If your special someone decided to give you a bouquet of beautiful flowers this holiday, you can make the gift last even longer by choosing to preserve the flowers. There are many ways to dry flowers and afterwards, you can turn them into a cute wall hanging, framed art, a wreath or anything else your mind can imagine!
Here are five ways to preserve flowers so that you can keep them as a reminder of your Valentine.
Perhaps the most traditional way of saving flowers is pressing them. Choose a large book like a dictionary or phone book and gather the flowers you want to keep. Line a page of the book with parchment paper and place the flowers face-down on the page. Make sure they don’t overlap.
Let them sit for seven to 10 days. Once they have completely dried, they will have a delicate papery texture and you can display them in a frame or save them however you’d like.
The microwave technique is best if you don’t want to wait weeks for your flowers to dry. You’ll need silica gel and a microwave safe bowl.
Put an inch or two of silica gel on the bottom of the bowl. Then place your flowers in the gel and gently pour more silica gel over the flowers until they are covered. Put the bowl in the microwave uncovered and use low heat for about three to four minutes. Depending on the type of flower you are drying and the strength of your microwave, you may need to experiment with how long to heat the flowers.
Use a small tool such as a toothpick to check if the petals are dry. Once they are, take the bowl out and cover it, leaving just a small crack. Allow the flowers to dry overnight. Finally, pour out the excess silica gel and gently brush the flowers off to reveal your newly preserved flowers.
Fun fact: You can also dry flowers in the microwave using cat litter!
Hanging flowers upside-down is another well-known way to save your flowers. Gather the flowers and keep them together using a string or rubber band. Hang them upside-down in a dark, dry, well-ventilated area. Try attaching them to a clothes hanger for easy hanging.
Let them hang for two or three weeks, until they are completely dry. To finish, spray them with a light, protective coat of hairspray.
One approach similar to the microwave technique (but minus the microwave) simply uses silica gel alone. Add an inch or so of silica gel to the bottom of a container large enough for the flowers you want to dry. Place the flowers upright and don’t allow them to overlap or touch each other. Cover the flowers with more silica gel and close the container. Allow the flowers to dry for around five to nine days.
The “No-Effort” Method
If you don’t feel like going through the effort of these techniques, simply leave the flowers in a vase with some water and don’t do anything else. In a few days or weeks, the water will evaporate and the flowers will dry.
Now that you have beautifully preserved flowers, you can craft or decorate with them to add a special touch to your home. Be creative and turn this thoughtful gift into a long-lasting memory!
Megan Wild loves coming up with new ways to decorate her home with fresh and preserved flowers. Check out more of her home decor ideas on her blog, Your Wild Home.