Skip to Content

How to Press Herbs for Botanical Art

Have you ever wanted to create your own botanical art prints? Today, you will learn how to press herbs for botanical art. By doing so, you can preserve the beauty of nature and add a touch of greenery to your home.

Nothing is more authentic than a real pressed herb for making botanical prints.

Today, you will learn how easy it is to press herbs for botanical art and how to press flowers to preserve their beautiful blooms for years to come. If you are pressing several flowers or herbs, you may want a flower press and I’ll share a link to building an easy botanical press.

How to Press Herbs for Botanical Art.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

In addition, you will learn the best way to frame pressed herbs. This project is fun for all ages, and you’ll love the results.

How to Gather Herbs To Make Botanical Art

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

How to Press Herbs for Botanical Art

How Do You Press Herbs?

The easiest method is to press herbs or flowers using a heavy book.

I have an old dictionary that I like to use. If you are not concerned about the book’s condition, 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 put them between the pages of your book. You can add copy paper or paper towels but the moisture may still bleed through to your book pages.

To be safe, you can build a botanical press. This easy DIY is described further at the end of the post.

Note: Your herbs will dry quickly between the paper and cardboard, usually within two weeks. Parchment paper doesn’t absorb the oils as quickly, and drying time is extended.

Prepare the Herbs for Pressing

First, gather your herbs at their peak.

Remove any excess leaves or damaged areas. It’s best if the plant is as flat as possible.

Place the herbs on the paper and make sure there is no overlap. For best results, cover them carefully to not shift the position.

Add Weight To Press Herbs

In order to press herbs, place them between the book pages and add weight to the book.

Books used to press herbs.

I place the book on my desk under this urn and add extra books for good measure. It’s important that the book presses the herbs evenly. Flat herbs are best for pressing between book pages.

I allowed my last batch of herbs to stay in the book for two or three weeks.

Herbs prepared for frames.

Here is the result after three weeks of pressing. I was not as happy with my basil. The leaves are tiny and curly. Therefore, they didn’t dry as well this time. The larger leaves work better.

Which Herbs Are Best For Pressing?

Although you can press all herbs, some press more easily and look better after drying. Here are my favorites.

  1. Dill
  2. Mint
  3. Thyme
  4. Oregano
  5. Cilantro
  6. Sage
  7. Rosemary
  8. Lavender

Now To Make Botanical Art?

Begin by finding frames for your botanical art prints.

I love these gold frames; however, I already had three frames. I purchased them from IKEA for a future project, and because I’m always budget-conscious, I used what was on hand.

How to Press Herbs for Botanical Art

If you use a pressed glass frame, you will need a background for your herbs.

I used some quality acid-free paper that I had on hand. Using a calligraphy pen, I hand-lettered the names onto the heavy paper.

How Do You Attach The Pressed Herbs to Paper for Framing?

Next, you need to add the herbs to the acid-free paper to frame for botanical art.

I used basting adhesive to keep the pressed herbs from slipping. A light mist of spray will hold the herb in place on your paper.

The basting adhesive is acid-free and helps to maintain the color of your herbs.

Adhesive used to secure herbs.

I held the spray can 24 inches from the herb and gave it a light spray.

Because pressed herbs can easily damage, you should exercise caution when handling them, especially when applying adhesive.

Pressed botanical herbs placed in frames.

Insider Tip

If you are framing your botanical art without pressing between glass, you will need to use a permanent glue to adhere the herbs to your paper.

Be sure to use acid-free glue as well as paper to prolong the color of your art.

How To Frame Pressed Herbs For Botanical Art?

Now, add your pressed herbs to the glass to make botanical art.

To attach the background paper to the glass, add just a mist of adhesive to the center of the paper. Then, align the paper in the center of the glass and press. Finally, gently apply the top glass and add it to the frame.

Framed pressed botanical herbs with vintage garden tools.

Preserving Herbs

In addition to making botanical art, you may be looking for additional ways to preserve herbs for out-of-season use. Be sure to read How to Dry Herbs.

You might also enjoy this tasty basil pesto recipe.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. This technique also works for press-drying flowers. It’s a great way to preserve and turn your flowers into art.

Pressed framed botanical herbs displayed in greenhouse.

I began by displaying the framed botanicals to decorate inside the greenhouse. However, I quickly realized the excess sun exposure was fading the herbs.

Insider Tip – Sun Caution

If you plan to display your botanical art in a greenhouse or sun porch, beware! The sun will fade the color of your botanical art.

I recommend using your dried herb art indoors and away from direct sunlight. You can also frame your art with a UV protective glass.


Build a DIY Flower Press for Preserving Botanicals

If you are working with flowers and a large quantity of botanicals, you will need a flower press. You can see how easy it is to make one using scrap lumber. See Easy Flower Press: Upcycle Scrap Wood To Preserve Botanicals

DIY Flower Press made with sustainable Scrap Lumber to effectively dry flowers and herbs.

More Favorite DIY Projects

I appreciate you stopping by; your comments and questions are always welcome.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? Hover over the images you’d like to save and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button.

Botanical Art Prints made with pressed herbs.  How To Press herbs to frame.
How to Press Herbs to make Botanical Art Prints.  Farmhouse Style botanical art using fresh herbs that have been pressed.

Jennifer Howard

Sunday 4th of June 2023

This is so pretty! This year I want to make a pressed flower book of my garden.


Sunday 4th of June 2023

Jennifer, That would be amazing.

AnnMarie | Simply2Moms

Wednesday 31st of May 2023

I love this Rachel...such a create project.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

AnnMarie, I really appreciate this.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Oh how I love this. It’s just so beautiful.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Renae, I appreciate this.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Very informative. Thank You


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Thank you Carolyn, I'm glad this was helpful.


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Great project! Pinned


Wednesday 31st of May 2023

Cindy, Thank you and I'm glad you like it.