Outdoor Hour Challenge #14: Pressing Flowers

“If the mother lacks a knowledge of plants, a good field guide will be indispensable, especially if she can find one that includes little facts and fun things about the plants. To collect flowers, press them and glue them to cardboard with the name in English, what kind of habitat it grows in, and when it was found…This is fun and educational.”
Charlotte Mason volume 1, page 51

We are now three weeks into our eight week focus on garden flowers. By now you should have had time to find some garden flowers to observe, perhaps have planted some seeds of your own, learned a few names for flower parts, and are ready to start a pressed flower collection.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #14
Pressing Flowers

1. Gather a few common materials to use for pressing flowers. For your outings, select an old phone book or an old reading book that you can use to press flowers between the pages as you collect them. This will help transport your flower specimens home to where you can put them into a press. There is no need for anything fancy. We have been using cardboard, copier paper, and rubber bands to make a handy flower and leaf press. See video for an explanation: Making a Simple Flower Press.

2. Take your 10-15 minute outdoor time to look for some garden flowers in your local area. Observe your seeds that you planted in challenge 12, if you did that part of the challenge. Remember to use the correct labels for the plant parts that you read about in challenge number 13. Gather a few flowers to bring home to press in your own flower press.

3. Follow up in the Handbook of Nature Study with any flowers that you saw during your Green Hour time and that are listed in the table of contents. Use the observation ideas for your next outing to learn more about that particular flower.

4. Give an opportunity for a nature journal entry. Work on drawing another garden flower. Remember that we will be working on flower drawing skills in week 15. If you have seeds growing, record their progress in your nature journal.

5. Add any new flowers to your list of garden flowers. If you are making field guide cards for your garden flowers, add another card this week. If you make one card per week, by the end of this focus period you will have eight cards completed.

6. Take the flowers that you gathered during your nature time and add them to your press. There is a definite technique for getting them to lay flat as you place them between the paper and the cardboard. Some flowers are better at laying flat and others you will have to squeeze sideways. Experiment as the next few weeks go by.

I made a two minute video explaining how to make a very simple flower press for this week’s challenge. Please watch the video and you will see that anyone can do this and be successful:
How to Make a Flower Press

This challenge is part of my Garden Flowers ebook. This ebook has ten garden related challenges that will walk you through a study of garden flowers using the Handbook of Nature Study. In addition to the challenges already written, there will be more photos, nature journal examples, book lists, and totally new notebook pages designed to go with each of the Garden Flower Challenges.

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy


  1. This sounds great!! I am really looking forward to getting started on this challenge!! =o) God Bless–
    Angie in GA

  2. Thanks Barb for another great Challenge!


  3. Barb, I am not following the Challenges so much lately. But I think (I hope) what we are doing is in the spirit of the Challenges, so I have submitted my nature study post for the week.

  4. Your video was wonderful! I haven’t tried pressing this way, but I sure like the idea. Better then using books. And each child could have their very own press. Oh the idea’s are flowing now. :)

    We need to pull our pressed folowers out and see how they turned out.

    I can’t wait to do this challenge. :)


    Sorry I haven’t got challenge #14 Notebooking page done yet. I have been busy with workshops, planning a new co-op, schooling, and more… I will get to this tomorrow though. I apologize if anyone is waiting on them.

  5. Hello Barb

    Thank you for your kind comment at my blog regarding my weed pressing “O) I am looking forward to seeing how they turn out (so long as they don’t get lost in our move!!) and we all enjoyed this challenge… thanks too for the video that made it all possible and not a big fuss!

    Blessings, Pauline

  6. Barb, I love this idea for a flower press. How do you add the pressed flowers to your nature journal? Tape? Glue? Thanks!

  7. Sarah,

    It depends on the item we are putting into the journal. We have used sticky tape for very light items. We use scrapbooking envelopes for bulky items (they look sort of like wax paper). We have pressed flowers between layers of wax paper and heated with an iron. And put them in sheet protectors if they are going into our nature notebook.

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