How To Dry Flowers: Unexpected Drying Methods That WORK!
There is nothing more uplifting than looking at some gorgeous flowers. Getting a beautiful bouquet of roses or walking through a field of wildflowers in the summer are some things that sure make me swoon. I personally love poppies and hydrangea... But I also love tulips, forget-me-nots... Oh and so many more to list!
There is something so amazing about the colors created by nature, isn't there? The brilliant blues of clematis, the bright yellow center of a delicate daisy. Did you know you can dry these flowers to preserve their color, shape, and beauty to use in decorating and for your art projects?
Dried flowers are so gorgeous and can be used for so many things. There are many artists out there who are drying flowers for jewelry and encasing them in resin! Ever wonder how to dry flowers for resin? Or how to perfectly dry flowers for a flower arrangement or for adding flowers to homemade soap or homemade bath bombs? Let's explore the proper ways to dry flowers depending on the look you are going for.
There are many ways to dry flowers, but here is the best, basic way to dry flowers:
Hang Dried Flowers
- Harvest your flowers at peak bloom
- Find a dark place you can hang your flowers that won't be disturbed by children or pets
- Gather your flowers into small bouquets
- Tie the stems together with natural twine (you can use this twine in the flower presentation as well!)
- Hang the flowers upside down for 2 weeks
- NOTE: Use different drying methods for different flowers. Read on to see which drying method is best for drying different types of flowers
The above method for drying flowers works really well for flowers that are not super delicate. I would hang dry your roses, carnations, gerber daisies, lavender, and any robust flowers. Hang drying flowers takes a long time, but gives you beautiful flowers for arrangements, wreaths and other artistic uses where you would want to dry the stems and all while maintaining their shape.
Here are some other methods for drying your flowers.
Microwave Dry Flowers
Microwave-dried flower method will make fast, colorful, flat dried flowers and petals
Microwave-dried flowers are good for artwork, jewelry, resin art, bookmarks, soap making, bath bomb making, cards and for framing in glass
Did you know you can use your microwave to dry flowers? This is the fastest way you can dry flowers. Keep in mind what you want to use them for: this method will produce dry, colorful, flat flowers and petals. Here is how to dry flowers in a microwave:
- Choose the flowers you want to dry
- Lay a paper towel on your microwave plate
- Lay each individual flower (blossom or petal) on the paper towel so it is not touching any other flower
- put another paper towel on top of flowers
- lay a piece of paper on top of the paper towel
- put something heavy and flat on top of everything (make sure it is microwavable). You can use a small wood cutting board, a tile, something ceramic as long as it is heavy enough to press the flowers and makes absolute contact so there is equal pressure on the flowers or petals
- Microwave at about half power for 1.5 - 2 minutes until they come out crisp, dry and colorful (can add more time by going another 30 seconds at a time)
- NOTE: If you are microwaving the flowers dry for resin, you will need to make sure they have dried completely out. You do not want to put partially dry flowers into your epoxy resin, use perfectly dry flowers in your resin art and resin jewelry.
Dry Flowers In The Oven
Oven-dried flower method will make fast, colorful, shape-retaining dry flowers
Oven-dried flowers are good for potpourri, cake-decorating (if they are edible), adding to gift-wrapping, table decor and centerpieces
Another way to dry flowers quickly is by drying them in the oven. This is a great method if you want to quickly dry flowers and keep their shape and color! Here is how to dry flowers in the oven:
- Decide which flowers you will dry
- Cut the stems off of your flowers right at the base of the bloom or bud
- Find a drying rack and spread your flowers over it, making sure they are not overlapping at all. I really like this rack by Bellemain because it has a tight-grid design so your flowers don't fall through the squares
- Heat your oven to 200 degrees
- Put your flowers in for 2 hours, and start checking them after 1.5 hours
- When the edges of your petals feel crisp and dry to the touch, take them out and set them somewhere to cool. If they dry in the oven too long the will get crumbly and lose color
- If you have different kinds of flowers in the oven at once, check them as you go as they may have different drying times
Dry Flowers Using A Food Dehydrator
Using the food dehydrator method to dry flowers will give you results in 24 hours. This method is convenient as you can put your flowers in and walk away, rotating them a few times in the 24 hours. They will maintain their shape and color relatively well.
Dehydrated, dried flowers are good for potpourri, are excellent for resin if you want the whole flower (as opposed to pressed), and is my favorite method of preserving flowers for tea, such as chamomile, rosehips and dried tea herbs such as mint and raspberry leaf.
Flowers can easily be dried in a food dehydrator. Here is how:
- Choose your flowers to dehydrate. Remember, it is best to choose at full bloom
- Clip the stem and little leaves off
- Arrange your flowers on your dehydrator trays ensuring they are not overlapping at all
- Turn on your dehydrator
- Rotate trays 2-4 times during your drying time
- Take out after 24 hours. Again, some may be ready, other varieties may need to stay a bit longer
Dry Flowers By Pressing Them
The pressed flower drying method is a great way to preserve special flowers that you want to keep forever. This flower drying method will take a long time and will produce flat, preserved flowers.
Pressed flowers are good for keepsake and memory flowers (I still have the flowers that my dad gave me when I was a little girl which I pressed in a huge dictionary!)
Here is how to press and dry flowers to keep forever:
- You can leave the stem on or cut the stem and leaves off for dry pressed flowers. This is up to you depending on what look you are going for
- Find a thick book. If you don't have any big or thick books, a great place to look is in the antique or used stores. Alternatively, you can put your flowers into any book and stack it under several books
- Open your book to the middle
- Set a piece of parchment paper down in the book. I always go with PaperChef natural release parchment paper
- Arrange your flower or petals on the paper
- Set another piece of paper carefully on top of your flower
- Close the book
- Let flower dry, untouched in the book(s) for 7-10 days
Dry Flowers Using Silica Gel
Flowers can be dried using a substance called silica gel. Silica gel is a water absorbing agent. You may be familiar with the silica gel packets often found in new shoes, also to absorb any moisture! It is great for perfectly preserving flowers.
Silica gel-preserved flowers will take several days to preserve but you will get preserved flowers with great color and shape retention.
Silica gel-preserved flowers are good for wreaths, dried flower arrangements (can add fake stems after they have dried), decor, basket arrangements, art projects or any other project where you want the flower to look as fresh as possible.
Here is how to preserve and dry flowers using silica gel:
- Buy some silica gel for flowers and a container to keep it in a container with a tight lid. (You can keep the silica in this container after you are finished)
Find containers with tight-fitting lids on Amazon here
- Pour a bit of the silica gel into the bottom of your container
- Decide which flowers you would like to dry out, snip off the stems and ensure that they are not wet at all
- Place your flowers in the container upright, sitting them gently on the silica gel on the bottom
- Carefully sprinkle the rest of your silica gel over top of the flowers, getting it in between the petals, around the flower, and inside the flower. You will want to cover the flowers gently with this silica gel until you can't see them anymore
- Seal container tightly and place somewhere where it will not be disturbed at all
- Leave for about 5-7 days before carefully checking the dryness of the flowers, and when they feel dry, very carefully take them out and shake all of the silica gel out of the petals
- STORAGE: Store your silica gel-dried flowers in an air-tight container with a thin layer of silica gel sprinkled on the bottom
I hope you found the perfect method for drying flowers for you! There sure are many ways to dry flowers out there, I hope you found the best way to dry flowers for you! And if you enjoyed this post, be sure to PIN IT NOW so you can come back to it LATER. We would really appreciate that!
Have a colorful day!
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