Do you want to make your special flowers last a little longer? Maybe you want to preserve a keepsake from your wedding or a loved one’s celebration of life. Today, we’ll show you three ways to preserve flowers.
- Air Drying Flowers
Air-drying flowers is one of the most traditional, albeit more time-consuming, methods of drying your blooms. This method involves letting nature do most of the work to dry your flowers out over time while you sit back, relax, and wait for the end result. However, we must warn that while air drying is pretty straightforward and easy, it really dries out the flowers, and this makes certain flowers more brown than otherwise, especially for roses.
First, you’ll need
- Fresh flowers or floral bouquet
- Rope to hang
- Hanger or drying rack
- Hairspray (preferably unscented)
- Remove foliage from flowers and cut stems to desired length. To help flowers retain their color as much of their colour during the drying process, remove them from sunlight once you trim the stems
- Hang flowers individually or tie them together with rubber bands
- Find a dark, dry area with good circulation, such as an attic or unused closet. Use a rope to secure the bottom of the flowers’ stems to a hanger so that they hang upside down to dry.
- Leave flowers for two to three weeks until completely dry.
- Remove flowers from hangers and spray with unscented hairspray
- Microwave Flowers
This method is a great alternative if you don’t intend to wait very long for your bouquet to dry. With a simple everyday appliance you can find at home, the microwave method is a quick way to preserve flowers. It requires silica gel, which you can find at craft stores. We often see tiny white bags of silica gel for a variety of things, such as snacks, vitamins, and even computer equipment sometimes. Silica gel is great for absorbing moisture and keeping things dry, like what we’ll be doing to our fresh flowers.
- Microwave safe container
- Fresh flowers
- Silica Gel
- Thin Brush
- Acrylic Spray
- Find a microwave-safe container that will both hold your flowers and fit into the microwave. Make sure you use a dish you won’t be reusing after this project
- Fill the container with an inch or two of silica gel, a bit more for larger flowers. Place flowers upright in the gel and then pour more gel over the petals. Pour gently, or use your hands, so that petals don’t get flattened or damaged
- Place the uncovered container in the microwave. The temperature and time will vary according to the type of flower, so this may need a bit of trial and error. Start the microwave on one or two heat levels above defrost for 2 to 5 minutes. Roses can withstand more heat, while daisies are best dried at lower temperatures. If your bouquet holds several types of flowers, we suggest separating them and doing several rounds of microwaving to get optimal results.
- Check your flower’s progress in the microwave after about a minute, and then every 30 seconds. Increase the heat and time as required. Make sure you use oven mitts to avoid burning yourself!
- Once the flowers have completely dried, open the microwave and immediately cover the container to prevent room temperature air from coming into the container
- Remove completely from the microwave, and leave it slightly open at just about a quarter of a centimetre and let it sit for 24 hours
- Clean the gel from the petals with a fine-tip brush and then mist with an acrylic spray for protection
Using Silica Gel to Dry Flowers
From birthday flowers to apology flowers, these methods of preserving flowers will help keep those special memories alive with commemorative keepsakes. Using silica gel to dry flowers is also our preferred method to preserve flowers. The best thing to do would be to save them as soon as possible, before they start to wilt, so that most of their shape is still there. This method is similar to the microwave method, sans the microwave. It takes approximately 4–6 weeks for the flowers to fully dry. We like this method because you’ll get the best color retention among the three methods and the softest texture.
- Fresh flowers
- Silica Gel
- Plastic Container with Airtight Lid
- Trim your flowers according to your desired length, its best to trim off the stems if you intend to display them in a shadow box or resin them
- Pour a layer of the fine crystals (about 1.5 inches deep) into your plastic container
- Carefully place your flowers on top, and layer more of the silica gel around the petals
- This will fully absorb the moisture. Leave the flowers for about a month and a half. Shake the silica gel off the flowers and use a soft brush to get into the layers of the blooms.
How to care for your preserved flowers
Once you’ve obtained your preserved flowers, remember to follow these guidelines to properly care for them and extend their shelf life.
- Do not put it into water
- Keep it away from moisture
- Keep it away from direct sunlight
- Ideally, put it in a well ventilated room
Here at The Floral Keep, we offer a wide array of preserved flower bouquets and arrangements so that you don’t have to go through the hassle of preserving flowers. Check out our selection here and let us know if you have any questions!