Hobby Riding

Technique of pressing flowers. Although flowers may be pressed by simply putting them between papers and weighting them down, the child who intends to make decorative use of his pressed specimens should know a little more than that. Attention to each of the details enumerated below will reward him with much better color and form.

1.Flowers must be free of moisture.
2.Absorbent paper should be used-something like paper towels or newspapers. Avoid slick-paper magazines. The per feet material is blotting paper, which is too expensive for general use, but might be resorted to for especially precious fragile blossoms.
3.Use two or three sheets of paper as a bed for the speci mens.
4.Arrange them gracefully, with leaves and petals straight ened out.
5.Sometimes powdered borax is sprinkled lightly over the blossoms; this preserves color better by quick moisture ab sorption. It must be carefully brushed off later, and is a little more trouble.
6.Cover arrangement with two or three sheets of paper.
7.Carefully slip this sandwich between the pages of a large magazine, or stack with others in a pile, with cardboards in between.
8.A heavy weight and evenly distributed pressure are most important to producing smoothly flattened blossoms. A board placed on top of stack or magazine, before weights are put on, will help maintain even pressure. Bricks, heavy books, old-fashioned flatirons, all can be used as weights.
9.Keep the weighted press in a warm, dry place to hasten the drying process.
10.Open up the press in a day or two and rearrange flowers on fresh, dry papers. Specimens will still be limp at this stage; this affords an opportunity to manipulate stems into more graceful curves and to make adjustments in leaf and petal positions.
11.Investigate every few days, and replace top papers as long as there is any sign of dampness. This will avoid molding or browning of petals.
12.When flowers are thoroughly dry they may be stored in a fresh magazine or between papers in a box.

Leaves are pressed in exactly the same way, except that they are more quickly done. Pressed leaves may be waxed by rubbing a barely warm iron with paraffine and then running the iron lightly over the leaves.

Portable plant press. Children who spend summers at camp or take automobile trips or hikes into unfamiliar territory, often want to collect specimens while away. Flowers and leaves must be pressed immediately, and a little carrying plant-press will solve this problem.

One system is simply to take several large magazines and insert two paper towels between every few pages. Another is to cut a stack of newspapers into quarter-page size, interposing laundry cardboards, cut the same size, between every half dozen or so sheets.



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