Ornamentals

Preserving Summer's Flowers

Preserving Summer's Flowers

Blooming flowers make the summer sing, but how can we keep the song going all year? Drying or pressing flowers is a great way to preserve their beauty with a vintage feel. Use them in potpourri, bouquets, wreaths, or whatever else inspires you!

Air Drying
Of the many ways to dry flowers, air-drying is the simplest way. Gather flower stems in small bunches-about 1/2-1 inch thick-and wrap them tightly with a rubber band. Stems will shrink; so make sure the rubber band is tight. Open up a paper clip so it looks like two hooks. Hook one end with the rubber band and another onto a suspended string. When hanging, the flower heads should not be leaning against anything or touching each other, as this will cause the stems to bend. To preserve the flower's color, put them in a dark room or anywhere else out of direct sunlight during the drying process. Drying times will vary depending on the flower, the humidity of the room, and level of air circulation. Most flowers dry within 10-20 days.

Drying with Silica Gel
Silica Gel isn't really gel at all. It's actually an absorbent and porous mineral in solid bead form and can be found at most craft stores. Pour a 1 1/2-inch layer of silica gel in the bottom of a plastic box (choose a box that has a cover). Set the flower heads face up in the gel and gently cover the petals with more silica gel. Cover the box tightly and let it sit for 3 to 5 days. Simply shake off the silica gel when flowers feel crisp.

Oven Drying
Using the oven is a creative way to dry flowers within 24 hours. Set the oven to its lowest setting or about 100

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