Preserving Flowers at Home? 6 Ways to Preserve Your Flowers at Home.

Preserving Flowers at Home? 6 Ways to Preserve Your Flowers at Home.

Adam Riyadh Adam Riyadh
19 minute read

If you're anything like me, you love to craft and you love flowers. So why not combine the two and make beautiful, lasting flower arrangements? In this blog post, I'm going to show you how to preserve fresh flowers so that they last for a lifetime with the art of flower preservation! We'll cover a range of different methods of preserving flowers, so whether you're after new craft projects at home or looking to create a keepsake there's a method to suit your needs in this blog. You'll be able to enjoy your floral creations for much longer with these simple tips and even incorporate your dried flowers into your crafting with tips for preserving flowers at home. Let's get started!

Table Of Contents: 

Pressing Flowers

How To Press Flowers
Pressing flowers is a popular and simple way to preserve your flowers, it is one of many different methods used to preserve flowers. This method works best for naturally flat flowers, but you can experiment with other blooms as well, although they can lose their shape. Pressed flowers are stunning and can be hung in a frame as artwork, we even include them in our trinket dish or clutch bag. This method is easy to do and only requires a few supplies, such as:
  • Fresh Flowers

  • Absorbent Paper (you can find this in most craft stores)

  • Heavy Book such as a phone book, or another heavy item.

The Technique of Pressing Flowers

Pressing flowers is a simple and effective way to dry flowers and preserve their natural beauty. By following a few simple steps, you can create beautiful pressed flowers that will last for years.
To press flowers you'll first, place several pieces of newspaper or blotting paper flat on a surface. Then carefully arrange the flowers in a single layer, making sure no petals overlap or curl. Cover the flowers with additional layers of paper or newspaper, and add more flowers if desired. However, as a trial run, it is a good idea to press just one layer. You can use a flower press if you have one, but a heavy book works just fine, place this on top of the layered flowers. For smaller projects, you can press individual flowers between the pages of a thick book and place a heavy object on top.
You'll have to leave flowers on the paper for at least a few weeks, remember that each flower is different so the time may vary based on the size or type of flower used, some blooms and greenery can take up to six weeks to dry completely. You may want to check the flowers' progress before taking them out of the paper, but be careful! You're freshly dried flowers will now be delicate flowers, so should be handled with care. Once they're completely dried you're ready to start using them when crafting or as a floral keepsake.

Air Drying Flowers

Air Drying Flowers
Air drying is one of the oldest ways to dry flowers. It is a simple process that uses air and humidity to remove the moisture from the blooms. This can be done by hanging the flower upside down in a dark, dry place or by placing the flower on a screen in a well-ventilated room. Drying periods vary depending on the type of flower and the desired result. Some flowers and leaves take several weeks or months to air dry, while others may only take a week. Once dried, all air-dried flowers can become brittle and should be handled with care. Some dried flowers may even end up with unnaturally straight stems if they have been hanging upside down for too long. Despite these potential drawbacks, air drying is still one of the easiest and most forgiving methods of preserving flowers.
This technique is brilliant for beginners looking to try the art of flower preservation. If you are a beginner we'd suggest starting with flowers from the Compositae Family, these flowers can include sunflowers, dahlias, or even daisies. Once you have chosen the flowers that you'd like to preserve you'll need a few supplies such as:
  • Unscented Dental Floss / Rubber Band

  • A well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight

Once you have a good hanging spot and some dental floss, you can move on to the technique of air drying your flowers!

Preserving Flowers Using the Air Drying Technique

When air drying flowers you'll want to begin by creating small bunches from your fresh flowers, ensuring there is enough space between each bloom for good ventilation a great way to achieve this is to trim as many leaves as possible because this can slow the drying process. Bunches should be small enough to ensure the air can circulate freely and no flowers are being crushed by their surroundings.
Now you have a small bouquet of flowers you'll want to tie them with your unscented dental floss or rubber bands and hang the flowers upside down. A helpful tip when you air dry flowers is to keep the flowers away from sunlight during this period to help flowers retain their colour in this progress. Many will want to have flowers hanging in view to admire them, but the best method is to have flowers hang upside down in the attic, a dark corner, or even a garage.
You can check the flower's progress over two to four weeks ensuring they are completely dry before disturbing them, you may need to retie the bunches over the drying period as stems may shrink. You should be left with stunningly preserved flowers!

Preserving Flowers In a Microwave

Preserving Flowers
Have you ever wished you could speed up the process of air drying your flowers? Well, there is a new method that has proved to be successful with a variety of flowers. Microwave drying is a relatively new method to achieve dry flowers that have already proved to be successful with certain types of flowers. With this method, you can microwave small green plants or flowering specimens like forget-me-nots whilst ensuring they will retain their colour and dry much faster than they would with other methods. Some other flowers may also respond well to microwaving, so it is definitely worth trying this method out if you are looking for a way to preserve your flowers. The main thing to remember with this method is that the material needs to be hung to air dry after microwaving, but overall, the process speeds up the drying process and helps preserve the colour of the preserved flowers. All you need to complete this microwave preservation method is:
  • A standard microwave

  • A microwave safe container

  • Kitchen paper or Coffee filters

  • Unscented Dental Floss / Rubber Band

  • A well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight

Microwave Preservation Method Technique

To preserve your flowers using the microwave method you will firstly need to line your microwave safe container with a few layers of kitchen roll or layer coffee filters in order to absorb moisture from the flowers. Then you'll need to strip your flowers of foliage and place the flowers or grass into the container.
Secondly, it's time to microwave the flowers at a medium setting (usually 400 - 500W) for roughly two minutes. Ensure you check the flowers halfway through and replace the tissue if soaked with excess moisture, this will help to release as much moisture as possible from the flowers.
Finally, remove them from the microwave and hang them upside down as if you are air-drying flowers. You'll have to wait at least three days for the dried flowers to be ready but using the microwave is sure to speed up the air-drying process!

Preserving Flowers in Water

Flower Preservation in Water

Flowers are a beautiful way to decorate your home, but they can be expensive to keep buying fresh. A great solution is to dry them so you can enjoy them for months to come. Drying flowers in water is a simple and effective way to preserve their beauty. The best candidates for this process include “papery” flowers such as hydrangea and heathers. You can also try drying Achillea in this way, and it is a great way to dry hosta leaves. The most important thing to ensure is that the flowers stems are sturdy as ones without may droop and dried petals can fall off. This method is easy, inexpensive, and produces beautiful results that will last. So the next time you have some beautiful flowers, consider drying them in water to enjoy them long after they’ve bloomed. All you'll need is:
  • Full bloom flowers

  • Vase of water

The Technique To Preserve Flowers in Water

Drying flowers is a great way to preserve them for continuous enjoyment and with this water preservation technique, it's now even easier to enjoy your flowers for longer.
The method is not complicated, but there are a few steps to take in order to achieve the best results. To dry your flowers, start by finding a warm, dry place with plenty of air circulation. A sunny windowsill works well but this may cause the colour of your flowers to fade, or you can use an electric dehydrator set on its lowest setting. Next, strip the leaves, and then place the flower's stem in about 1 inch of warm water. Put the material in a warm spot to dry up as quickly as possible. Do not top up the water as it evaporates and is absorbed. Depending on the type of flower and the conditions in your drying space, flowers will take anywhere from a few weeks to months. Once the process is finished you should be left with a stunning dried flower bouquet!

How to Dry Flowers in Desiccants

Silica Gel for Drying Flowers
Drying flowers in a desiccant is the least predictable method of flower preservation. It is one of the main reasons why flowers dried using this method are so expensive to buy. But, it is fair to say that this is the connoisseur's method, and when successful, the technique produces beautiful lifelike flowers in both colour and shape achieving the same look as fresh ones in some cases. Desiccated flowers are more fragile and vulnerable to atmospheric moisture than those preserved by other methods. To try this flower drying technique you'll need:
  • Fully open flowers

  • Airtight container

  • The desiccant material of your choice

What are the different drying agents for flowers?

The most common desiccant used for flower drying is silica gel, which can be bought directly from us. We offer a Flower Drying Kit for our customers to allow them to try the art of flower preservation from their own homes, which contains enough silica gel for a bridal bouquet. It is important to use the right amount of silica gel - too little and the flowers will not dry out properly, too much and the flowers will be damaged. The general rule is to ensure every flower is covered by the gel. There are other desiccant materials you can use such as borax, sand, yellow cornmeal, and even soap-based washing powder.
All of the creations made by Magenta Flowers are done using silica gel desiccants. Silica gel is the most expensive desiccant but gives reliable and outstanding results. It is available in both granular and powdered forms. The granular can be freeze-dried and pulverized with a rolling pin. Silica gel is the fastest-acting drying agent, and some flowers, such as pansies and Harebells, need only a day. More rigid flowers such as sunflowers & lupins can be dried in the granular form, but it can take up to two to three weeks.
The other two agents mentioned, borax and alum, are both powdery, lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and be found in most craft stores. The downside is that they tend to form clumps when damp. If a petal is wet on the surface, borax and alum sometimes crack and harden. You can mix both borax and alum with cornmeal. Using this method, it will take a little bit longer to dry your flowers – perhaps a week. 
Sand is an old-fashioned desiccant that needs careful preparation before use. It must be fine grain, salt-free and clean. Using sand straight from the beach does not work as the salt in the sand will damage the flowers. In general, commercially packaged river sand is the best. It takes about three weeks to dry and preserve flowers in this way. Suitable flowers for sand drying include garden roses, zinnias, dahlias, and carnations. You could also experiment with other flowers such as marigolds, camellias, and pansies. Sand drying is not a method you should use for wedding bouquet preservation as when dried can create extremely delicate flowers that may crumble. 

The Technique for Drying Flowers Using Desiccants

Time is important when it comes to using desiccants, so try to use flowers fresh. All material should be picked on a dry day and fully mature. The time between cutting the flower and starting the process should be as short as possible.
First, you'll need to remove the stem of the flower around an inch away from the head you're able to reattach stems after their drying process with the use of garden wire. Then you need to ensure that all greenery or foliage is removed from the flowers.
Second, put around an inch of the silica gel (or desiccant of your choice) in an air-tight container. When placing your flowers in the drying agent you'll want to gently turn your blooms to ensure they're fully covered. Flowers such as roses may require you to gently pour more gel from above to ensure all petals are covered, which is why flowers need to be fully open. Once you're sure the flowers are covered in silica gel you can add them to your container of sand or silica gel, ensuring none of the flowers touches you can use a cocktail stick between the blooms to make sure they are spaced out if needed.
Thirdly, cover the layer in more of the silica gel ensuring the flowers inside are completely covered and fill the container. Our team finds it helpful to gently shake the container to remove any air pockets from the silica gel. You can then replace the lid of the container and store it in a warm place to assist in the drying process.
Lastly, wait the recommended drying time, every flower is different so we suggest waiting two weeks but it can be quicker than this. Once you're confident the blooms are ready, gently pour out the silica gel into your hand so you can inspect your flowers. The flowers should have a paper-like feel to them, if it doesn't you will need to place them back within the silica gel to dry for a while longer. Some helpful tips are to always wear gloves so you don't reintroduce moisture to the process and damage the delicate flower. You can also place one flower closer to the lid, yet still covered, so you can inspect this flower without disturbing the others. If you have any leftover silica gel within the petals brush this off with a makeup brush, these are much more delicate than paintbrushes.
The best part of using a drying agent is that you'll be able to reuse them, just ensure that all materials such as petals are removed from the desiccant!

Preserving Flowers with Glycerine and Antifreeze

Glycerine Flower Preservation
Glycerine is the traditional way of preserving mature foliage, and many leaves from species such as beech and eucalyptus dry beautifully using this method. All too often we ignore the beauty of leaves, but dried leaves displayed can look stunning. It is all about using the right method of preservation. Glycerine materials such as single leaves or whole branches are a real adventure to create, but they do look fantastic. It makes you really appreciate color. Materials treated with glycerine and antifreeze last indefinitely, and because of the leathery texture of the leaves, they are very versatile for use in decoration. So if you're looking for a way to add a bit of nature's beauty to your home, glycerine-preserved foliage is a great option. All you need is: 
  • Flowers or Foliage 
  • Narrow Container 
  • Antifreeze or Glycerine 
  • Warm Water

Antifreeze and Glycerine Technique

Firstly, it is important to choose only perfect leaves. Discard any discoloured or blemished leaves if you are for instance drying a branch. To test whether a stem or leaf will take up antifreeze or glycerine, test it and stand it in water for a couple of hours, if the foliage begins to wilt, you should discard it.
Secondly, dilute the glycerine or antifreeze with hot, or even boiling water. It is best to experiment with the mixture as well. Some leaves respond best to two-thirds water to one part of antifreeze or glycerine, or you can try using them in equal proportions. Glycerine is thick so you need to mix it thoroughly or you risk it settling at the bottom. It is best to choose a narrow container around 3 - 4 inches which can hold large branches or leaves. Place the material in the mixture, and top up as it is absorbed. Sometimes a leaf will look like it sweats, and in that case, you can wipe it with a damp cloth.
The entire process can take up to six weeks, but smaller projects will probably take one week. If you would like to try to get really adventurous you can try floating larger leaves in the mixture. This is a great way of preserving leaves from the Swiss-cheese plant. Cotoneaster and rosehips can also be preserved in this way, and the best material for both is glycerine.

Why are preserved roses so expensive to buy?

When you purchase a preserved flower arrangement, you are paying for more than just the flowers themselves, which is why preserved roses can be pricey. You are also paying for the time, effort, and expertise that goes into preserving them. The process of preserving roses and flowers is not something that can be learned overnight. It takes years of practice to perfect, businesses that sell preserved flowers have a team of experts who have devoted their careers to this craft. In addition to the time and expertise that goes into preserving flowers, businesses also have to use high-quality, non-toxic chemicals. These chemicals help to preserve the color and shape of the flowers so they can be enjoyed for years to come. The combination of time, effort, and quality materials make preserved flowers more expensive than fresh flowers. However, for many people, the beauty and longevity of these preserved petals are worth the extra cost.

The Range of Flowers to Use and How You can Display Them.

Wedding Bouquet Preservation
It goes without saying that you should experiment as you go along. Once you become more experienced at flower preservation, you can try more adventurous projects. You may even have some special flowers which mean a lot to you, many wish to preserve their wedding bouquet.
The best materials and blooms to start with when you dry flowers, are user-friendly plants such as lavender and Achillea. Why not try raiding your garden or flowering containers to see what you can find? If you would like to hang on to summer for a little bit longer, you can even try pressing petunias or geraniums from your hanging baskets. Remember the flowers need to be fresh and free of any disease or nasty critters. Once you have exhausted the garden and your own flowers, check out your surrounding countryside. Herbs such as chamomile make great plant materials, and clover simply looks amazing when dried. You can even try to preserve flowers from cherry and apple trees to fill your kitchen vase or hang around the house. 

Presenting Your Flower Preservation Projects

You may be wondering what to do with all these dried flowers you've now got laying around, but don't worry we'll give you some ideas on how to make stunning pieces of art out of them!
Frame your dried flowers! Whether you've pressed flowers or allowed them to remain their natural shape you are still able to frame them. A shadow box is a great idea when preserving a wedding bouquet, it allows you to recreate your bouquet as a reminder of your big day and is definitely a popular choice for our customers.
Shadow Box
Capture them in resin. Epoxy resin is a great way to capture the beauty of your dried flowers, the possibilities are endless. We offer a range of resin items for Wedding Bouquet Preservation or even Funeral Flower Preservation, from bookends to clutch bags. It's a great way of creating a floral keepsake that will ensure your blooms are safe from damage. In order to do this from home, you will need a few more supplies such as epoxy resin and the mold for your creation. You can learn more about epoxy resin in our Everything You Need To Know About Resin blog post.
Create an everlasting arrangement! With all this experience with dried flowers that you now have why not make a stunning bouquet that will last? They can add character to any room and are even great gifts for friends and family members.
Create a fairytale bouquet dome! As many of us know from the Beauty and The Beast movie, roses in a dome can look absolutely stunning, so why not capture your own bouquet with this technique? A bouquet dome can be an amazing piece to have and keeps your flowers safe from dust.
Flower Preservation
Create jewellery to keep close to you! If your looking for a more personal piece that you can wear and keep with you, resin jewellery is a great option. You may only be able to use petals due to the size but you can still create stunning designs using just the dried petals.
Floral Keepsake
So there you have it – everything you need to know to dry flowers at home! Whether you’re looking for a new hobby or want to create your own floral keepsake from a bouquet, we hope this blog post has given you the tools and knowledge you need to get started. If you need help preserving your flowers, get in touch with us today. We offer a range of services that will suit your needs, from basic drying and pressing methods to more intricate arrangements using resin. With our help, your beautiful floral creations can last a lifetime.
Last Updated - 28.07.2022

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