My little ones love to pick flowers for me, but some varieties can die so quickly. Drying and preserving flowers is a great way to save those memories, or to use the flowers in a different way. There are many tips and techniques on how to dry and preserve flowers, and today I’m sharing a few simple ideas with you.
Drying and Preserving Flowers
I love it when summer comes and brings with it so many beautiful flowers. Then by the time fall comes around, I start to think about ways to make those beautiful flowers enjoyable all winter long. Here are a few simple tips and techniques on how to dry and preserve flowers so that you can do just that.
Air Drying Flowers
Air drying is one of the most common ways to dry flowers. The best tip is to tie the stems tightly together with a piece of string and hang them upside down. Make sure to hang them in a room with low light, and little disturbance. Leave them to hang for two weeks or longer, to allow them to completely dry. If you leave them in an area where the sun comes in too brightly, it will bleach the color out of the flowers, removing their vibrancy. Once they’re completely dry, you can spray them with hairspray to help keep them intact for the future.
Flowers that work best with this method: Roses, Lavender, Baby’s Breath, Carnations, Chrysanthemums
Silica Gel for Preserving Flowers
Silica Gel can be found at places like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, or you can find it on Amazon. It is typically near the decorative sand. Place your flowers in a bowl, and submerge them in the silica gel. Leave them undisturbed for seven days, and then carefully remove them. They should look exactly as they did when you placed them in the gel, but will now be dry.
Flowers that work best with this method: Roses, Daisies, Zinnias, Carnations
Microwave for Drying Flowers
Place your flowers, one at a time, in a microwave-safe bowl, and completely cover them in cat litter. Microwave on high for five minutes. Allow the cat litter to cool before attempting to remove the flowers. This method keeps the color vibrant. You can find a small bag of cat litter at the dollar store and reuse the same cat litter over and over, so you’re not wasting a lot.
Flowers that work best with this method: Roses, Daisies, Tulips, Chrysanthemums, Carnations
Pressing Flowers to Preserve
To press the blooms flat, and preserve them in that way, all you need are some absorbent materials, and a heavy book! Fold a paper towel several times, and then lay your bloom face up on the paper towel. Fold the paper towel over the top. Then fold a piece of newspaper over the top of the paper towel. After you have your flower folded between the multiple layers, place it in the middle of a book, and close the book. Stack other books on top of the book with the flower in it, to help compress the materials. The extra layers of paper you wrapped around the flower will help keep the flower from molding, and will absorb all the moisture released from the flower so it dries faster and prettier. Allow this to set up for two to three weeks before disturbing.
Flowers that work best with this method: Daisies, Lavender, Sunflowers
Drying Flowers with a Dehydrator
You can also use a dehydrator to preserve and dry flowers. Evenly space your flowers out on the trays, being sure not to let them overlap. If they overlap, they will most likely stick together and will damage your blooms. Set the temperature to 120, and allow it to run for three to four hours. After those hours, your flowers should be beautifully dried and preserved!
Flowers that work best with this method: Chrysanthemums, Daisies, Lavender, Roses, Carnations
So whether you want to preserve a special memory or keepsake bouquet, or just want to dry some pretty flowers from your yard, these methods should prove beneficial for you.
You can also use these methods to preserve flowers for crafts, DIY products, and sachet bags. Here are a few ideas to get you started!
What methods do you use when drying and preserving flowers? What do you use your dried flowers for?
This post on Drying and Preserving Flowers was originally published on Little House Living in August 2017. It has been updated as of August 2019.