How to Make Your Own Pressed Fern Fronds

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If you want to capture the beauty of nature by learning how to make your own pressed fern fronds, then this article is for you.

If you are new to this blog: Welcome! My name is Anna and I share information on collecting antique/vintage items, refurbishing furniture and making small crafts/projects. The purpose of this blog is to share with you how to use creativity and antiques to make your home beautiful. In addition to information here on the blog, you can also follow me on the following social media accounts InstagramFacebook or Pinterest.

Handcrafted Society

Welcome to the Handcrafted Society! This is a group of talented bloggers who come together monthly to collectively craft creations using a shared medium or theme. This month’s theme was “pressed flowers or dried flowers”. So, each blogger created a project that incorporated these items.

The projects done by the Handcrafted Society are enjoyable and inspiring because we see the varied perspectives and interpretations of the theme by each participant. Towards the conclusion of this post, you’ll find images and links to the projects for each blogger. I hope you enjoy browsing through all the ideas these ladies have created. Simply click on the image or blog name to view their full post.

Back Story

I was at a garden nursery the other day and saw some beautiful botanical fern frond prints. These were large prints with life size fern fronds. They inspired me and got my brain thinking – hmm – I could make something similar.

I have a flower press but it’s only for small flowers and leaves. If you aren’t familiar with “pressed” flowers or leaves – it is a method of drying them so they are pressed flat with their color preserved. Fern fronds are fairly large. They are routinely 12 inches or more in length and as such are too large for the flower press I own. So, I had to develop a method for pressing the ferns. It took some trial and error but I finally found something that worked.

Below is a summary of the process.

Making Pressed Fern Fronds

Supplies

The first thing we need to do is gather our supplies. Fortunately, you don’t need many materials for this project.

  • Fresh fern fronds
  • Large cardboard Box (I simply reused a large Amazon box)
  • Parchment paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Scissors or box cutter
  • Packing tape
  • Heavy item(s) such as a moving box(es) filled with books

Collect Fern Fronds

There are a wide variety of fern fronds you can press. Some varieties available include:

  • Boston Fern
  • Maiden Hair Fern
  • Painted Lady Fern
  • Ostrich Fern
  • Japanese Painted Fern

I even went into the woods in my backyard and gathered a few wild fern fronds. I used a pair of gardening snips to gather a collection of fronds.

Collecting fern fronds

Make the Fern Frond Press

Before cutting the cardboard box, I checked to make sure it was wide enough and tall enough to cover the fern fronds.

Pressed Fern Fronds

Then, I used a box cutter – or you can use scissors – to cut two pieces of cardboard the same size. Each piece of cardboard is large enough to cover several fern fronds.

Layer Fern Fronds

I placed one piece of cardboard on the table and placed some parchment paper on it. Then I layered some fern fronds. On top of the fern fronds, I placed several pieces of paper towels and then another layer of parchment paper.

Repeat this pattern of layering:

  • Parchment paper
  • Ferns
  • Paper towels
  • Parchment paper
  • Ferns
  • Paper towels

Keep layering until all your fern fronds are included in the cardboard. Try to prevent the fern fronds from overlapping or touching. Finish with a layer of parchment paper and add the second piece of cardboard on top. Essentially you are making a large cardboard “fern sandwich”.

Cardboard with fern fronds layered in between

Then use packing tape to seal the edges of the cardboard. You don’t need a lot of tape. The goal is to keep the cardboard sandwich together.

Finally, set a heavy box or a couple of heavy boxes -depending on the size of your cardboard fern press- on top. I took the cardboard fern press down to my basement and placed a couple of boxes containing books on the top. It remained there for 12 weeks.

Pressed Fern Fronds

After 12 weeks, you should have dried fern fronds. They are amazingly delicate and graceful.

How to make pressed fern fronds

There are a number of things you can use these pressed fern fronds for:

  • Frame them or frame a collection of them
  • Lay them flat down the center of a table for a tablescape
  • Adorn a gift
  • Use them as decoration in vases or bottles
Make Pressed Fern Fronds

I did notice the tips of the Boston ferns became a little dark. However, I still like the way they look. The Ostrich ferns seemed to dry the best!

Handcrafted Society Projects

As mentioned above, I am participating in the Handcrafted Society with other bloggers who also created a project with the theme of “Dried or Pressed Flowers”. You can see what they made below! If you want to learn more about any of the projects, simply click on the image.

Summary

Thank you for stopping by the blog today. Happy creating!

Anna Signature Block

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20 Comments

  1. Ferns are one of my favorites and this is such a great way to decorate with them year round. I would love to try this with maidenhair fern cuttings. Thanks for the inspiration and a great post!

  2. Oh, I love this idea, Anna! I love the simplicity and elegance of the ferns. Thank you for sharing how to create the press! I have a lot of ferns and need to try this idea this summer!

  3. FERNS! Yes! I don’t know why I love them so much. Maybe because they seem so old worldly and mysterious — typically not from your suburban garden bed. But more from within the stone walls of a Secret Garden.

    It’s the romantic in me and so I adore how these turned out. I’m definitely going to have two give them a try!

  4. Anna, I have two large ferns on my patio and have been wondering how to use them in my decor inside the house. The fronds are very long but now I don’t have to figure out how to press them! This is such a great idea and yours came out looking beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Donna! Yes, the fern fronds on your patio would be perfect to preserve!
      I always thought they would be fun to use for wrapping gifts. As embellishments.

  5. So excited about the way this came together, Anna. Your fern fronds are gorgeous! We have several large plants that I would love to experiment with and to try this out too. Thanks so much for the easy to follow instructions. I can totally handle a fern sandwich! Loving, pinning and will share tomorrow as well. Big hugs, CoCo

  6. I love this Anna! We have a bunch of wild ferns that grow on our rock wall in the back yard and I’ve been wanting to preserve some leaves. This is a great tutorial. The hardest part for me is 12 weeks, lol. I’m not very patient. Thank you so much of the great idea. XO- MarryJo

  7. Ferns are one of my favorite plants and stems. I’ve never even thought about pressing them for decorative purposes. Thanks for the tutorial and the information on how to make my own DIY Fern Frond Press.

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