You can preserve flowers and keep them indefinitely by simply drying them. When you dry a flower, all the moisture is taken out of the flower and it will keep its shape and its color. You can then use your dried flowers to make ever-lasting floral arrangements or shadowbox art or you can use your dried flowers for other crafts such as gluing them onto picture frames or straw hats. And, of course, you can always give your dried flowers as a gift! Making a tea cup arrangement of dried flowers is a great way to give them as a gift. Below are three easy ways to dry flowers.
Dry Flowers with Cornmeal
You only need two ingredients to dry flowers with cornmeal. You need cornmeal and Borax. You can buy cornmeal in any grocery store in the baking aisle. You can pick up Borax in any grocery store too, near the laundry detergent. The cornmeal method of drying flowers is perfect to dry daisies, pansies, asters, violets, apple blossoms, among other flowers. This method is also good to preserve a corsage or a boutonniere.
You will need to mix 2 parts cornmeal with 1 part of powdered Borax to make your drying mix. You will also need a small box like a gift box or a shoe box. If you are drying a bunch of flowers you will need a bigger box. Simply mix your cornmeal and Borax then spread about 1 inch of the mix on the bottom of the box. Cut the flower stems so they are about 1 or 2 inches long (you can make a new stem using florist’s wire after they are dry) then lay your flowers face down in the mix and spread their petals so they lie as flat as possible. Make sure the flowers are not touching. Then cover the flowers with another inch of the mix. That’s all there is to it! Cover the box with the lid, or if there is no lid, use foil to cover it. Then keep the box somewhere safe so it won’t get moved around and let it sit at room temperature for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks your flowers will be dry. Carefully remove them from the box and use in your crafts or just keep them!
Dry Flowers with Borax
You can dry a wide variety of fresh flowers using this Borax method, such as roses, pansies, violets, chrysanthemums, zinnias, marigolds, daisies and sweet peas. It’s best to pick the flowers at the peak of their bloom. If you are going to dry flowers you received as a gift, you need to do it just a day or two after receiving the flowers so they will look fresh after being dried.
To dry flowers with Borax all you need is Borax and some small air tight containers like coffee cans, plastic cottage cheese containers or yogurt containers. Cut the stems of the flowers. Pour enough Borax in your container to cover the bottom with about an inch of Borax. Place a flower face down in the borax then cover it with an inch of borax. You can add another flower on top of the first one and cover it with an inch of borax. Continue layering flowers until your container is full or until you run out of flowers. Place the lid on the container and set it aside for at least 4 weeks. When the flowers are dry, carefully remove them and brush the Borax away with a Q-Tip or a small, soft paint brush.
Dry Flowers with Sand
Drying flowers with sand is a quick way to preserve flowers. You do not have to wait weeks for the flowers to dry… you only have to wait a few hours! You may have to experiment a bit before you know how much time it takes for certain flowers to dry, but you will have fun while experimenting. You can use this sand drying method with any type of flower.
To dry flowers with sand you will need clean sand. You can either buy sterile, dry fine sand at your local craft store, or you can sterilize any clean light colored sand (like beach sand) by baking it in any pan at 220 degrees for 20 minutes then sifting the sand through a screen to remove any large particles. Besides sand, you will need a baking pan (9 x 13 x 2 is good) and some paper towels.
Start by pouring enough sand in the bottom of your baking pan so there is about an inch of sand in the bottom of the pan. Cut the stems off your flowers then place your flowers face up in the sand (not face down as with the other methods). Then carefully pour sand over the flowers using your fingers to pour the sand. Try to get the sand between the petals so they hold their shape. You can also push sand under the flowers if they look like they need a bit more support underneath. Add enough sand so all the flowers are completely covered. Then bake the pan of flowers at 200 degrees for about 2 hours. Check a flower by brushing away some of the sand. If it looks like it’s still wet or droopy, then bake a little longer, checking every 15 minutes. If they are dull and dark, they baked too long. You can still use them, but they won’t look as fresh. When they are dry, tip the pan to pour off a bit of the top layer of sand then carefully lift your flowers out using a spoon. Lay the flowers on paper towels to cool for an hour. After they are cooled, carefully brush off any remaining sand with a small, soft paint brush or
gently blow on the flowers (outside is a good idea).
For more craft projects, please check out my other articles. Here are just a few of my favorites:
Plaster of Paris Mixture for Dipping Cloth Sculptures
Five Homemade Play Dough Recipes
Craft Project – Mock Marble
How to Spice Up T-Shirts
Craft Project – Imitation Alabaster
Source: Personal knowledge