I have been enjoying playing with resin lately. I particularly admire some of the beautiful resin jewellery I have seen in various YouTube tutorials and Pinterest pins.
One very useful component for resin jewellery is pressed flowers. They are also fun to use in card making and other paper crafts. But they are quite expensive to buy. So I decided to make my own.
When I was a little girl I used to press garden flowers in an old copy of the book, Black Beauty. Whilst this system is cheap, and does work, it is not ideal. The flowers take about a week to press properly and they tend to lose a lot of their colour.
I spent some time looking at modern flower presses before my mother mentioned she had one, which I was welcome to use. So here is a review of my mum’s Microfleur Flower Press.
First Things First
OK, the first thing that will probably strike you about the Microfleur Flower Press is its price. It is pretty expensive compared to more traditional flower presses. Mum’s press is the “Max” version and measures 9 inches (23 cm) square. There is a smaller version at 5 inches (12.7 cm). At the time of writing (July 2021) , these two cost £59.99 ($64.99) for the larger one and £34.99 ($39.99) for the smaller one.
There are links to the presses on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk at the bottom of the page.
A typical non-microwave type flower press of the same size is about £20 or less. Most traditional presses have a smaller area, but can allow multiple layers of flowers. Traditional flower presses are either wooden plates, with blotting paper in between, which you use by tightening wing nuts on posts. There are also some available now that use a strong, elasticated band to apply the pressure.
So what are you getting for your money?
Literally – two pieces of moulded plastic with tiny holes in them, two pieces of thick, white felt, and two pieces of fine woven cotton fabric.. Plus four plastic clips and a small instruction book.
My first reaction was that this did not look like much for £60. But mum didn’t buy it for its physical looks, she bought it because the makers claim it is better than traditional styles of flowers press.
Is it Better?
Whilst a traditional style of flower press requires 3 – 7 days for the flowers to press, the Microfleur does it in about a minute! If you require pressed flowers for products that are made to order, this time saving feature could definitely be a game-changer.
Another benefit would be that you know quickly whether a particular flower has pressed nicely or not. Having to wait multiple days to find out could be very inconvenient, especially if you only have access to the flowers for a short time.
The other advertised benefit of the Microfleur is that the flowers do not loose their colours as much as they do with traditional presses. Dull, faded pressed flowers are, of course, not as desirable as bright, vibrant specimens.
So Does It Do What it Claims?
Like all flower presses, the Microfleur is best used with very fresh flowers. I found a selection of garden flowers, weeds and wild flowers and hurried back in to press them. The flower you press should not be wet – i.e. they should not have rain or dew on them.
You can press many sorts of flowers, only very thick ones like roses may cause issues. The flatter the type of flower the better it is likely to press.
I also tried assorted leaves, buds and foliage.
You lay one piece of plastic on the table, ridge side down, and put one piece of felt, and one piece of cotton on the top. Then you lay your flowers etc out on the cotton. It is important to leave a little space between them or they can easily stick together. You can get quite a lot of flowers on the large plate.
Because the drying and pressing process is so quick, you may find that the smaller sized press is big enough for your purposes, even if you need to press quite a lot of flowers.
You then press the plastic clips into place and the flower press is ready for the microwave…
I have seen reviews for microwave flower presses warning that they can catch fire! Obviously, I didn’t want that to happen (especially as this first test was being conducted at mum’s house).
Following the instruction booklet, I gave the flowers short bursts in the microwave until they look dry. I found that a total of 1 minute, 20 seconds seemed just right for my mum’s microwave. My own, at home, needed 10 seconds more. This is something that will need experimentation with your own microwave.
And there was no fires. As long as you only do short bursts, as recommended, the plastic doesn’t seem to get hot.
Once the flowers look flat and feel dry you can carefully remove them from the cotton, ready to press more if needed.
Some flowers stained the cotton. You can wash the cotton as needed, and reuse it over and over. It would not be hard to replace it if it got too grubby over time.
As with my childhood flower pressing experiments I discovered that some flowers, leaves etc. press better than others. Ferns, evergreens and leaves worked particularly well.
The flowers did indeed seem to retain their original colours very well. I pressed some very vivid purple wild-flowers and compared the pressed versions to some fresh ones, and they looked the same colour to my eyes.
Summary of the Microfleur Microwave Flower Press
If you want to press flowers quickly and/or need to be sure to retain the colours, then the Microfleur is an excellent solution. There are cheaper solutions, but they take a LOT longer to get similar results.
The press looks sturdy and I have no doubt it will last a long time. The thick felt pads get damp when in use, but dry out quickly and look as good as new after many pressings. The cotton fabric does stain, but can be washed easily. Replacement squares of white cotton fabric would not be hard to obtain to replace them.
There is a “Replacement Pack” of felt and cotton squares available though, if needed. The manufacturers also suggest this might be useful if you intend to press a lot of flowers at a time. You can swap felt pads whilst the others are drying out.
I was able to press a lot of flowers in just one afternoon. I will definitely be using the press again and mum has kindly said that I can keep it at my house. My mum is the best 🙂
Links to the Microfleur Microwave Flower Press on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk
Here are links to the Microfleur Microwave Flower Press on Amazon.com (top) and Amazon.co.uk (bottom). I have included links to both sizes of press, and the refills. These are affiliate links and if you purchase after clicking on them I may get a small commission from Amazon for sending customers to their site. This is at no cost at all to yourself. Thank you.