We recently made a YouTube video on how we make our own flower presses.
If you have a friend who has some tools or you already have the tools yourself and have fifty or sixty spare dollars in your pocket you could probably make four, not one, but FOUR presses yourself. One 2' x 4' sheet of MDF is enough to make four presses. Overall this is a very easy and doable DIY project that does not take much time once you figure out how to make the first one.
Our presses are 3/4” thick. You can get away with 1/2” thick wood but we recommend 3/4” because your press will be more sturdy and the top piece of wood will not bend when you're applying pressure and tightening your press to press the flowers. You can absolutely get away with using 1/2" wood if you are trying to save a few dollars or have a bit already hanging around in your garage.
Almost all our presses are 12 inches x 12 inches. You can make presses any size, but they may require more bolts to get even pressure across the flowers. We have one really long press that we made that has 6 bolts in it that we use to press longer stems. All of our paper, chipboard, and cardboard is 8.5" x 11", so it fits very easily into the confines of our 12" x 12" press.
Our favorite substrate to use for our presses is Baltic Birch Plywood. For us, it comes in larger 5' x 5' sheets. It has a very nice weight to it, is easy to work with, and you can stain the wood if you choose. You can also use 3/4” Sanded Plywood which is most commonly found at Home Depot or Lowes or smaller hardware stores. A third option is 3/4 inch MDF. We used this in our YouTube video because we already had it in our garage. And finally, if you want to get super fancy, you can use 3/4" hardwood, but this will be expensive.
Tools used in this video with their affiliate links:
- Stanley Measuring Tape
- DEWALT 20V Max Cordless Drill
- DEWALT Titanium Nitride Coated Drill Bit Set This is for making the 5/16” (bottom plate) and 1/2” (top plate) holes)
- DEWALT Bar Clamp This is optional as you could have someone hold the wood in place.
- DEWALT 20V MAX 7-1/4-Inch Circular Saw If you have another type of saw, this is optional.
- SUIZAN Japanese Pull Saw Hand Saw If you have another type of saw, this is optional.
- IRWIN Hand Saw If you have another type of saw, this is optional.
- Crescent 1/2" 12 Point Combination Wrench
- Big Gator Tools V-Drill Guide
Materials to make one press using the hex bolt method:
- (4) 5/16 inch x 6 inch zinc plated hex bolts. If you can find longer ones, like 8 inches, you will be able to fit more in your press.
- (12) 5/16 in. Stainless Steel Flat Washer
- (4) 5/16 inch Zinc Plated Hex Nut. This is what you will put on the bolt to secure the bolt to the bottom plate.
- (4) 5/16 in Zinc Plated Wing Nuts. This is what you will put on the end of the bolt once your press is closed in order to fasten down the top plate and apply pressure to the flowers being pressed.
Materials to make one press using the carriage bolt method:
- (4) 5/16 inch x 6 inch Zinc Plated Hex Bolts. If you can find longer ones, like 8 inches, you will be able to fit more in your press.
- (4) if you want to lock the carriage bolts in place or (8) if you are recessing the bolt into the wood 5/16 inch Stainless Steel Flat Washers
- (4) 5/16 inch Zinc Plated Hex Nuts. This is what you will put on the bolt to recess the bolt into the wood and you can also leave it on in order to make sure the bolt does not wiggle out of the wood over time.
- (4) 5/16 inch Zinc Plated Wing Nuts. This is what you will put on the end of the bolt once your press is closed in order to fasten down the top plate and apply pressure to the flowers being pressed.
We hope this helps! Please feel free to leave a comment on our YouTube video if you have any questions!