Flowers make people happy. This is not an opinion, but a scientific fact. Just seeing flowers can elevate a person’s mood, and receiving them as a gift can preserve that mood for days afterwards. It is no surprise, then, that decorating with flowers is so popular. It’s no surprise, also, that people want to learn how to dry flowers, so that they can keep them long after a fresh flower would wilt.
Learning how to dry flowers is a great idea for crafts that we intend to last a long time. Fresh flowers are beautiful, but dried flowers stay preserved. A flower dried using good technique will retain its color and some of its vibrance, putting crafting with dried flowers on par with crafting around fresh ones. There are a lot of good techniques, all of which center around which type of flower is being dried. Is it a cupped flower, like a rose, or a flatter flower, like a daisy? Is it a delicate flower that might fall apart easily, like baby’s breath?
No matter what type of flower you are looking to preserve, there is a drying technique that will preserve it for use in your beautiful crafts! Here are some different techniques you can try at home:
How to Dry Flowers
Mixing silica gel (that stuff in the packet that came with your new shoes) with a powder like borax or cornmeal can create a desiccant, which is a dehumidifying agent. This is a powdered substance that can be poured around the flower without damaging it. It preserves the shape of the flower while removing the moisture in it, all without sucking out the color!
One neat technique involves burying flowers in cat litter, then heating them in a microwave oven. Cat litter is absorbent, making it a great dehumidifier, but it is also light enough not to harm the flowers. While this method is a great way to do a few flowers quickly, you can only do one at a time, so it is a very time intensive technique.
Sand is a common material for drying flowers, probably because it is so easy to get! Sand also has its pros and cons - it is too heavy for some flowers, like phlox, geraniums, or violets. However it is great for roses, daisies, and other flowers that last more than a day or two after being cut. Sand takes time - a few weeks - but flowers come out beautiful and retain their color for use in your crafts.
Nothing beats the natural way! Hanging flowers in a dry area with plenty of air and little sunlight can be the most effective way to keep them pretty, as well as fragrant. The important thing with this method is to give them plenty of space, so that they get lots of air and don’t gather mold. Hanging them upside down makes it easier to monitor the petals for brittleness, which is the sign they are fully dried.
No matter what craft you are using dried flowers for, these methods can help your flowers stay gorgeous! Whether you are going to attach them to a larger piece like a wreath or candleholder, or use them in a sachet or potpourri bag, knowing how to dry flowers can give your crafts an attractive floral enhancement that everyone will enjoy!