When you are drying flowers, the main thing to remember is that you need to remove the moisture from them as quickly as possible. This will help preserve them in their present state.
The easiest method of drying flowers is to air dry them. Gather the stems into small bunches, fasten with elastic bands. Hang the bunches in a dry, dark place heads down. Depending on which flowers you have chosen, you may want to dry them upright, simply follow the above steps, but place the flowers or foliage in a dry container.
Another method that I have found particularly effective is to preserve them using glycerine, this will take a little more effort, but the results are well worth it.
1. Prepare a mixture of 1 part hot (but not boiling) water, to 1 part glycerine. Stir well.
2. Pour the prepared mixture into a container that is both tall and round enough to hold the flowers or foliage.
3. If you have wood stemmed foliage, cut and split the stem ends and place immediately into the warm mixture. For anything else, allow the mixture to cool first.
4. Place the container in a warm dry and dark place.
5. You will need to check the container everyday. If necessary, top the container up with glycerine mixture. The foliage will change colour as more and more mixture is absorbed.
6. Remove the foliage from the mixture, wipe any residual mixture from the stems until they are dry.
Alternatively you can dry flowers or foliage with desiccant. This can be purchased at most florists at a very reasonable price.
1. Pour a layer of about 1cm of sillica gel into a container (make sure it is one with an airtight lid)
2. Carefully sprinkle the gel over each layer of the flower until it is completely covered.
3. Put the lid onto the container and seal the edges with tape to ensure that it is airtight.
Depending on the flowers you have chosen, the length of time that they will need to be contained are different.
Flowers such as Orchids and similar types can take approximately 3 weeks, Roses can take 7-10 days and miniature flowers take about 4 days. Please note, this is only a rough guide.
4. To see if a flower is dry, scrape off the excess gel and tap it gently with your finger. If it makes a kind of crisp noise, it is finished.
5. Pour the remaining gel off the flowers.