Preserved Gardens

Working With Pressed Flowers - Glues and Sealers

You've pressed your flowers and greenery, now you want to make something pretty.
Answers to some common questions about working with pressed flowers.

Images of Pressed Flowers
Pressed Flowers
Pressed Foliage
Pressed Grass
Other Botanicals

Pressed Flower Shopping
Pressed Flowers
Foliage & Botanicals
Dyed Flora
Coloring Pressed Flowers

Using Pressed Flowers
Dying Pressed Flowers
Press Your Flowers
Kid's Nature Projects
Wax Paper Pressing
Flower Projects
Floral Luminary
Greeting Cards
Flower Magnets
Secret Compartment Book
Marbleing Paper
Make Sticker Glue

Pressed Flower Information
Pressing Tutorials
Matting Your Art
Framing Pressed Art
Sealers and Glue
Press Memory Flowers
Book Reviews
Flower Blog
Flower Database

Basic Floral Information
Condition Flowers
Winter Flower Pressing
Flower Arranging
Sending Your Flowers

And Then Some...
My Work
My Flower Stuff
My Garden
About Me
Birds and Flowers

"How to Tell the Birds from the Flowers" - a cute little book from my collection. Over a century old, fully scanned. scans are copyright annepost 2008



Gluing Your Pressed Flowers

Use tweezers to handle your pressed flowers and leaves. It will save you time and prevent damage to your pressed materials.

Use an acid free glue stick or glue pen to apply a tiny amount of glue to the paper, then place the ferns, foliage and flowers onto the glued portion of your paper.

I sometimes use either of these two types of glue, depending on what I'm working on, mostly because they're quick and easy... although not really the best. Great for doing fall leaf projects with the kids!

I like

Perfect Paper Adhesive is an acid free transparent adhesive and sealer with a UV inhibitor. Using the matt formula, you can't see it on the flowers, but the gloss will give a shiny finish. Choose your preferred finish and you're set to go. You can also use this as your sealer.

To be really safe, use a professional adhesive sold by most herbarium supply sites, applied to the back of the flower with a toothpick or place a dot of glue on the paper where the flower will go.

The Gaylord Premium Acid-Free Adhesive is my number one go-to glue. It dries quickly, is clear and flexible, and is ph neutral. If it's good enough tor the pros it's good enough for me! An 8 oz. bottle is only $10 and considering the tiny amount of glue you need to use, this could be a life time supply.

Gaylord Premium Acid-Free Adhesive

Put pressure on your picture while it's drying by putting it in a press or placing books on top. Your pressed flowers could shrivel some if your don't use enough pressure.

Before framing the picture, make sure you let the glue dry completely and then seal your picture to protect it.


Sealing Pressed Flowers

DMP (dried material preservative) a pump spray available at most craft supply stores, like Michael's. DMP will seal your pressed flowers while making them more pliable. Pressed flowers do not like sunlight and this product contains a slight amount of UV protection. Every little bit helps

Krylon 1311 Matte Finish Spray for Artists is an anti-UV clear acrylic sealer in a spray can available at arts and crafts stores... I buy mine online. Be careful... Krylon makes several clear acrylic sealers... this is the one you want. The product description specifically lists dried flowers as a use of this sealer. I prefer this over the others that are made by Krylon.

Plasti-Kote 1000 Universal Clear Coat Automotive Touch-Up Paint is tough, hard wearing. very UV resistant,  and will not fade or yellow. This dries hard and is an excellent alternative to laminating your bookmarks. Maybe even your cards if you like the look.

Other options include cold or heat lamination if you don't mind the look of plastic on your pressed flower projects. For some things, such as bookmarks this might even be desirable depending on your personal style.

My favorite, however, is a toluene based polymer that I mix up myself. It includes UV protection and a preservative. It doesn't discolor the flowers or react with other chemicals such as resins; It doesn't show at all when it's dry. Although this is my favorite, I won't use it when safety conditions aren't right... it requires a lot of ventilation.

I originally bought a basic formula from someone who makes rosary beads from real, tiny rose buds (very pretty) but they have since retired. I only changed it up a bit by adding the UV protection and preservative.

You can probably figure it out yourself, it's not hard, but I don't want to be the cause of injury to another person (by igor at dresshead online). If you try, do it outdoors at your own risk. Always. Period. No exception. Respect this chemical, maybe even fear it.