Fresh flowers are often a part of happy moments, whether they are given to you after a special appearance, or the ones you carry as you walk down the aisle on your wedding day. Although beautiful, fresh flowers will not last forever. Fortunately, there are many ways that you can use to preserve its beauty after its freshness has worn off, for example through air drying, pressing processes, or silica gel drying.
Method 1 of 3: Air Drying Flowers
Step 1. Cut and trim the flowers
Prune the leaves from each flower stem and cut the stems to the length you like. Instead, cut the flower stems to at least about 15 cm.
Step 2. Find a dark place to store the flowers
Get the flowers out of the sun as soon as possible, and find a dark place like a closet or attic to store the flowers while they dry. Try to find a dark place that is also dry and has good airflow.
Storing flowers in such an environment will help retain their original color
Step 3. Tie the flower stalks together and hang them upside down
Tie rubber bands around the flower stalks to hold them together. Then, tie some long, non-flavoured dental floss at the base of the flower stalks. Next, tie the end of the dental floss to the hanger so that the flowers hang upside down. That way, the original shape of the flower can be maintained, and the stem will not bend under the weight of the flower.
If you don't have a lot of flowers to dry, it's best to tie a maximum of 6 flowers together. The dental floss may not be strong enough to withstand more flower loads than that
Step 4. Remove the flowers after two weeks
Let it hang on the hanger for about 2 weeks. After that, the flowers should be completely dry. Gently spray a small amount of hairspray over the flower to protect its surface. Then, remove it from the hanger and place it in a vase.
Method 2 of 3: Pressing Flowers
Step 1. Prepare a book for pressing flowers
Look for books that are the heaviest, but which you no longer use because they are likely to break. Phonebooks and dictionaries are some great options for pressing interest. When choosing a book, keep in mind that the moisture in the flowers will be absorbed by the book. As a result, some of the book's pages may shrivel up.
Step 2. Place the flowers on a sheet of paper
Lay the flowers on a sheet of paper so they don't overlap. Once the flowers are arranged the way you want them, place another sheet of paper on top.
Step 3. Place the sheet of paper containing the flowers into the book
Open the middle of the book. Then, transfer the paper-covered flowers to the pages of the book. Close the book slowly while maintaining the position of the flower.
- To speed up this process, try adding book weights or bricks on top of the book you're using.
- You can press several flowers at once in one book. Just make sure to leave enough distance so that the moisture in each flower doesn't transfer to each other.
Step 4. Remove the flower with tweezers after 2-4 weeks
Flowers will dry completely a few weeks after pressing. At that time, open the book and gently remove the flowers from the pages. Since dried flowers are very fragile, we recommend using tweezers to remove the flowers one by one.
Method 3 of 3: Drying with Silica Gel
Step 1. Fill 1-2 cm layer of silica gel into the container
Silica gel is a silicon dioxide absorbent material with a porous sand-like texture that can absorb moisture from flowers. Prepare an airtight container and evenly fill 1-2 cm of silica gel layer on the bottom.
Step 2. Prune the leaves and flower stems
Cut off all the leaves and stems on each flower you want to preserve. If you plan to preserve a flower arrangement, separate all the stems before proceeding.
Step 3. Put the flowers in a container and pour silica gel into it
Place each flower vertically in a container filled with silica gel. Once all the flowers are in the container, slowly pour the silica gel again on the flowers. Make sure the silica gel gets between the flower crowns. This will help keep the flower in shape while it dries.
Step 4. Cover the flower with a layer of silica gel
Sprinkle more silica gel around and between the flowers. Then, sprinkle the silica gel evenly all over the flower until it's completely covered.
Step 5. Cover the container and observe the flowers every other day
Cover the container and make sure it is airtight. Otherwise, the flowers will not be well preserved. Check every other day until the flowers are completely dry to the touch.
If allowed to dry too much, the flowers will become brittle and break
Step 6. Remove the flowers from the container and set aside the silica gel
When they feel dry to the touch, gently remove the flowers from the container and remove the adhering silica gel using a soft-bristled brush.
The time required for this process is 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on the number of flowers placed in the container and the humidity level
- Consider a freeze-drying process to preserve flowers if you use a professional.
- Also consider preserving flowers by dipping them in wax.
- There are many absorbent materials that can be used to dry and preserve flowers. Consider using cat litter, blotting paper, cornstarch, or borax.