Air drying Upside-down by stalks – Choose area that does not receive a lot of sunlight and is not exposed to moisture. Place like flowers together in bunches to avoid some drying before others. http://homeschooling.about.com/od/homeeccrafts/ss/dryingflowers_5.htm
Screen drying – spread blooms or leaves on wire screen that receives ventilation on all sides. Turn blooms every day or so. May drop flower stems through screen until bloom rests flat on screen. Good for flowers that will not dry well hanging upside down. http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ae075e/ae075e259.gif
Upright-drying -- For flowers like statice or strawflowers that dry well. Arrange in a vase and allow them to dry in place. May also place into vase with water and allow the water to evaporate. http://www.allfreecrafts.com/nature/air-dry-flowers.shtml http://www.save-on-crafts.com/dryintecforf.html
Sprinkle about 1” desiccant on bottom of glass or plastic container. Arrange blooms on top. Cover petals with crystals, including between layers. Do not mix blossom types. Cover with airtight lid.
b) Check blooms every 3 days for dryness. Use small paintbrush to remove desiccant. c) May also place into microwave oven for about 2 minutes at 50% power. d) Recycle silica gel by baking crystals in foil-covered pan @ approximately 250 degrees F for 20-50 minutes Wet Dry
Pressed flowers Phonebook alone Phonebook and silica crystals
Microwave pressed flowers May use purchased microwaveable flower drying board ($25.30 - 47.95 new from amazon.com) . . .
Or -- Make your own press from cardboard for use in the microwave http://craftygardener.blogspot.com/2008/02/microwave-flower-press.html http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=LyuK6qwlqBg&vq=medium
Pressing flowers with microwave Lay petals/leaves/stems/etc. between tissue paper Clamp boards together with rubber bands Microwave about 2 minutes on 50% power. Add time in 30 – 60 second increments. Allow plants to cool. If not yet dry, microwave another 30 – 60 seconds
Book Press vs. Microwave Book press without silica may take 6 – 10 weeks to dry, or about 2 weeks with silica; microwave drying takes a few minutes Book press provides better results with some lighter –colored flowers and flowers with higher water content; microwave may turn them brown or emphasize the veining Microwave will actually enhance the colors of some darker flowers – works great with roses!
Gathering Gather when dry and fresh Cut with scissors Save in plastic bag Try various types of plants – leaves, stems, grasses, vines, seed heads Look for varying sizes, shapes, tints, veining, and textures
More ideas . . . • Night Lights • Note Cards• Ornaments With Pressed Flowers• Place Cards• Place Mats • Press Flowers from Special Occasions • Pressed Flower Jewelry• Pressed Flower Luminaries • Rubber Stamping Projects• Stationery• Sun Catchers • Wedding Invitations • Decoupage• Decorate Bags and Boxes• Decorative Mirrors• Decorative Pressed Flower Pots• Fan Pulls • Flower Stickers• Framed Botanical Art• Gift Tags• Herbarium Collections• Journal Covers and Pages• Magnets • Mats And Frames • Memory Book Covers and Pages
Helpful Resources Books Microwaved Pressed Flowers, by Joanna Sheen (745.92 She) Flower Drying Handbook, by Dolly Lutz Morris (SB447.M67.1996) Flower Drying With a Microwave, by TitiaJoosten (745.92 Joo) The Creative Book of Pressed Flowers, by Mary Lawrence (745.92 Law)
Websites How to Press Flowers (http://www.monkeysee.com/play/14402-how-to-press-flowers) Lee’s Wood Projects (http://www.leeswoodprojects.com/flower_press.html) Using Desiccants for Drying Flowers (http://codyman4.hubpages.com/hub/desiccants-for-drying-flowers)