7 Ways On How To Make Dried Flowers To Preserve Your Blooms

7 Ways On How To Make Dried Flowers To Preserve Your Blooms

Nothing captures the essence of a blooming garden more beautifully than preserved flowers. Dried flowers offer a timeless charm that can enhance the décor of any space, making them a perfect addition to your home or a heartfelt gift.

In this guide, we’ll explore the art of how to make dried flowers, ensuring that you can hold onto the beauty of nature all year round.

1. The Traditional Art Of Air Drying

Air drying is one of the simplest and most traditional methods for preserving flowers. To begin, select blooms that are not fully open and are free from blemishes. Suitable flowers for air drying include roses, lavender, hydrangeas, and globe amaranth, as these retain their shape and colour well.

Gather the stems and tie them into small bunches using string or a rubber band. Hang these bunches upside down in a dry, excellent location devoid of direct sunlight, such as a closet or attic. This position helps the flowers dry evenly and maintain their shape.

The drying process typically takes one to three weeks based on the humidity and airflow in your drying space. Once fully dry, the flowers will have a faded yet graceful appearance, and they can be used in arrangements, wreaths, or as standalone decorations.

The air drying method is not only straightforward but also an excellent way to preserve the beauty of your flowers for extended periods.

2. Pressing Flowers Best For Crafting And Art

Pressing flowers is a beautiful technique for preserving their beauty and ideal for crafting and creating artwork.

To press flowers, select naturally flat blooms with a single layer of petals, such as pansies, violets, and daisies. These types are particularly well-suited for pressing as they effectively retain their colour and shape.

You can use heavy books or a specialised flower press for this process. If using books, place the flowers in between two sheets of absorbent paper like parchment or blotting paper to protect the pages and absorb moisture. Then, place the flowers inside the book, spacing them out so they do not overlap.

Stack additional books or a heavy object on top to apply even pressure. If you have a flower press, arrange the flowers between the layers of cardboard and tighten the screws to apply pressure.

The pressing process typically takes two to four weeks. During this time, the flowers gradually lose moisture and become perfectly flat. Once dried, the newly pressed flowers can be used in various crafts like making bookmarks, framed art, greeting cards, or even phone case decorations.

They add a delicate and personal touch to any project, making them popular for homemade gifts and decorations.

3. Preserving Colour And Shape Using Silica Gel

Using silica gel to dry flowers effectively preserves their vibrant colour and intricate shape, making it ideal for flowers with thick petals like roses, orchids, and lilies. Here’s how you can use silica gel to achieve beautifully preserved flowers:

Materials Needed:

  • Silica gel crystals are available at craft stores or online.
  • An airtight container with enough space to fit the flowers without crowding them.
  • A soft brush (like a paintbrush) cleans the dried flowers.
  • Optional: Gloves to handle flowers and silica gently.

Step-by-Step Process:

1. Prepare the Container: Pour a layer of silica gel into your container, about 1-2 inches deep.
2. Position the Flowers: Trim the stems as needed and gently place the flowers face up on top of the silica gel. Try to space them out so they do not touch each other.
3. Cover with Silica Gel: Gently sprinkle more silica gel over the petals and between the leaves, ensuring the flowers are completely covered. Be careful to maintain the shape of the flowers as you cover them.
4. Seal and Wait: Secure the lid on the container to create an airtight seal. Leave the container sealed for about 3-7 days, depending on the thickness of the flowers.
5. Check and Remove: Carefully remove the flowers after the waiting period. Slowly pour out the silica gel, and use a soft brush to remove any remaining crystals from the petals gently.

Advantages Of Using Silica Gel

The primary benefit of silica gel is its ability to effectively absorb moisture from the flower while maintaining its original appearance. This method prevents the shrinking and colour fading typical in air-dried flowers.

The flowers dried using silica gel maintain a lifelike colour and form, which makes them perfect for display in shadow boxes, glass frames, and other decorative projects where a natural look is desired. Additionally, the process is relatively fast compared to other drying methods, allowing for quicker crafting and use in projects.

4. Microwave Drying For A Quick Technique

Microwave drying with silica gel is an accelerated method for preserving flowers, combining the rapid heat of the microwave with the moisture-absorbing properties of silica gel. This technique is beneficial when drying flowers quickly while maintaining their colour and structure.

Materials Needed:

  • Silica gel is specifically formulated for microwave use.
  • A microwave-safe container.
  • A cup of water (to be placed inside the microwave as a heat sink).
  • Microwave.
  • A soft brush for cleaning dried flowers.


  1. Begin by placing a silica gel layer in the microwave-safe container's bottom.
  2. Arrange the flowers on the silica gel, ensuring they do not touch each other.
  3. Gently cover the flowers entirely with more silica gel.
  4. Place the container in the microwave alongside a cup of water. The water absorbs excess microwave energy and helps prevent overheating.
  5. Set the microwave to a low power setting (defrost or 20-30% power) to avoid overheating the flowers and silica gel.
  6. Microwave in 30-second to 1-minute intervals, checking the flowers between intervals.
  7. After each interval, carefully remove the container (it may be hot), and gently check the flowers by moving aside some of the silica gel with a spoon or stick. Please do not touch the flowers directly, as they will be very fragile.
  8. Continue the process until the flowers feel dry to the touch, typically after 2 to 5 intervals, depending on the flower type and microwave strength.
  9. Once drying is complete, leave the flowers in the silica gel in the container to cool for several hours. This gradual cooling helps prevent residual moisture from condensing on the flowers, which could cause wilting or colour loss.
  10. Cautiously remove the flowers from the silica gel and use a soft brush to remove any silica particles clinging to the petals gently.

Important Care Tips:

  • Avoid Overheating: Always use a low power setting and short intervals to prevent the flowers and silica gel from overheating, which can cause the flowers to burn or melt.
  • Monitor Closely: Because microwaves vary in power, closely monitor the process to adjust drying times accordingly.
  • Hydration Control: Keep the cup of water in the microwave during the process to help control the heat and assist in more even drying.

Microwave drying with silica gel is an efficient way to quickly preserve flowers with minimal loss of colour and form, making it an excellent option for last-minute crafts or floral preservation.

5. Efficient And Reliable Oven Drying

Oven drying is a reliable method for preserving flowers, especially when looking for an efficient way to achieve a dried yet still colourful result. This technique uses gentle heat to remove moisture from the flowers without cooking. Here’s a step-by-step guide to drying flowers using an oven:

Materials Needed:

  • Oven
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Flowers (roses, dahlias, and zinnias work well)
  • A timer to monitor the drying process

Step-by-Step Process:

  1. Preheat your oven to a low temperature, ideally between 180°F to 200°F (82°C to 93°C). Keeping the oven at a low heat is crucial to avoid burning the flowers. While the oven heats, prepare your flowers by removing excess foliage and cutting the stems to the desired length.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. A baking sheet prevents the flowers from sticking to the tray and makes cleanup easier.
  3. Lay the flowers on the parchment paper, ensuring they do not overlap. If the flowers touch, they may stick together or dry unevenly.
  4. Place the baking sheet in the oven. Leave the oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape and to prevent the temperature inside from rising too high.
  5. Let the flowers dry for about 1-2 hours, depending on their size and moisture content. Delicate flowers may need less time, while thicker flowers might require more.
  6. Check the flowers every 30 minutes to monitor their drying process. Gently touch the petals to see if they are brittle and dry. If they feel spongy, they need more time.
  7. Once the flowers are dry, please turn off the oven and let them cool inside for about 30 minutes. This gradual cooling helps prevent the petals from becoming too brittle as they come to room temperature.

Tips To Avoid Over-Drying

  • Monitor Temperature Closely: Use an oven thermometer to ensure the temperature does not exceed 200°F. Higher temperatures can cook the flowers rather than dry them.
  • Timely Checks: Regularly check the flowers to avoid over-drying. Once the petals feel papery and stiff, they are sufficiently dried.
  • Ventilation: Open the oven door to improve air circulation and help control the temperature.

Oven drying is an excellent way to dry flowers quickly while maintaining much of their colour and structural integrity. This method is beneficial when working on projects requiring a larger volume of dried flowers or when outdoor conditions are unsuitable for air drying.

6. Creating Supple, Long-Lasting Blooms Using Glycerin

Using glycerin to preserve flowers is a unique method that replaces the water in the plant's cells with glycerin, resulting in supple and long-lasting blooms. This technique is particularly effective for branches and foliage, such as eucalyptus, magnolia, and ivy, but can also work well with robust flowers like hydrangeas.

Materials Needed:

  • Glycerin (available at pharmacies or craft stores)
  • Water
  • A container for mixing and soaking
  • Flowers or branches to preserve


  1. Mix one part glycerin to two parts water in your container. The amount needed depends on how many flowers or branches you intend to treat.
  2. Warm the mixture slightly to help dissolve the glycerin completely, ensuring it is thoroughly mixed.
  3. Trim the stems of the flowers or branches before soaking. Cut a fresh, diagonal slice at the bottom of each stem to enhance absorption.
  4. Place the stems into the glycerin solution, ensuring they are fully submerged. For branches or woodier stems, you should crush the ends of the stems to improve absorption.
  5. Allow the flowers to sit in the solution for several weeks. The time required can vary depending on the type of flower or branch used. Lighter flowers may take less time, while denser, woodier plants might need longer.
  6. Check periodically to see if the stems have absorbed the glycerin, indicated by a slight colour change and a more pliable texture.
  7. Once the flowers have absorbed enough glycerin (they should feel soft and flexible), remove them from the solution.
  8. Hang the flowers or branches to drip dry in a cool, dark place to avoid direct sunlight, which can fade the colours.

Benefits Of Using Glycerin

  • Flexibility and Durability: Glycerin replaces water in the plant’s cells, making the flowers more flexible and less prone to breaking than dried flowers. Flexibility is particularly beneficial for floral arrangements requiring bending and shaping the stems.
  • Preserved Colour and Texture: Unlike traditional drying methods that cause flowers to become brittle and lose their vibrant colours, glycerin helps preserve the blooms' colour and texture. The flowers maintain a fresh, lively appearance.
  • Longevity: Flowers preserved with glycerin can last much longer than air-dried flowers. They do not require the humidity-controlled environments that other preservation methods might, making them more versatile for different climates and settings.

The Glycerin preservation method is precious for creating floral displays or decorations where maintaining a natural, lively look is essential and adds elegance to any setting.

7. Desiccant Drying With Sand

Desiccant drying with sand is a cost-effective method for preserving flowers, leveraging the natural absorbent properties of sand to extract moisture. This method is particularly suitable for sturdy flowers such as zinnias, roses, and chrysanthemums that can maintain their shape when buried. Here’s how to use sand as a desiccant to dry flowers:

Materials Needed:

  • Fine, dry sand (builders sand is a good option as it is clean and fine-grained)
  • Airtight containers or deep trays
  • Flowers for drying
  • A fine sieve or brush for cleaning the dried flowers


  1. Ensure the sand is completely dry. If it feels moist, pre-dry it in an oven at a low temperature (about 200°F) until it feels dry.
  2. Fill the bottom of your container or tray with an inch or two of dry sand.
  3. Cut the stems of the flowers to the desired length, generally leaving about an inch or two.
  4. Place the flowers face up on the sand layer, ensuring they do not touch each other to avoid clumping.
  5. Gently sift more sand over the flowers, covering them completely and carefully shaping the sand around each petal and leaf to preserve their form.
  6. Seal the container with a lid or cover the tray with plastic wrap to create a somewhat airtight environment. Sealing helps prevent moisture from re-entering the sand and the flowers.
  7. Leave the container in a dry, warm area for about two to four weeks, depending on the type of flowers and the ambient humidity.
  8. After drying, carefully remove the top layer of sand and gently extract the flowers. The flowers should feel dry and firm.
  9. Use a fine sieve or a soft brush to remove any sand particles from the flowers gently. Be particularly gentle with the petals, which can be fragile after drying.

Types Of Flowers Best Suited For Desiccant Drying With Sand

Flowers with sturdy petals and robust structures are ideal for sand drying. Examples include roses, zinnias, chrysanthemums, and marigolds. Avoid using delicate or feathery flowers like baby's breath or dill flowers, as they can get crushed under the sand.

Benefits Of Using Sand For Drying Flowers

Sand is an excellent desiccant that effectively pulls moisture out of the flowers, helping them dry uniformly without losing too much colour or form. It is more economical than other desiccants like silica gel, which can be more expensive and more complicated to obtain in large quantities.

Sand is reusable; after drying a batch of flowers, you can dry it again and use it for future projects.

Using sand as a desiccant is ideal for those who prefer a DIY approach to flower preservation, allowing for creating lasting floral arrangements without significant expense.

Additional Tips For Best Results

  • Achieving the best results when drying flowers starts with selecting the freshest blooms that have yet to fully open, as they maintain their shape better through the drying process. Opt for flowers with naturally low moisture content in their petals, such as lavender, roses, and hydrangeas, and choose vibrant colours since darker hues retain their colour better when dried.
  • When cutting flowers for drying, do it late in the morning after the dew has evaporated but before the sun gets too firm, and allow them to hydrate in water for a few hours to improve the drying quality. Prepare the flowers by removing unnecessary foliage to prevent moisture retention and potential mould. Once dried, store the flowers away from direct sunlight in a dry environment to avoid fading and moisture damage.
  • Displaying your finished products in shadow boxes or frames can protect them from physical damage and dust, which should be gently brushed off regularly to maintain their appearance. By carefully handling, drying, and storing your flowers, you can preserve their beauty and structure for the long term.

Conclusion About How To Make Dried Flowers

Learning how to dry flowers is a rewarding experience that allows you to indefinitely preserve the beauty of your favourite blooms. With patience and creativity, you can turn fresh flowers into stunning decorations that add a touch of nature to your indoor environment. Try different methods and explore various ways to incorporate dried flowers into your life and home.

For more tips and to find both fresh flowers and preserved flowers, visit The Daily Blooms today. Discover our wide selection of beautiful blooms perfect for any occasion, and start creating your own stunning dried flower arrangements.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make Dried Flowers

How Long Do Dried Flowers Last?

Properly dried and stored flowers can last for years, often between 1 to 3 years, depending on the environment they are kept in. To maximise longevity, keep them in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight and moisture, which can degrade their colours and structural integrity over time.

Can You Dry Any Flower?

While most flowers can be dried, those with naturally low moisture content, such as lavender, roses, hydrangeas, and globe amaranth, are especially suited for drying because they retain their shape and colour better. Flowers with thicker, juicier stems and petals might dry less effectively and are prone to moulding.

Do Dried Flowers Attract Bugs?

Generally, dried flowers do not attract bugs, but they can become susceptible if they are not completely dry or are stored in humid conditions. It's crucial to ensure that flowers are thoroughly dried before storage and kept in a clean, dry environment to prevent potential insect issues.

Can All Parts Of A Flower Be Dried?

While petals, leaves, and stems are commonly dried, some parts, like thick or fleshy bases, may not dry well and could rot. It’s best to remove any parts that hold a lot of moisture. Focusing on drying the more fibrous parts of the flower ensures better results and reduces the risk of decay during the drying process.

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