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Drying Flowers: A DIY Project You Can Do In Your Garage

Sep 16, 2021
Greens and multiple colors that adorn the house are always welcoming sights. But the problem is that the flowers won't last a week and they will wither into gloomy wilted browns. And off they go to the trash bins. Then, we replace them with freshly picked flowers from our own gardens or bought from the neighboring flower shop. But how about the flowers that were given by your significant other on your first date, first anniversary, or even the accept-my-apology kind of bouquet, which holds sentimental value? Should you just take a photo for a keepsake then if it withers again, you have no choice but to throw it? Or seasonal flowers that you want to display in the house all year round, should you wait for spring again? There is a simple solution to that--learn how to dry flowers in your own garage! Drying flowers is easier than you may think. And you won’t be needing too many materials to achieve the rustic aesthetic that you are looking for. The quaint look of the blooms will be a conversation starter for when entertaining guests. It also adds character to your living space, and at the same time serves as a tangible reminder of a memory that holds a special place in your heart. Before this gets too cheesy as I list down all the reasons dried flowers bring in your home, let me start with the step-by-step guides and methods that you can use to preserve flowers.
Air Dry
First up is air drying. This is the simplest method and one of the most traditional, but the most time-consuming in terms of the waiting period. You let nature do most of the work to dry out the flowers by simply hanging the bouquet upside down. This works best for flowers such as lavender, sunflowers, baby’s breath, and roses. By suspending them in this position, you are preserving their original structure. Hanging them upright would only bend the stems and the petals would fall off due to gravity. To begin, remove the extra leaves or any extra foliage from the flower stems. However, you can opt to leave some leaves to add texture to the flowers. Then cut the stems to the desired length, no shorter than six inches. Make sure to keep working away from the sunlight to retain the color of the flowers during the drying process. Tie the stems together using a rubber band or string. Pick a place or corner in the garage that is dark and dry. Then hang them upside down to a stick, hanger, horizontal pole, or a Fleximounts Garage Hook. Now leave the flowers to dry completely for at least two weeks. Once completely dried, spray them with unscented hairspray to keep them in pristine condition. You may now put them on display, but make sure that the location doesn’t get direct sunlight.
In this method, you will need to buy silica gel to aid in the preservation of the shape and color of the flowers. You can actually preserve the flowers using only the silica gel, but it takes longer compared to heating it using the microwave. This method works best for individual flower blooms such as daisies, roses, tulips, and chrysanthemums. Silica gels are better at preserving the color and structure of the flowers than air drying. Also, you need not worry about buying gels every time you dry a flower because they are reusable. They are easily available at craft stores and online shops. Prepare a microwave-safe container that is big enough to hold the flower and fit the microwave oven. Then fill the container with a thin layer of silica gel. Place the flower on top, and completely cover with the remaining silica gel. Make sure to carefully pour over the gel so as to not dent the original shape of the flower because you want them to look as firm as they are fresh. Then place the uncovered container into the microwave. Start on a low heat setting and let it run for 2 to 5 minutes in 30-second intervals. Time varies depending on the size and kind of flower. Check the status of dryness of the flower before increasing the heat or the time. Once the flower is completely dry, let it sit for 24 hours. Have your container covered, but not completely to allow ventilation. Then remove the gels using a soft brush. For protection, mist with unscented hairspray.
Book Press
Pressing flowers may not be ideal if you want to put the dried flowers on a vase as they will be flattened. However, these will look good on frames as tables or well decors, or you can also do some DIY projects using epoxy resin to make pendants and other decorative items. This method works best for small flowers. Start by removing unwanted leaves. Place absorbent papers such as baking sheets or watercolor sheets on the book’s pages. Put the flower blossoms face down on parchment paper. Add another parchment paper on top of the flowers, then place the papers in between the absorbent sheets. Now, close the book or notebook. You will notice that the book is still not completely closed. You may add more books on top of the book with flowers. Then leave them to dry in a safe place, free of moisture and direct sunlight for at least three weeks. Due to the heavyweight of the books, you may place them on top of the Fleximounts Workbench, which can hold up to 3,000 lbs. This works best if you are drying multiple flowers all at once.