Would you like to keep your house full of flowers right through the winter? You can dry your favorite blossoms at home and do exactly that. There are many ways to dry flowers, and part of the fun is experimenting to find out which works best for each species.
Pick flowers in the morning or night when they’re perkiest. When it’s time to preserve them, use these expert drying techniques.
#1. With the microwave
Dry flowers in minutes instead of weeks by using a microwave. Choose the flowers for drying. One at a time, place the flower in a microwavable bowl and cover with about four cups of cat litter. Microwave on high for two to three minutes. When the cat litter is cooled, remove the flower and brush off excess.
#2. With silica gel
If you want your flowers to look just like they did in your garden, trying using silica gel. The sandy-like substance can be found at craft stores and works best with sturdy flowers like zinnias or roses. Bury your blooms in a large container of silica gel. In a few days to a week, gently uncover vibrant, preserved flowers.
#3. By pressing
To use dried flowers for more than household decorating, use the pressed method. Take an encyclopedia or other heavy book. Line a page with parchment or wax paper and arrange flowers face down so they don’t overlap. Close the book and leave untouched for seven to 10 days. Once all the moisture is gone and they have a papery texture, use your pressed flowers to make bookmarks, stationary, or fill a picture frame for pretty wall art.
#4. Air drying
Hanging bouquets upside down is the most traditional technique for drying flowers. Gather the flowers in a bunch and secure the stems with a rubber band. Hang upside down in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight, like from kitchen rafters or in an empty closet. Watch the petals shrink and change color, and within a few weeks you’ll have beautiful dried flowers in vintage hues.
#5. The lazy way
Drying flowers in a vase is effortless. Place the stalks in a few inches of water and forget about them. Once all the water is evaporated, the flowers should be upright and perky, but dry. Hydrangeas or baby’s breath are good choices for this method, as blooms with more tender stalks might droop. Simply use the vase as a table decoration or remove the flowers, tie a ribbon around the stems and hang on the wall.