How to Press Herbs for Botanical Art

3 Materials
1 Hour

If you read my last post about drying Herbs, you know that we have an over abundance of herbs this year. Do you love Botanical Prints? Well, there’s nothing more authentic than a real pressed herb. Since I’m sharing about preserving your herbs this Spring, here is another way to use your herbs.

Here is a step by step guide on how to press herbs to use for botanical art. In addition, you will learn how to frame your pressed herbs. This is a fun project for all ages and you’ll love the results.

You will want to gather your herbs at a peak time and when your herbs look their healthiest. Gather on a sunny day when the sun has dried all moisture from the stems. Use shears to cut your herbs.

You want to use a heavy book. I have an old dictionary that I like to use. If you are not concerned about the condition of the book, you can lay your herbs between the pages without any protection. Some herbs and especially flowers, may stain the pages. If this is a concern, place your herbs between two pieces of parchment paper and then place between the pages of your book. Note: Your herbs will dry much quicker between the paper pages. Usually within 2 weeks. Parchment paper doesn’t absorb the oils as quickly and drying time is extended.

Once you have your herbs placed between your pages, you want to add some weight to the book. I place the book on my desk under this urn and add extra books for good measure. I allowed my last batch of herbs to stay in the book for 3 weeks.

Here is the result after 3 weeks of pressing. I was not as happy with my basil. The leaves were very small and curly. Therefore, they didn’t press as well this time. The larger leaves work better.

Begin by finding a frame for your botancial's. I already had three pressed glass frames that I had picked up previously from Ikea. If you are using a pressed glass frame, you may want a background for your herbs. I used some quality paper that I had on hand. Using a calligraphy pen, I hand lettered the names onto the heavy paper.

Next, to keep the pressed herbs from slipping, I used a basting adhesive. Just a light mist of spray will hold the herb in place on your paper. I held the spray can 24 inches from the herb and gave it a light spray. Because you can easily damage your pressed herbs, you want to use caution while handling and especially while applying any adhesive.

To attach the background paper to the glass, I added just another mist of adhesive to the center of the paper. Then align the paper in the center of the glass and press. Apply the top glass gently and then add to the frame.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. This technique works for press drying flowers as well. It’s a great way to preserve your flowers and make them into art. You can see all the greenhouse details here!

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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

1 question
  • Sandy
    on Jul 17, 2020

    Can I use just regular picture frames for this project?

    • Rachel The Ponds Farmhouse
      on Jul 18, 2020


      thanks for stopping by. Yes you can use a regular frame. You will just want a cardboard backing and card stock to cover the size of the glass so your herb botanicals can shine.


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