A hydrangea is a shrub that produces big, round blooms in soft pastel shades. Alive, or dried, the hydrangea makes an attractive and romantic statement in home decor. Of course you can always purchase faux flowers to add color and texture to your home, but if you have a hydrangea bush, drying them and decorating with them is a fun, inexpensive project. French, peegee (grandiflora) and Annabelle are good varieties for drying.
Using sharp shears, cut the flowers from the bush, taking no more than 18 inches of stem. Cut the stems at an angle. Cut the hydrangea at the height of their bloom.
Crush the stems 2 inches up from the cut end, with a hammer.
Mix a solution of one part glycerin to two parts of water. You will need enough solution so that there is 4 to 5 inches in the bottom of the vase.
Pour the glycerin and water solution into the top of a double boiler. Heat it slowly until it reaches 140 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Allow the solution to cool for five minutes.
Pour the solution into the vase and place the stems of the flowers into the liquid. Place the vase in a shady spot.
Add a new solution of one part glycerine and four parts of water when the flowers have completely absorbed the original solution. The drying process should be complete in three weeks.
You can add water soluble dyes to the glycerin and water solution to color the flowers.