Here I am sitting among my bounty. Roses, Delphinium and Lady's Mantle are all being packed away.
At our house, the front table is always covered with flowering projects.
Five steps for drying flowers The process of drying flowers is simple. The hardest part is waiting for them to dry and not rushing the process. Here is how to do it:
First: Collect the flowers from mid-day to late afternoon. Unlike picking flowers for fresh bouquets, the flowers to be dried should not be wilted, but should contain as little water as possible. This will help speed the drying time.
Second: Flowers such as roses and peonies need to be pre-wired. The technique is the same as wiring roses for a fresh bouquet - insert florist wire through the base of the flower. The wiring will help if you want to reattach a stem wire after the flower is dry. (Already dried flowers are too brittle to wire.)
Third: Silica Gel is the granular stuff you see in little packets found in shoe boxes and cameras used to absorb moisture. You can buy it online in bulk. Tupperware bowls with snap-on lids work well for holding the flowers while drying. Arrange the flowers on a bed of silica gel. Take care that the petals are just as you want them to remain. Keep the flowers from touching each other or the sides of the bowl. Gently pour additional gel around the sides. Let it settle in naturally like snow drifts. Tap the sides of the bowl to make sure all the little crevasses and air-pockets are filled. Continue adding gel until the flowers are fully covered. Fourth: Snap on the air-tight lid of the container and wait 3 to 5 days. It's tempting, but don't peek. Delicate flowers with thin stems will take much less time than thick-stemmed plants such as Calla Lilies. Fifth: When ready, slowly pour off the gel and catch the flowers with a gentle hand, because they will be delicate. Colors might be surprising because they don't always stay true to the original plant. Pinks, yellows and blues are the most consistent for color; reds turn darker and whites sometimes turn an antique brown.
Finally: Have fun!
(Please note:The silica gel can be reactivated by heating and reused many times.)
Roses being placed in bowl ready for silica gel to be added.
Pouring off the silica gel. Discovering the dried Sarah Bernhardt peony.
Johanna's Dried Peony
The bluest delphinium florets
Dried David Austin Roses
Dried Calla Lily
Dried Lady's Mantle works great as a filler in bouquets.
Dried Magnolia grandiflora blossom. It's a full 11 inches across!
Dried flowers being sorted in the studio
Supplies: Flowers Silica gel Tupperware Florist wire