Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Art of Drying Flowers

Learning how to dry flowers is a simple way to preserve special moments and beautiful flower gifts. By drying your flowers, you can enjoy colour throughout the year, even when the weather outside gets cold.

Dry your flowers by hanging them upside down or by using the microwave. You can choose either method to get the dried flowers effect you want.

Drying flowers upside down

The easiest way to dry flowers is to hang a bunch upside down in a dry, dark and slightly warm place like a cupboard that people don't use often. It is important though to make sure that there is no moisture that can make your dried flowers go mouldy.
Flowers with fragile stems should be reinforced with a piece of floral wire before hanging them upside down. Other flowers usually come out with fairly straight stems but you can dry stems into curving shapes by soaking the stems in water until they are pliable and then gently curving the stem to the shape you want. Be sure to weigh the stem down as it dries or to use a piece of curved cardboard to keep the shape in place.
Flowers that are dried upside down usually take about two or three weeks to dry completely. Try not to disturb them while they're drying and you should be thrilled with the results.

Drying flowers in the microwave

You can also dry flowers with the help of desiccating granules and your microwave. The granules are usually made of silica, which you can find at your local craft shop or a florist.
The first step is to line a microwave-safe container with the granules and heat them up for three minutes to ensure the granules are dry. Then pour the granules into a glass bowl so that they are about 3cm deep.
Place the flowers with trimmed stems into the bowl so that they are standing up in the granules and pour the remaining granules down over the flowers so the blooms are completely covered.
Heat the bowl for two to five minutes on high (depending on the size of the blooms – larger blooms need more heating time). Allow to cool for 20 minutes, and then pour off the granules. Use a paintbrush or cotton wool ball to clean the petals so they won't have any of the granules left on them. Then tape the flowers to florist wire to use in arrangements. The color will be a little darker than the original blooms, but they'll look great.
With these easy to use techniques on how to dry flowers in South Africa , you can continue to enjoy your beautiful gift for a long time to come.

For flower arangements, gift ideas and gift boxes please visit Gift in a Box

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