this, brilliant!

  8. Julie

    This is so great! Thanks for sharing the how-to.

  9. Chrissy

    Lovely, and so perfect for this time of year! I’ve shared your link at One Crafty Place. Thanks!


    This is awesome, thanks so much for sharing! I’ll be linking…and making my own too!

  11. karen m.

    Your press is so much prettier and more portable than the phone book or an encyclopedia volume. Thank you for the tutorial!

  12. affectioknit

    What a great idea!!!

  13. Molly

    I really like that idea! I’ve been contemplating pressing some flowers but hadn’t actually gotten to it yet. However, you should see my kitchen counter – trays and sheets of blossoms and petals my flowers have dropped and I am drying – it smells great!

  14. tie-dyed doula

    Thank you for this, as well as everything that you post! What will you be doing with these dried fancies?

  15. docwitch

    An excellent idea! We have a flower press, but it’s wooden and too clunky to take out with us on rambles. So this is a stroke of genius. So simple and completely perfect.

  16. Emily

    I have been enjoying your blog so much over the past couple of weeks! I currently have violets soaking in a bowl on the counter and I can’t wait to finish it later. Thank you for all your inspiration!

  17. Sarah

    This is a great idea for making a fast, easy flower press! I’ve got the stuff to make the presses on OLM’s flower press tutorial, but this is a nice, fast one to make to keep in the car. Thanks!

  18. sarah in the woods

    Very handy! We’ll have to put one of these together.

  19. Sara

    This is beautiful… I must make one.

  20. Crunchy Christian Mom

    Oh, we’re definitely making these soon! And I just bought the Spiderwick field guide for a birthday present yesterday. :)

  21. SE'LAH...

    i REALLY love your blog.

    this flower press is awesome. We bought one a few years ago but certainly, one can never have enough with all the beautiful spring flowers.

    thanks so much.

  22. Shona

    such a beautiful flower press!

  23. Joy

    What a great idea! Lisa, you are one inspiring mama! :)

  24. Holly

    What a great idea-this will be right up our alley. Thanks. Holly

  25. Tan Family

    We haven’t been able to find our flower press since our last move…now I’m inspired to make one of these with the kids instead of waiting for the old one to show up! Portable is always good on the nature hike days. Wonderful. :)

  26. Marigold

    Your blog is awesome!

  27. Dawn

    Very clever! I love this idea. :)

  28. Rebekah Smith

    this will be a wonderful addition to my portable presses!:-)

    and it’s so pretty!:-)



  29. dongdong

    very cool, and pretty.

    I found out that bird on J’s blog is called “killdeer”. It is a funny bird.

  30. Lori

    what a great idea — and you did make it so pretty :^)

  31. tamdoll

    I love the portability of this & that you made it so pretty, too.

  32. Jeannette

    What a perfect idea! This will go into my bag for my bicycle tours!
    Have a wonderful weekend, Jeannette

  33. jumbleberryjam

    We’re putting together a field bag. This will be a fabulous addition to it! Thank you!! And a special thank you for your happiness for me. Joy shared is so much sweeter :-)