Faux flowers and plants are beautiful, however many are made from plastic, and with the environment as a focus, dried blooms & grasses are blossoming in popularity.
From Valentines and thank you bouquets, to prom corsages and a wedding day centrepiece, flowers set the tone for a magical experience and a memorable event, so why not give them an eternal shelf-life by drying them yourself?
Maintenance free, and with various options to dry your own blooms and grasses, what is there not to love! To help you get started, we have a guide that walks you through how to dry flowers four different ways.
Drying Flowers Using Silica Gel
If you have the time, and patience, and want to ensure that your flowers are preserved in pristine colour, silica is the way forward. Silica is especially great to dry more delicate, single flowers.
Silica works by drawing out moisture from the flowers, leaving them dry and with their original form and colour.
Here is how to use silica... Half fill a Tupperware box with silica then insert the flowers with the heads facing down on to the silica. Very gently build up more silica around the flower head, taking care not to move or damage the petals.
Leave for anything from three days to a week, depending on the size of the flower and its moisture content.
Carefully remove the flowers from the silica and brush very gently with a soft paintbrush to remove any stray beads.
How To Dry Flowers In A Microwave Or Oven
If you are pressed for time, using a microwave or oven is a great option.
Remove any unwanted leaves from the flower and cut so that it fits in the container. Fill the microwave-safe container (no lid) with a thin layer of silica and place flower on top.
Cover flowers completely with silica. If the flowers are small, you can place multiple in the same container, but be sure they are completely covered in the silica.
Place the container in the microwave with a cup of water at the back. Heat the microwave in 30 second increments. Check until the flower looks dry. Depending on the density of the flower, this should take two to three minutes.
Once the flower’s petals appear dry, for best results, re-bury it and leave for 24 hours. This will ensure that the flower is completely dry.
Remove flowers from the silica sand and brush off any extra grains that are stuck to the petals. Spray with unscented hairspray to keep pristine. Put your dried flowers on display in your home or use them as a craft. Keep out of direct sunlight to prevent the colours from fading.
When drying flowers in the microwave, the time it will take varies depending on the density of the flowers. For these popular flowers, follow the chart below for reference:
Spread the bloom heads evenly on a drying rack. Set the oven to 150 - 200 degrees Fahrenheit, or use convection oven setting to 175 degrees. Bake the flowers for 1.5 - 2.5 hours.
Check your flower tops every half hour and if they are dry remove them so they will not burn. Large thicker blooms will take longer to dry and small thin blooms will dry very quickly!
How to Air Dry Flowers
To begin, remove any extra foliage from the flower stems. It’s okay to leave some leaves on the stem if you like the look of greenery, they will dry too.
Group flowers as desired and tie the string around the base. If the stems are too long, this can be personal preference, cut to your desired length.
Tie the other end of your string to a stick. Some alternatives to sticks include hangers, driftwood, copper poles or a hook. Regardless of what you choose, make sure it’s sturdy enough to hold flowers for a long period of time.
Hang the stick in a location that is out of the way so the delicate flowers won’t get damaged. They should also be hung in a dark environment or a place that gets minimal light. Any direct light will cause the colors to fade.
Once you hang the flowers, they will do the rest. In three to four weeks they should be completely dry. To keep pristine, spray with unscented hairspray. If you decide to display them as decor, be sure to keep the dried flower wall art in a location that doesn’t get direct light.
Dry Flowers in a Flower Press
Another common method of drying flowers is by pressing them. You can press flowers four different ways, depending on what you have available and how much time you have. The four ways include pressing flowers with a book, a flower press, an iron and the microwave.