An Easy Guide to Drying Flowers

Fresh flowers offer any home or office the organic beauty of the outdoors into your everyday space. Their aromas brighten up our days and improve upon any scenery that are in. For all you floral enthusiasts who would like to try out a fun floral activity, Overnight Flowers recommends drying flowers. This fun craft allows friends and family to get together and transform beautiful flowers into visually stunning craft projects to catch your guests eye. Let’s have a closer look as to how drying flowers is accomplished and why you would do it in the first place.

By drying flowers, you strip them of their water and increase the amount of time you can display them without them degrading into organic goop. This occurs because small microbes that naturally breakdown and decompose living cells thrive in a water medium. By removing and drying the flowers, the water necessary for bacteria is taken out and the flowers can maintain their beautiful structure and form longer. In addition to a longer shelf life, drying flowers is incredibly easy to do and takes very little resources to accomplish. Lastly, drying flowers is fun! So, let your creative juices flow as you save yourself time and money by planning a great hobby night with your best friends.

Drying Methods

All drying require you to start by finding your favorite flowers at their peaking coloring period. Then remove the leaves on the stem. That’s it. You are now ready to dry them. Consider the following drying methods that suit your fancy:

Air-Drying Flowers

Perhaps the most popular method (and simplest). There are many floral varieties that can be dried by hanging them stem side up in a dry place for a couple weeks. Floral varieties that fit best with this method are everlasts and flowers that do not wilt quickly. This is because this method will take some time to remove that water. This is a fantastic method for those with ample space in hot areas. If you live in damp environments and do not have the space to do your processing, don’t worry. There are more ways to dry your flowers.

Pressing to Dry Flowers

This technique sacrifices the contour of the floral variety and flattens the flower a bit. For pressing you will need unglazed parchment paper, like newspaper, and place your flower in between the corresponding sheets of paper. Then place a heavy, preferably flat object, to put pressure on the flower evenly. Now you weight 2-4 weeks and your flowers will be dry for your artistic ambitions.

Using Drying Agents to Dry Your Flowers

A drying agent is essentially any agent that helps remove moisture out of an environment. Materials like sand or cornmeal mixed with borax are great mixtures to use as drying agents. Utilizing these mixes, you can then bury your selected flowers. One caveat to this method is it has a certain level of selectivity when analyzing which flowers will corporate with your drying agent. Silica gel, which is more expensive than the previous other mixes mentioned, offers a greater selectivity and can be reused for a long time. In addition to having a greater selectivity, silica gel can dry flowers more quickly. Due to the speed of drying with silica gel, you can increase the number of flowers you are drying in a given time period. When using silica gel, make sure you re-dry the silica after using. To do this, start by spreading the silica on a cookie sheet or flat surface (shouldn’t be higher than .5 - .75 inches). Place the sheet in the oven at 225 degrees for roughly an hour. Ensure drying is accomplished by stirring around the silica every so often throughout the hour of drying. Keep all dried-out silica in an airtight container.

Dry Flowers Using a Microwave Oven

Perhaps one of the fastest ways, the microwave offers a super easy and fast application to dry your floral varieties. Additionally, microwaved flowers look more colorful than those acquired through other methods. Using a heat tolerant container, add silica and cover flowers. Remember the silica you are adding must have previously dried. Keep the lid off the container to aid in moisture removal. Place a cup of water in the microwave before starting to prevent excess drying. You want to straddle a fine line to keep the dried flower colorful. Drying time range from 1 – 3 minutes depending on floral density. Again, there is variability in this method as microwaves differ in power and size, as well as the differing floral varieties. After flowers are microwaved, let them sit in the silica for 12 – 24 hours to ensure they dry. After drying is completed, add a thin layer of hair spray to prevent moisture absorption post drying and extend your results. Make sure to store in an airtight vessel.

When drying your flowers is complete, storing them becomes the final consideration. Storage is important because without proper storage, dried flowers can reabsorb moisture from the air and limit their longevity. Also, storage is necessary due to potential flower eaters that may try to get at them for a quick snack. The primary culprits are several varieties of bugs that would love to dine on your hard labor so make sure you protect your final product. Try to use a box that these bugs can’t chew through. Your flowers will be delicate, and you would be surprised at what a little beetle can do to your flowers. Overnight Flowers recommends air locked containers that have a hardness that can keep bugs away. Also, ensure that your storage container is made of material that can’t absorb water and keep it away from damp environments. Remember, water is what you spent so long to get out of your flowers. Exposing them to water will reduce their dryness and decrease your results.

What do with dried flowers

There so many amazing things to do with dried flowers that will keep your home beautiful!

  1. Hang the dried flowers upside down on the wall.  This is the most simple and easy way of enjoying the dried flowers.  Any adhesive will do.  You can either keep the stems bunched or separate across the wall them for an artistic look.  Cool, right?
  2. Display the dried flower as art.  Glue the flowers on white (or any color) card stock backing, frame, and hang.  Inexpensive art!
  3. Make a tie die shirt.  Sprinkle the various colored flowers (go heavy on the flowers) over a flat white t-shirt.  Carefully roll the t-shirt and tie the middle and ends tight with rubber bands.  Steam for an hour over low heat.  Cool, remove flowers, rinse with cold water, dry, and enjoy!  We love to eco-dye!
  4. Improve gift wrapping.  Between the ribbon and gift wrap, add a few dried flowers to make your wrapping the most interesting present of the party.
  5. Make boring candles cool.  Lay dried flowers (crushed or whole) flat on wax paper.  Pour melted wax over the flowers.  Roll the candle over the flowers and you've got something special!  

Have fun trying all the drying options and even more fun experimenting with what to do with your dried flowers.  Make sure to leave comments!