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How to Dry Flowers: 6 Best Ways to Preserve their Beauty

How to Dry Flowers: 6 Best Ways to Preserve their Beauty

how to preserve flowers

If you don’t want to say goodbye to your beautiful wedding bouquet, anniversary flowers, or just a simple bouquet of fresh flowers you picked up to brighten your day, it’s time to learn how to preserve and dry flowers! There’s nothing I love more than beautiful floral arrangements to celebrate a special occasion, but wouldn’t it be wonderful to keep that beauty around for much longer than the fleeting few days fresh blooms typically last? Good news! There are numerous ways to preserve and dry flowers, each suited to different types of flower and preservation needs. Here’s how you can keep those precious petals perfect forever.

How do you preserve fresh flowers permanently?

 how to preserve flowers
Learn to preserve beautiful flower arrangements

Preserving fresh flowers permanently is easier than you might think and can be done using several different methods with supplies from local craft stores. One of the most popular methods is the silica gel method, which helps maintain the natural color and form of the flower. Simply place your favorite flowers in a microwave-safe container filled with silica sand, ensuring the flowers are completely covered. This method is great for delicate flowers like wedding flowers that you want to keep as a memento. For best results, place the container in a microwave for a couple of minutes, checking frequently to ensure the flowers don’t overheat.

How do you preserve flowers without them dying?

 how to preserve flowers

To preserve flowers without them dying, air drying is one of the easiest ways and best methods. Simply gather your flowers into small bunches, secure them with a rubber band, and hang them upside down in a dry area away from direct sunlight. A well-ventilated area works best to avoid any buildup of moisture during the drying process, which can cause decay. After a couple of weeks, your flowers will have dried completely, maintaining much of their shape and color. The dried flowers method works particularly well with a large bloom like lavender or hydrangea.

How do you preserve homemade flowers?

Homemade flowers, like artificial flowers crafted from paper, fabric, or other craft supplies, can also be preserved to last a long time. A great way is by using a clear epoxy resin. Arrange your crafted flowers in a silicone mold and carefully pour the mixed resin over them, ensuring all parts are covered and any air bubbles are removed. The resin will harden, encasing the flowers in a beautiful and durable decorative piece. This preservation process turns your homemade flowers into timeless keepsakes.

How to keep flowers forever in a jar?

Keeping flowers forever in a jar involves a preservation method known as the glycerin technique. This approach replaces the water in the plant material with glycerin, resulting in supple, long-lasting preserved flowers. Mix one part glycerin with two parts warm water in a plastic container. Cut the flower stems at an angle and place them in the solution. Store them in a cool, dark place for a few weeks until the flowers have absorbed the glycerin mixture. Afterward, these flowers can be arranged in a glass jar for a beautiful display that lasts.

Step by Step Guide to Preserving Flowers so a Beautiful Arrangement Lasts Forever

 how to preserve flowers
Keep your beautiful flower arrangement forever

By exploring these different techniques, you can choose the preservation method that fits your specific needs, whether you’re looking to preserve a special bouquet from a meaningful occasion or just want to keep your favorite blooms around as part of your home decor. With a little effort and the right materials, your beautiful bouquet of flowers can continue to enhance your living space long after their natural bloom cycle has ended.

How to Air Dry Flowers

Air drying is the simplest way to preserve flowers; it involves hanging them upside down in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight, making it a great choice during the winter months.

  1. Gather Flowers: Choose the right flowers with sturdy stems and robust petals like roses or hydrangeas.
  2. Tie the Stems: Gather the flowers in small bunches and secure the stems together using a rubber band or florist wire.
  3. Hang Upside Down: Find a warm, dry place out of direct sunlight and hang the bunches upside down.
  4. Wait for Drying: Leave the flowers to hang for 2-4 weeks, or until completely dry.
  5. Spray with Hairspray (Optional): For extra protection, lightly spray the dried flowers with hairspray to help maintain their form. The end result is an entire bouquet that lasts forever!

How to Make Pressed Flowers

Pressing flowers between sheets of paper is a time-honored technique and an easy way to preserve the natural beauty of flowers for different projects like scrapbooking or making bookmarks.

  1. Select Your Flowers: Choose flowers that are naturally flatter and have less moisture.  Violets, daisies, or ferns are the best option as they press better.
  2. Prepare the Flowers: Arrange the flowers face down on a piece of parchment paper, ensuring they are not overlapping.
  3. Layer the Materials: If you don’t have a flower press, place the parchment paper with flowers inside the pages of a heavy book. Add an additional layer of paper above and below the flowers to protect the book and absorb moisture.
  4. Weigh Down the Book: Close the book and weigh it down with more heavy books or other flat, heavy items to press flowers.
  5. Wait and Check: Leave the setup undisturbed for 2-3 weeks. Check the flowers after the first week and replace the absorbent layers if they are damp.
  6. Store Properly: Once the flowers are completely dry and pressed, handle them carefully as they are delicate and prone to breakage. You can store them in an airtight container or frame them for display.

How to Use the Sand Drying Preservation Method

Drying flowers in sand is a traditional preservation method that gently desiccates the blooms, offering better results for thicker flowers by supporting their structure as they dry.

  1. Choose Suitable Flowers: Use flowers with sturdy structures like roses or zinnias, as the sand can be heavy on delicate petals.
  2. Prepare the Sand: Fill a shallow box or a plastic container with a layer of fine, dry sand. Make sure the sand is clean and sifted.
  3. Position the Flowers: Cut flowers by trimming the stems, then gently place the flowers face up on the sand. Slowly sprinkle more sand around the base and over the petals, taking care not to distort their shape.
  4. Cover Completely: Continue to add sand until the flowers are completely covered, ensuring that their position and form are maintained.
  5. Let Them Dry: Store the container in a dry place away from direct sunlight for 2-4 weeks, depending on the type of flower and thickness of the petals.
  6. Uncover and Clean: Gently brush away the sand to reveal the dried flowers. Use a soft paintbrush to remove any remaining sand from the dried plant without damaging the flowers.

How to Use the Silica Gel Preservation Method

Using silica gel is often considered one of the best preservation methods for preserving delicate flowers, as it maintains their vibrant colors and form beautifully.

  1. Choose the Right Flowers: Pick natural flowers that are not fully open yet, as they’ll continue to open during the drying process.
  2. Prepare the Silica Gel: Fill a microwave-safe container halfway with silica sand.
  3. Arrange the Flowers: Place the flowers face-up on top of the silica sand. Carefully spoon more silica around and over the flowers until they are completely covered.
  4. Microwave the Flowers: Place the container in the microwave alongside a cup of water (to prevent overheating). Microwave on a low setting for 2-3 minutes. Check the flowers and repeat in 30-second bursts until they are dry.
  5. Store to Cool: Remove the container from the microwave and let it sit, covered, for 24 hours to cool and further set.
  6. Remove and Dust Off: Gently remove the flowers from the silica sand, using a soft brush to dust off any remaining grains.

​How to Preserve Flowers with Glycerin

Using glycerin to preserve flowers is the best method for maintaining the softness and pliability of plant material, ideal for floral arrangements in high humidity environments.

  1. Prepare the Solution: Mix one part glycerin with two parts warm water in a large container until the glycerin is fully dissolved.
  2. Cut and Prepare Stems: Trim the base of the stem at an angle and place each flower in the glycerin solution.
  3. Soak: Allow the flowers to soak in the solution for 2-6 weeks in a cool, dark place. Check periodically to ensure they are fully submerged.
  4. Dry and Display: Remove the flowers from the solution, gently pat them dry with paper towels, and arrange them in a jar or vase as desired.

How to Use Epoxy Resin to Preserve Flowers

Preserving flowers in epoxy resin is a wonderful way to create stunning, long-lasting resin projects that maintain the beauty of your favorite blooms.

  1. Prepare the Flowers: Arrange your homemade or natural flowers in the desired design within a silicone mold.
  2. Mix the Resin: According to the manufacturer’s instructions, mix the epoxy resin and hardener in a plastic container.
  3. Pour the Resin: Slowly pour the resin over the flowers, ensuring all parts are covered. Tap the mold to release air bubbles.
  4. Cure the Resin: Allow the resin to cure as directed, typically 24-48 hours.
  5. Demold: In a couple of days (once fully cured), carefully remove the preserved flowers from the mold.

With so many different ways to dry and preserve flowers, you never have to say goodbye to those beautiful blooms. Which one of these main methods is your favorite method for preserving flowers? 

​Don’t forget to check out how to preserve fall leaves too!