Spring flowers add color to dark winter days when you dry them with a method that maintains their shape and bright color. Silica gel helps dry the petals from the blooms without flattening them, making them perfect for dried arrangements and wreaths. The desiccant is also reusable, so it is an economical choice for your crafting.
Choose Your Flowers
The flowers will continue to open as they dry, although not as much as when you air-dry them, so select blooms that have not completely opened. This method also doesn’t work as well with flowers whose petals drop off readily. For those types of blooms, air-drying is more effective.
Gather Your Supplies
You will need:
- Hand clippers
- 20- to 24-gauge wire (optional)
- Chain-nose or needle-nose pliers
- Airtight container
- Silica gel
Some silica gel comes with color-changing crystals that help you know when the flowers are dry. The crystals are blue at the beginning of the process when they are dry and turn to pink as they absorb water.
Clip off the stems about 2 inches from the flower base. Wire the blooms for support, if desired.
Cut 6 inches of wire.
Insert the wire through the bloom from the stem, extending about 2 inches past the top of the bloom. If the stem is hollow, work through that channel. If it is not, try to center the wire as much as possible.
Bend the top end of the wire to make a tight hook.
Pull the wire back through the stem until the hook goes into the flower’s center.
Cut a 4-inch piece of wire.
Insert one piece of wire through the flower base, perpendicular to the stem. With the pliers, bend the wire ends down, parallel to the stem.
Dry the Flowers
Spread 1 to 2 inches of silica gel in the bottom of the container.
Place the flowers on top of the gel crystals, pushing the wires into the gel.
Gently sift more gel into the container until the flowers are completely covered.
Place the lid on the container and allow the flowers to dry. After two days, check them once a day to see if they are dried. The thickness of the flower, along with the humidity in your area, determines how long it takes to dry the flowers thoroughly.
Pour the gel out of the box carefully, making sure you don’t dump the flowers. Brush the blooms lightly and then turn them upside-down and tap them to remove all of the gel.
If the petals seem a little loose, drip clear glue at the base to help secure them.
Pamela Martin has been writing since 1979. She has written newsletter articles and curricula-related materials. She also writes about teaching and crafts. Martin was an American Society of Newspaper Editors High School Journalism Fellow. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Teaching in elementary education from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Arts in curriculum/instruction from the University of Missouri.