What comes in the kit?
Your Microﬂeur comes complete and ready to use and includes a comprehensive User Guide. The cotton lawn liners will require washing or replacing as they will stain and retain pollen which can transfer to your next batch of ﬂowers. Extra liners may be purchased on our website. Liners should be hand washed and laid smoothed ﬂat to dry. They can be pressed with an iron or misted and pressed in your Microﬂeur press. Permanent liner stains are normal and will not affect succeeding batches. It is always best to press the lightest color ﬂowers ﬁrst, and stamens last.
How long does it take? How will I know it is dry?
Your times will be affected by the power of your microwave. Always start with imperfect ﬂowers/foliage. This will allow you to test times without ruining your best specimens. We recommend starting with short times such as 25 seconds for the ﬁrst burst, until you are assured you can use longer timed bursts without burning your ﬂowers, liners and pads. Always wipe the platens between bursts. When little moisture accumulates on the platens, your ﬂowers will be dry or almost dry. Succeeding bursts after the ﬁrst should generally be of shorter duration. Lift corner of the pad/liner to check your ﬂowers. They will feel papery when dry, should be somewhat stiff and will not droop when lifted. Flowers petals which are not dry enough will pucker and center moisture may leach into (and discolor) the petals. Keep log for each type of ﬂower you press. This will give you a starting guide for the next time you press the same ﬂower. The pressing time for the same ﬂower may vary from one day to the next due to changing moisture content. After you have had a bit of practice you will better be able to judge pressing times and you will be able to tell quite easily if more pressing is needed.
How long will the color last?
Microﬂeur presses help to retain color better than traditional presses. Color retention will vary based on the the type of specimen being pressed and how fresh your specimens are when pressed, and how they is stored. Generally, stronger colors such as red roses, yellow daffodils, blue delphiniums and lobelia, etc., will keep their color for years, whereas, paler shades and older blooms may fade after a few months and may even discolor slightly in the press. Sunlight, ﬂorescent lights, and moisture are major culprits so store your ﬂowers and works of art carefully.
What glue should I use? What do I use to glue the flowers down with?
White PVA glue (such as Aileen’s) works well. It can be used to glue the ﬂowers as well as to coat them, if desired. Coating ﬂowers with glue after the design is completed on a greeting card, for example, will make them less fragile for mailing and help prevent them from fading. Disappearing purple glue sticks (such as 3-M) work well for short life projects, such as greeting cards. You will be able to see where you applied the glue, apply your ﬂower, and any excess glue will dry clear. You can even do without glue for some projects, such as tags and bookmarks, by laying out your design on your paper and then very carefully laying clear contact paper over your project piece and trimming off the excess.
How do I store my pressed ﬂowers and foliage?
They are best stored, after completely dry, on blotting or other acid free paper enclosed in a plastic sleeve or bag, and placed in a plastic sealable container such as a plastic shoe box. It is also beneﬁcial, especially in humid climates, to add rechargeable silica gel to your storage container. It it is sold loose or in canisters, which are ideal.
How can I press larger items such as ferns?
You can accommodate longer items such as ferns and long leaves by clipping two 5” presses together. Lay the two presses adjacent to each other, add your frond or leaf and assemble the presses by adding clips on each end and on the sides where the presses meet. You will need to turn off the turntable in your microwave. Ferns press quite quickly, so test times with an imperfect specimen. Fern blades will especially come in handy when you ﬁnd you did not press enough leaves to complete a project.
Help, why did my pads and liners get burned?
Almost anything will burn if it gets too hot. The most common reason for burned ﬂowers, pads and liners is a pressing time that is too long. If you mean to put the press in for an additional 20 seconds and type in 200 (2 minutes) by mistake, your pads will likely burn. Always lightly mist your pads before starting (you can also wet your hand and rub it on your pads). Never leave a press in your microwave unattended. The pads are wool and will emit a bad odor when scorching. Should you smell this odor, open your microwave door at once. Use caution removing the press as it may be hot. Our presses are meant for adults and children should not use them without supervision. That being said, when directions are followed, burning pads is not a normal occurrence. Should you burn your liners and pads, you may easily order replacements on our website, on Amazon, EBay or from any of our retailers.