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Tips for Tuesday – What to do with old flowers

DryRRosesWe have all been there, your beautiful bouquet is about to give up, and no matter what you do it  seems to have lost the will to live. However instead of throwing them away why preserve them by following a few very simple steps for keeping your special memories for years to come. Dried flowers have many uses; from being used in craft projects to potpourri your flowers have uses far beyond their living lives. We will show you how to dry your flowers the traditional way and a more unconventional involving a microwave.

Some tips before you start to dry your flowers. Blooms should not be fully mature, as they will lose their petals in the drying process. Different types of flowers will produce different results when drying, more robust types such as roses and small long lasting varieties will air dry well but more delicate types like lilies a better technique will be to press them in a flower press or wax lined pages of a heavy book. Daises, roses, gerbera, chrysanthemums and tulips also produce good results when preserved with the microwave technique, which preserves colour and structure better than air-drying.

How to Air Dry Flowers

1)      Strip excess foliage from flowers and cut stems to the length you desire (but no shorter than 6 inches). Bunch the stems together with rubber bands or leave separate if you wish to dry them individually.

2)      Take your bunches and attach them by the stem with a piece of string or dental floss to a coat hanger so they hang upside down. Hang them in a dark, dry place with good circulation such as a wardrobe and leave their for two – three weeks and don’t remove until they are completely dry.

3)      Once dry you can remove them from the hangers and use them however you wish. Weather its in crafts potpourri

The Microwave Drying Method

Items needed before hand

-         Microwave safe container (large enough to place the flowers in)

-         Silica gel

-         Acrylic spray

-         Fine paint brush

1)      Cover the bottom of your container with an inch or two of silica gel. Place your flowers in the microwave container with their heads pointing upwards (trimming maybe needed on the stem).

2)      Carefully cover the flowers with silica gel and make sure all the petals are in position as to how you want them to dry.

3)      Once set place the flowers into the microwave uncovered and place the temperature setting 2-3 levels above defrost and heat for 2-5 minutes depending on head size, flower type etc so its best to use some trail and error.

4)      Take the flowers out the microwave and cover immediately. Remove the lid slightly so there is around a 0.25 cm gap and leave to cool for 24 hours.

5)      Pour of the gel and brush of the flowers with the paintbrush and spray with acrylic to give a little bit extra protection. 

We hope you enjoy and have some fun with preserving your flowers for much longer as there are many things that can be done with your dried flowers to brighten up the visual appearance or smells of the home.

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