Everybody knows that flowers need water to stay fresh longer. However, if you want to preserve your bridal bouquet or a birthday bloom for months or years, you have to do the opposite - dry them out.
In the current article we will demonstrate 3 easy ways to dry your flowers and keep the memories from your special moments.
Things to Consider Before Drying the Flowers
Before presenting you with the methods to dry and preserve your bouquet, there are several things to consider:
Do not wait for your flowers to lose all the beauty before drying them. It is best to do it while they are in full bloom;
Choose the preservation method according to the type of flowers;
Before trying some of the methods, be clear about what you are going to do with the bloom - whether you are going to hang them on the wall in a frame, put them in a vase, or give them as a bouquet to your friend?;
Be prepared some of the flowers in the bouquet are going to get damaged in the process;
When you have your flowers dried, keep them away from direct sunlight to retain their natural colour;
3 Ways to Dry and Preserve Your Bouquet
Way #1 - How to air-dry flowers by hanging them upside down
This is maybe the most common method of preserving flowers because it is one of the simplest. On the other hand, prepare yourself to wait as this is the slowest process to dry your flowers.
The method is not proper for flowers with high water content because they will rot before getting dried. Prepare to lose some of the petals as a result of the gravity.
Air-dry your flowers if you want to give them as a bouquet. The air-dried flowers look perfect in vases, or as Christmas wreaths because they retain their initial shape. Use this method to preserve your Valentine's Day rose bouquet because the roses are best preserved by hanging them upside down.
For this method of preserving your flowers you will need:
Flowers - roses, hydrangeas, lavender;
fishing cord or twine;
Step 1: Remove the leaves from the stems
By removing the leaves from the stem you allow the flowers to dry faster. Although you can leave some near the petals if you want your flowers to have green nuances.
Step 2: Tie the flowers together by their stems
Bunch the flowers together on the table and tie the middle of the stems together tightly with fishing cord or twine.
Step 3: Hang the flowers upside down
Attach the flowers to the stick and hang them upside down in a dry place without direct sunlight. In three to four weeks, they should dry. Be careful when you take the flowers down from the stick because they will be brittle.
Way #2 - How to preserve flowers by pressing
Another popular way to preserve flowers is by pressing. It is an old-fashioned method that maybe everybody has tried as a child. This drying technique is useful because flowers retain their original colour while being cheap as it does not require any specific supplies. The main disadvantage of this process is that you cannot arrange the flowers in a bouquet as they are flat;
Avoid wet flowers because they are prone to rot. Therefore, don’t pick your flowers on a humid or rainy day. Stick also to flowers with flat buds as it would be difficult to press thick ones. Furthermore, be careful with flowers with large petals like roses and dahlias that might become misshapen when pressed.
Flowers dried by pressing can be a great ornament hung in a frame on the wall at home.
For this method of preserving your flowers you will need:
Flat-bud flowers - Pansies, Geraniums;
Book or flower press;
Absorbent paper like parchment paper or coffee filters;
Step 1: Prepare your flowers to be pressed
Remove the unwanted leaves off the stems and then lay the flowers flat on an absorbent paper in a big book (phonebook). You can also lay some absorbent paper above it. Keep in mind that the flowers (buds) should not overlap.
Step 2: Press the flowers with weight
Close the book and place weighty objects on top of the book.
Step 3: Leave the flowers pressed in the book for 2 weeks
Leave the flowers pressed for two weeks and make sure all the moisture of the flower is gone. The flowers are ready when they are flat while the petals look dry and papery.
Step 4: Place the pressed flowers in a frame
Put the flower buds face down on the glass that is part of the frame. Place the back of the frame on top of the flowers. Then screw the frame to secure the flowers won’t slip off. To make sure the flowers will stay as arranged, you can glue them to the wooden back of the frame.
Way #3 - How to dry flowers with microwave and silica sand
This is an excellent method of drying flowers for those short on time. There are no restrictions regarding flower types but for better results, use fully-opened ones.
One of the cons of the method is that it is expensive as you should buy silica sand, filter mask and gloves to prepare yourself for the process.
For the method with microwave, you will also need:
Soft paint brush;
Step 1: Prepare the flowers and put them in a container
First, remove most of the stems from the flower. Then, find a microwave-safe container and pour some thin layer of silica sand to cover its bottom. After that, place the flowers heads up in the container above the layer of silica sand. Alternatively, you can place absorbent papers around the flowers before pouring the silica sand over them.
Step 2: Pour gently silica sand over the flowers
After you place the flowers in the container, start pouring the silica sand gently over the flowers until you fully cover them.
Step 3: Microwave the flowers
Start the microwave in a defrost mode for 2-3 min. When the flowers got dried, take them out of the microwave and leave them in the sand for 24 hours in a dry place and away from direct sunlight to prevent the colours from fading. Thus, you will assure that there is no moisture left in the flowers.
Step 4: Remove the flowers from the sand
Remove the flower from the sand and get rid of any sand stuck to the petals with a soft paintbrush. Additionally, you can spray the petals with hairspray to make them more fresh-like.
How to use your dried flowers
Bouquet with dried flowers
The air-dried flowers can be arranged as a bouquet or in a vase, as they maintain their initial form.
Wreath made of dried flowers
You can mix your dried flowers with fresh greenery and craft a stunning wreath for your door or wall. Again, here you better use the air-dry method.
Wall frame with dried flowers
Use your flowers dried by pressing to create a beautiful wall decor for your home or as a genuine gift for your friend.
Dried flowers in a shadow box
Another great way to showcase your dried flowers is placing them in a shadow box. This way, the flowers will have enough room to fit inside the shadow box. You can hang the shadow box on a wall or place the box on a shelf or a table.
For the best results, arrange the flowers dried using the microwave and silica gel in a shadow box. Test different flower arrangement before glueing the flowers in the box.