how-to-air-dry-flowers

How to Dry Flowers To Preserve Their Beauty

A bouquet of flowers introduces colors to our home. However, no matter how lovely they are, they will eventually wither. By learning how to dry flowers, we can keep your most cherished blooms around for weeks, months, or even years. 

Luckily, drying it is relatively easy. Read on as we explore simple techniques for preserving flowers, how to take care of them, and creative ways to use them.

Related Read: Flower Quotes.

Five Methods For Drying Flowers 

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You can use drying methods to turn your fresh, delicate flowers into dried flowers. These methods remove the moisture from your flowers, leaving them completely dry while preserving their color and condition. 

Method 1: How to air-dry flowers 

air drying flowers
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.

The air-drying method is a simple and traditional way of drying flowers, only letting nature do the work. This method works well for wedding bouquets, large floral arrangements, and larger flowers. 

You can leave most flowers in an airy location and let nature give you results. All you need for air-drying flowers include marigolds, thistles, roses, pruners or scissors, strings or rubber bands, and a hanging platform. 

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to air-drying your flowers: 

  • First, prepare your flowers by removing unwanted leaves, dried petals, and any extra foliage. 
  • Next, group flowers together using your string or rubber band. You can cut the stems of your flower to any desired length. 
  • Next, tie a string to your flower and attach it to a hanger, hook, or stick. Ensure that whatever platform you use to air dry your flowers is sturdy enough. 
  • Next, hang your flowers upside down so they won’t droop and get damaged. You want to hang them in a cool room (like a laundry room) with good air circulation and no light. Direct sunlight will cause your flowers to fade. 
  • Leave flowers to completely dry for two to three weeks, depending on the type of flower. 
  • Once they are completely dried, your air-dried flowers will feel stiff to the touch. You can use a hair spray to keep your dried flowers pristine and slow down the fading process. 

After air drying your flowers, you can use them as beautiful indoor hanging arrangements or table centerpieces in your home. 

Method 2: How to dry flowers in the microwave 

Are you looking for a faster way to air-dry flowers? Well, the microwave method is one way to have beautiful dried flowers you can use daily. 

For microwave drying, you will need flowers to dry, silica gel or silica sand, a microwave-safe container, and a cup of water. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide to drying flowers in the microwave: 

  • Choose fresh flowers before they open up. They will continue to open up as they dry, and you may lose petals if they are fully mature. 
  • Next, get a microwave-safe container that can dry your flowers and fit into your microwave. 
  • Next, cover the bottom of the container using silica gel or silica sand. Place the flowers up and pour more silica gel over the flowers. You want to apply the silica gel carefully to avoid flattening the petals. 
  • Next, place the container in the microwave with a cup of water to avoid over-drying, and let your flowers dry for about a minute. The drying process may be longer for flowers with thick petals than those with thin petals. 
  • Check to see if your flowers are dry after every 30 seconds, and then increase the heat or time as needed. Once the drying process is complete, remove the container from the microwave, cover it, and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  • Next, remove the cover a few centimeters and let it sit for 24 hours. If you’re using silica sand, remove your flowers from the microwave, re-bury them, and leave them for 24 hours to ensure the flower is dried correctly. 
  • Lastly, remove all silica from the petals of your dried flowers using a fine-tip brush and use an unscented hairspray to keep your flowers pristine. Ensure your flowers are kept away from direct sunlight to avoid fading. 

Method 3: How to dry flowers with silica gel 

silica gel
Photo by Colin Zhu on Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (Cropped from original).

Looking for how to dry flowers and achieve a realistic look? You can use the silica gel method to dry flowers and preserve your favorite blooms. Silica gel can absorb and hold water, making it perfect for drying flowers. 

With the silica gel method, you can use a variety of single flowers in full bloom. 

Use silica gel to fill your container, place your flower up, and slowly put some more silica gel over the flowers, but ensure they do not become flat.

You can choose to use the microwave method as mentioned above or dry flowers without a microwave. 

To dry them without a microwave, group flowers, put them in a container, and submerge them in silica gel. You can easily fit smaller flowers, but if you want to put large flowers, you can cut the flower stems just a few inches below the flower head. 

Set the container aside for one or two days (for larger blooms, this may take longer). Once dry, remove your dried flowers from the container and brush off the excess gel. 

Method 4: How to dry flowers with an oven 

Baking your flowers is one fast and easy way to dry flowers. However, your flowers may lose some petals and color.

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to dry flowers with an oven: 

  • First, gather your flowers and remove any leaves left. Once done, lay out the flowers on a baking rack and a cookie sheet. 
  • Next, allow your flowers to bake under high heat for about an hour, and check on them until they are dry.
  • Lastly, remove the dried flowers and allow them to cool off before use. 

Method 5: How to press flowers 

pressed flower on book
Photo by Vika Strawberrika on Unsplash.

Pressing flowers is one classic method of preserving and drying flowers. Depending on the type of flowers to dry and how many they are, you can press flowers differently. You can buy a specific tool if you will be pressing lots of flowers, or you can also use a heavy book. 

Here's a step-by-step guide to pressing flowers: 

  • First, get your flowers and remove any unwanted leaves. Alternatively, you can remove the flowers and press the leaves separately. 
  • Next, open a heavy book and turn the pages to about a quarter to halfway. 
  • Next, put absorbent sheets of paper on the pages of your book. 
  • Now, place your flower on parchment paper or wax paper and lay the parchment paper on the absorbent paper. Layer another absorbent paper on top of the flowers and carefully close the book. 
  • Lastly, place other books on top of the book with the pressed flowers and leave for a few weeks. You can check on your flowers every week, replace the paper, and repeat the flower drying process. 

”talking-tables-wooden-flower-press-kit”

You can also use a dedicated tool for pressing flowers. For example, this Talking Tables Wooden Flower Press Kit can be used to preserve flowers and leaves you love. 

Your pressed flowers will stay fresh and realistic even after weeks or months. Shop this kit on Amazon now.

What type of flower is good for drying? 

pink flower bouquet
Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.

Thinking of the best flowers for drying? Here are some examples of flowers that you can dry: 

Multiple layer flowers 

Flowers with open petals or flower heads, like roses, tulips, and zinnias, are thick enough to withstand the heat from a microwave or oven.

Small and flat flowers 

If you're using the pressing method to dry flowers, pansies, daisies, lavender sprigs, and Queen Anne's lace are small single-layer flowers that you can use.

Thick blossoms  

Thick blossoms like amaranth and lavender are great for the air-drying method because of their low water content. These flowers can accommodate a long drying process. 

Large, delicate flowers 

More delicate flowers or large blooms do well in sealed containers or moisture-removing substances like silica gel. So, flowers like lilacs, daises, pansies, and dahlias do well in desiccants like silica sand or gel.

How To Care For Your Dried Flowers

dried flowers
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.

Dry flowers may last longer than the fresh ones. However, it can still wither. Extend their life as much as possible by following the tips below.

  • Pick out fresh and healthy flowers: You want to pick out flowers that are just opening to extend the life of your dried flower and reduce the risks of petal loss. Pick out flowers that are healthy and not compromised. It should be free of wilting or damage. Gather flowers after the morning dew has dried. 
  • Keep dried flowers in a well-ventilated environment: You want to keep your dried flowers in a room or environment that has good air circulation to prevent moisture that can lead to mold. 
  • Keep flowers out of direct sunlight: Your dried flower will fade over time. However, exposing it to sunlight can increase the process. You want to keep your preserved flowers away from sunlight to retain their color and condition. 
  • Preserve your flowers with acrylic or hair spray: To help your dry flowers hold their shape and prevent the loss of petals, spray them with acrylic or hair spray. 
  • Keep your dry flowers clean and safe: Ensure your flowers are free from dust and dirt. Keep them in a location inaccessible to pets, children, or sunlight. To store them, you can wrap them in newspaper and keep them in a box or container hidden from sunlight and moisture. 

10 Creative Ways To Use Dried Flowers 

If you preserve your dried flowers properly, they can last for many years. One way to extend the life of your dried flower is to use it creatively. Here are some dried flower DIY ideas you can try: 

1. Potpourri.

You can use your dry flowers and fragrance to create potpourri. Simply add some dried flower petals in a bowl and combine them with essential oils to add some fragrance to your space. 

2. Dried bouquets.

bouquet of dried flowers
Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.

Your dry flowers hold their color and shape for a long time. This can be good for a wedding bouquet. You can gather some dry flowers and make decorative bouquets that bring some color to your home. 

3. Make shadow boxes.

To protect your flowers from pets, you can assemble your flowers and some other items to create a shadow box.  

4. Arrange in a vase.

dried flower on vase
Photo from Needpix.

One popular way to display your dried-up flowers is to gather and arrange them in a vase. First, add a base to your jar. This could be a floral foam. Then, distribute the flowers from the tallest stem length to the shortest and create a shape you love. You can use your vase as a centerpiece for your home.

5. Use for gift wrapping.

You can use your dried-up flowers and foliage for wrapping gifts for special events like Mother's Day, birthdays, or weddings. Use twine to wrap your gift and attach dried-up flowers to the twine. You can then secure it with a bow or knot.

Related read: Eco-friendly gift wrapping.

6. Make a flower crown.

Do you have a wedding or maybe a bridal shower coming up? You can get creative with your dried-up flowers and make a flower crown. Simply weave your dry flowers into a wreath to make your flower crown. You can choose flower colors that match your wedding theme or dress. 

Afterward, you can hang them in front of your door to make your home more welcoming. 

7. Make a flower mini-art piece.

You can dry some of your favorite blooms and use them to make an art piece. Press the flowers and enclose them in a clear glass frame. 

8. Use for confetti.

dried flower petals
Photo from PickPik.

If you're having an outdoor event, you can use your pressed and dried-up flowers to make confetti you can use for decorations. 

9. Use for terrarium.

There are various types and styles of terrariums. You can use your dried-up flowers to create a flower terrarium for your desk or home.

Read more: Terrarium Ideas.

10. Use for jewelry and ornaments.

You can press your favorite dried flower into a glass bead to make a necklace that will leave you with lasting memories. You can also make holiday ornaments for your Christmas tree using dry flowers, resin, and glitter. 

Preserving Flowers In Resin 

flowers in resin
Photo by Jill Burrow on Pexels.

Resin is a strong chemical that you can use to preserve your flowers. You can then use it to make jewelry, decor, arts and crafts, and so on. First, dry your flowers and gather them together to preserve them in resin. 

Next, carefully mix the hardener and base resin and pour them into disposable cups. Once done, you can either dip your flowers into the resin or put your flower in a silicone form and pour your resin into the form. 

If you're using a silicone form, you can use a tiny stick like a toothpick to arrange the flowers and other additional objects the way you want. 

Once done, leave for hours and allow the first layer of resin to cure. Add a second layer to the mold and allow it to cure. Once the silicone mold is fully cured, carefully remove the silicone mold and leave your object in a flat position on a plate or paper towel to finish hardening. 

Wrapping Up On How To Dry Flowers 

You can dry your favorite flowers and use them to create a beautiful gift or decor. You can try out various methods of drying as listed above, from air drying to microwave drying, baking, pressing, and using a desiccant like silica gel and silica sand. 

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