An Easy Option for Drying Flowers
Would you like to keep flowers in your home through the winter? You can do so by drying your favorite blooms in the microwave oven. Roses (including buds), geraniums, marigolds, and zinnias dry very well using this method; however, flowers like impatiens and petunias don’t turn out as well.
Whatever flowers you choose be sure to cut them late in the morning, after the dew has dried. Please be aware that your dried flowers will come out a few shades darker than their original color; red roses become almost black, pink and coral ones become red.
Drying the Blooms
Line the microwave safe container with a bed of silica gel crystals (available at craft stores) and heat on High for 3 minutes to make sure the crystals are as dry as possible.
Pour an inch of warm crystals into a heavy glass tumbler wide enough to accommodate the flower you are drying.
Snip the flower stem so that only an inch remains attached to the flower, then stick the stem into the crystals so that the blossom stands straight up.
Gradually pour remaining warm crystals down the side of the glass until the blossom is completely covered.
Microwave on High for 1 minute 45 seconds for rosebuds or up to 4 to 5 minutes for large blooms. Experiment with imperfect blossoms to perfect timing.
Cool for 20 minutes, and then gently pour off the crystals. Clean the flower petals carefully with a fine paintbrush, then mist lightly with acrylic spray. Tape blooms to florist wire to make new stems.
Now that you have dried your flowers, you will need to store them when not in use. In order to keep the blooms intact store them in individual plastic containers that are a close fit. You want the bloom to rest snugly but without damage; you do not want the bloom to rattle around in the container. Be sure to place a thin layer of silica gel crystals in the bottom of the container. Separate the bloom from the crystals with a paper towel or a sheet of wax paper to keep the crystal from rubbing against the flower. Place the containers somewhere cool and dark. Ideal places are where pets and children do not have access to the containers.
Your flowers are dried and ready to use, but what to do with them. You can do the traditional and place them in vases on shelves and sideboards. You can choose to throw a dinner party for friends in order to show off your new creative accomplishments as they sit prominently in the middle of the table; definitely a fun idea. The flowers can be given as gifts for weddings, baby showers, birthdays, or any other occasion. The blooms can be used just about anywhere for anything. So, enjoy your new craft skill and have fun.