Techniques For Pressing Orchids, Pressing Orchids is Easier Than You Think
"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
How To Press Orchids
Orchids come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. This is a great assortment I got from my wholesaler when they over-ordered for home-coming. Right after a holiday is always the best time to shop for orchids to press.
Oncidium Orchids, fresh from the florist.
Remove the fleshy part in the middle of the orchid flower. Notice the part I took off; you must do this because it has too much moisture and will not dry until long after the flower is dry. If left on, you will get ugly browning in the area surrounding that fleshy part.
Place your Orchids on a microwave press or an open book. Do not close the press. We want them wide open at this stage.
Microwave for 30 seconds with Orchids just sitting on top of your press, without pressing.
The flowers will be soft but not dry. Press the center of the flower between your thumb and forefinger to squeeze out the moisture.
While the Orchids are still warm you can gently shape them so they are flat, side-ways, or however you want. You will probably have to repeat the above step about half-way through, because the flowers will cool enough to feel fresh again, not soft.
Place your Orchids in the microwave press now. Microwave 30 seconds, then take out, open the press and let them cool completely.
When cool, take a tooth pick, gently slide it under the center of your Orchid to loosen it from the paper. Slowly slide the tooth pick under each individual petal working from the center out. We do this to keep the Orchid from being stuck on the paper after pressing, otherwise you may damage your Orchid trying to get it off the paper.
Repeat the above steps a couple more times, always letting the Orchid cool, and releasing it from the paper.
When they are almost dry, transfer them to your flower press to finish drying, a couple of days.
When completely dry, you can remove your Orchid from your flower press. It should come off the paper easily because you've been removing it from the paper. For extra ease, use wax paper the last time you change the paper (by igor at dresshead online). If your orchids get stuck you can go over it with an iron very quickly to melt the wax.
Now you can go make something pretty!
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