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Preserving Flowers: Drying

(3 Votes)

8 Comments

 

Keep a vibrant bouquet of flowers permanently by drying and returning to the vase, or use for potpourri.

 


Air-Drying/Hanging- Separate flowers into bunches of 6-8 flowers with stems. Tie a string around the bunches to hold tightly together but not damage the stems. Use the string to hang the bunches, not touching each other, upside down from a warm, dry, and dark place. An unused closet with a clothes rod would work perfectly. Constant darkness will help to retain the colors. Leave undisturbed for four weeks.


Pro: Inexpensive method, which fills your closet with wonderful smells


Con: The flowers become very stiff when dried in this method and certain colors, such as pink, fade.


Silica Gel- Found in most craft store, this misnomer is actually a granular desiccant used for drying flowers. The flowers should be placed on one inch of silica in a sealable container, slowly and carefully covered with the granules and left for one week. Once removing, you can spray the flowers with surface sealer and let dry on wax paper to help preserve.


Pro: Changes color to indicate when the silica gel has absorbed all the water from the flowers (from blue to pink). The granules can be oven-dried and re-used.


Con: Expensive and coarser granules can puncture petals.


Homemade Drying (Borax method)
- A popular home method for drying flowers is to use a mixture of 2 parts Borax detergent to 1 part white cornmeal. Plain sand can be used in place of cornmeal, but the larger granules can damage more delicate petals. Leave in a sealed container for two weeks.


Pro: Less expensive than silica and less stiff than hanging method


Con: If left too long, Borax can destroy the flowers.


Sand drying- Oolitic sand is the drying choice of connoisseurs as the granules are hollow, for absorbing water, high pH, for retaining color, and smooth, to prevent damage to the petals. Common sand can produce a similar effect when prepared properly. Play or builder’s sand must be washed. Place in a bucket with water and a small amount of liquid detergent. Stir and pour off the water. Repeat until the water runs clear. Dry the clean sand in theoven at 250 F. At this point, for an effect similar to oolitic sand, add three tablespoons of melted paraffin wax, 1 tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda, and 1 tablespoon of silica gel to 15 pounds of sand.


Pro: Sand yields the best results for retained color and shape. The sand can also be reused like silica gel.


Con: Oolitic sand is hard to come by, while common sand requires more lengthy preparation.

 

Preserving Flowers: Pressing
 

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Last October I dried my cut hydrangeas flowers upright in vases without water and they are still fine. When this season is over, I plan to do the same. Nothing else was used. Try it.

I have been trying different methods for drying flowers for years. Methods I have only heard about from other people. I am very happy to find this website where I can get the information I need. This website is wonderful.

I have used all of the above forms to dry flowers...when I'm making dried flower bouquets my fav way to just to hang dry the flowers. I think it gives the flowers more character and charm. I used to know of a way to dry hydragena's with water and mineral oil. I misplaced the receipe and would like to find out the ratio of water to mineral oil is. If anyone knows I would sure appreciate the info.

I use my silica gel flowers to decorate packages. Most people say they are so lovely that they save them. Roses are my favorite and baby breath. I also take bowls and turn them upside down on rimmed dishes or candle flat holders. If I have a request to preserve wedding or funeral flowers, I make such an arrangement, and them use clear drying glue to seal them in. If kept out of the sun, they last forever. It makes a wonderful keepsake that is priceless. I have also found that adding little bunches of tulle and dried babies breath is very nice.......try it....you'll love it.

I actually have a microwave press which works great! I just wish it was bigger as you can only do one layer at a time and it's only 8x8 inches. Retains color very well. I also use a small press i bought and one I made using the same principals. You need to get blotter paper to use instead of papertowels or newsprint. Newsprint PH takes away color and papertowels leave the pattern on the flowers.

I really enjoyed this information.What I would like to know is what is the best way to clean the dust off of your dried flowers?

I learned that if you put a flower before it has wilted (preferably after it has just been picked or a day or two later but not required) in to the middle pages of a heavy book like a dictionary and close it, leave it there for a few days to a week then it should be like a pressed flower for preseveration. The draw back to this is that it doesn't usually save the color. This method is best used for those that don't really care about color preservation so much.

i love this article! Who ever made it did a darn good job!

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