There are a few different ways that you can dry flowers at home. Here are a few ways that I have tried and the projects that I have made using my preserved flowers.
Ways to Dry Flowers
People have been drying and saving flowers for ages. Do you remember hanging your prom corsage on your bulletin board?? (By the way, not the best way to preserve them)
Some people dry flowers as keepsakes from a memorable event like a wedding, prom, or even a funeral. I like to dry flowers from my garden to use in different projects. Whatever reason you want to do it I encourage you because flowers are just so pretty, aren’t they? I’m all for adding a little more beauty to our lives!
I’m going to show you the 4 ways that I have dried flowers to use in different projects: Drying in a Vase, Drying Naturally Upside Down, Preserving Flowers with Silica Gel, and Drying Flowers in the Microwave.
How to Dry Flowers Naturally
First thing is to choose the right flowers. Not all flowers are suitable for drying. You will want to choose flowers with sturdy petals and low moisture content. Some of my favorite flowers that dry well naturally include roses, lavender, baby’s breath, strawflowers, statice, and celosia.
- Cut the flowers: Cut the stems of the flowers to how long you want them, I usually cut the stems as long as I can because I can always trim them down if I want them shorter. Be sure to remove all the extra foliage from the flower stems.
- Bundle the flowers: Bundle the flowers together in small bunches, I gather the bunches and tie them together with an elastic or piece of jute twine, sometimes I just twist floral wire around the bunch.
- Hang the flowers: Hang the flower bundles upside down in a dry, dark, and well-ventilated area. You will want to keep the flowers out of direct sunlight when they are drying and after they are dried because the sunlight will fade the colors from the flowers.
- Wait for the flowers to dry: Leave the flowers to dry for several weeks, or until the petals feel dry and brittle to the touch. By just looking at the flowers you will be able to tell they have dried out.
- Store the dried flowers: Dried flowers can be stored in an airtight container to prolong their life. I just keep mine either hanging on my pegboard or in metal buckets and vases in my basement studio where it’s cool and dark most of the time. Avoid direct sunlight.
This post may include affiliate links; you can read my disclosure policy here.
Ways to Use Naturally Dried Flowers
There are so many ways to use dried flowers in your home when you are decorating. Simply putting them in a vase, making a wreath with dried flowers, or using dried flowers to make botanical imprints are a few of my favorites. Let me show you how to do these things!
dried flower arrangement:
Using a big DIY vase, I filled it with dried starflowers for a simple look after I put all my holiday decorations away.
Using Dried Flowers for a wreath:
One way to remember my garden is to make a wreath with all of my favorite flowers.
The perfect wreath to celebrate Autumn. A variety of garden flowers.
Perfect for Spring! This bunny shaped wreath with strawflowers.
use dried flowers to make imprints in clay
These heart ornaments are made with air-dry clay and dried baby’s breath and eucalyptus to make the botanical imprints. Lovely idea for a bridal shower favor.
Another air-dry clay project. This time I used terracotta colored air-dry clay and a few different botanicals to make imprints. Then used paint markers to color in the imprints before attaching the clay to the wood plaque frames.
An easy DIY ornament is to fill clear glass ornaments with small sprigs of dried flowers to add a natural touch to your Christmas tree.
Drying Flowers in a Vase
This is what I personally think is the best way to dry hydrangeas. Instead of hanging the flowers upside down to dry this time, they will dry in a vase slowly.
To dry and preserve hydrangeas you need to wait until near the end of their natural growing season. You will notice that the color of the hydrangea flower starts to change and become more muted. The petals will also start to feel papery. This is when you know it is a good time to cut and dry the hydrangeas.
Now, this vase-drying method is soooo simple! Remove the extra leaves off the hydrangeas then arrange them in a vase with about 1.5-2 inches of water and leave them!
As the water evaporates the hydrangeas will naturally dry out.
Just make sure not to crowd them because you want to be able to remove them without doing too much damage to the now-dried hydrangea stems.
These are a few of my favorite hydrangea ideas…
Preserving Flowers with Silica Gel
Drying flowers with silica gel is a popular and effective method of preserving the natural beauty of fresh flowers.
Silica gel is a desiccant, meaning it absorbs moisture from its surroundings.
This makes it an ideal material for drying flowers, as it removes the moisture from the flowers while maintaining their shape and color.
Here is how to dry flowers with silica gel:
- Choose your flowers. Silica gel works best on flowers that have a low moisture content to begin with, such as roses, daisies, and zinnias. I’ve also used it with hydrangeas and star holly
- You can buy silica gel at most craft stores and on Amazon. The silica gel needs to completely cover your flowers so depending on how many flowers you want to preserve will determine how much silica gel you will have to purchase.
- Prepare your flowers. Trim the stems and remove any excess leaves or petals.
- Fill a container with silica gel. You will need a container that is large enough to hold your flowers. A big plastic food storage container works really well. Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of silica gel.
- Place your flowers on top of the silica gel. Gently pour more silica gel over the flowers, making sure they are completely covered.
- Seal the container so no moisture gets in while they are drying.
- Wait for the flowers to dry. Depending on the type of flower and the thickness of its petals, this can take anywhere from several days to a few weeks.
- Carefully remove the flowers from the silica gel. Use a soft paintbrush to remove any remaining silica gel from the flowers.
- Display or store your dried flowers. You can use them for crafts or display them in a vase. But you will want to keep them out of direct sunlight.
Making a Shadowbox w/ Dried Flowers
Here is a wonderful idea to make using flowers from a wedding. The flowers were preserved using the silica gel drying method.
Our friends were married at an oceanfront inn on the coast of Massachusetts. The centerpieces were so pretty and perfect for a seaside wedding. So to make a wedding keepsake for my friend I brought home a couple of the centerpieces and used the silica gel drying method to preserve the flowers.
Here’s what the flowers looked like after I cleared off the silica gel that was covering them.
It is really impressive just how perfect the roses looked after being dried in the silica gel! They were so well preserved.
Then I arranged the flowers in the shadowbox gluing them in place. I really filled the box with as many flowers as I could fit. It really turned out so beautiful and she loved it! I gave it to her on their 1st wedding anniversary as a surprise.
Drying Flowers in a Microwave
Now, this may be one method for drying and pressing flowers that you have never heard of…and honestly, when I heard it I thought there was no way it would really work!!!
But it does, and it dries them in minutes!!!
This flower drying method works best on smaller more delicate flowers like pansies and violas.
- Collect the flowers that you want to dry
- Grab a dinner plate and line it with a paper towel.
- Arrange the flowers so they aren’t touching on the paper towel
- Cover the flowers with another paper towel
- Top with another plate to press
- Microwave for 30 seconds at a time and check the flowers.
Just check every 30 seconds when you are trying this…you will be able to tell when they are ready ( they have the feel of dried, pressed flowers)
What I really liked about this method of drying flowers is that the colors stayed so vibrant!! The purple color of the pansies was amazing once they were dried. For a fun Spring decoration, I made a small piece of framed art to display the flowers.
Then of course you could always go old school and press your flowers in a big book to press and dry them…I used to think this was so cool when I was little!! This garden season I also want to get a flower press and try preserving some of my flowers this way because I have never tried one before.
Pin for Later
More Plant & Flower Ideas For You
cottage on bunker hill
Thanks for stopping by today! Being able to share my projects, DIYs, and decorating ideas with you is amazing. Leave a comment below; I love hearing from you! Feel free to drop me a note here if you have any questions.
What a great idea. I have a pretty frame from Christmas. A gift from a friend. It’s one of those hanging all glass frames. I need to dry some flowers and put in the frame. Thanks for the great idea.
Kim | Shiplap and Shells says
I love this post, Jennifer! So much great information. I love drying my flowers from the garden.
Jennifer Howard says
I’m giving nigella one more try this year because I’m obsessed with the dried pods. I had zero luck with them last year.
Linda Johnston says
A wonderful post Jennifer!
Jennifer Howard says
Thanks so much, Linda!!!
Leslie Watkins says
Love your methods!
Jennifer Howard says
Thanks, my sweet friend!! Miss your face.