Drying and Preserving Flowers
Drying flowers can be a way to preserve a special memory, preserve a moment or even a momento from a wonderful holiday! After drying, flowers take on a second life of delicacy and romantic colour. They are also versatile in the art styles you can use them in! They make for a great fun art craft with the kids for the holidays. In our city Durban, drying flowers can be a particular challenge since mould creeps in very easily.
Drying flowers are coming back into fashion and here are some ways you can do it at home:
Silica gel comes in most pill bottles to keep the pills from absorbing moisture. Mix it with a powder like borax or cornmeal to form a dehumidifying agent. Pour this powder around the flower – it won’t harm the flower at all but sucks out the moisture.
Sand is very useful for drying some flowers. It is excellent for daisies, carnations, roses and other flowers that are used in vases for their long life. Flowers like violets, cosmos and geraniums would be too delicate for this method. Bury your flowers in some light sand and after 3 – 5 weeks your flowers can be dug up dry and with beautifully retained colour.
Hang flowers upside down in a dry area with plenty of air and little sunlight, for example next to a window. A bedroom or lounge area is best; the kitchen may have too much moisture causing mould to gather.
Pressing flowers for a month or two between heavy books is another way to preserve them well! Tissue paper, wax paper, tracing paper or baking paper would all work well to preserve the flowers.
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