Flower Preservation for Year Round Beauty

by Gina Blitstein · 0 comments

Now, smack dab in the middle of Summer, we’re enjoying the constant blooming of flowers; they’re plentiful and oooh so beautiful. Soon enough, however, all those luscious flowers will be done blooming for the season and will leave our midst for many months. Considering how vibrant and alive blooming things make us feel, wouldn’t it be nice if we could enjoy the beauty of flowers all year ‘round?

We may not be able to keep flowers blooming throughout the year but we can preserve them at the height of their beauty. Preserved flowers can be used in home decor and craft projects, keeping their memory alive all through the year. There are several methods of preserving flowers at home, inexpensively and easily.

Preservation methods


Air drying – Tie flowers in small, loose bunches and hang upside down in a warm, dark location for 1 to 3 weeks

Desiccation agents – You can make mixtures at home that will draw moisture from flowers. A homemade concoction of half borax, half corn meal, oatmeal or sand will do the job in about 2 weeks.

Silica gel is a descant which can be purchased at craft shops and dries flowers effectively and quickly in as little as 2 days.

Based upon the shape of the flowers themselves, decide whether they will look best dried vertically or horizontally.

To dry vertically – Place a shallow box over the open top of an 8” tall one. Punch holes in the bottom of the shallow box for the stems to stick down through, spaced far enough apart that flower heads will not touch as they rest on its bottom surface. Pour the drying agent gently over each flower, under and between all petals, completely, but lightly covering.

To dry horizontally – Cover the bottom of a box with at least an inch of drying agent. Make small mounds in the mixture on which to place the flowers, face down. Gently pour more drying agent around each flower until completely covered. (Stems don’t need to be covered.) To keep flowers from having a flat appearance, insert a long pin up through the center of the flower with the head of the pin resting on the bottom of the box.

Oven drying – In shallow pan, pour one inch of sand and place the flowers on top of the sand. Turn the oven to its lowest cooking temperature. Cover flowers completely with additional sand and place in the oven for 1 to 2 hours.

Pressing – Place flowers and foliage between six layers of newspaper and weigh them down just enough to keep them flat for 5 to 10 days.

Glycerin – This method preserves foliage. Heat two parts water, then add one part glycerin to dissolve. To prepare foliage, pull back the bark on branches and crush the base of stems 4 to 6 inches up. Place 4 to 6 inches of the branch ends in the solution as soon as they’re cut. Soak for 2 to 6 weeks.

Shellac – Clear shellac thinned with denatured alcohol can be used to hold berries and seed pods to branches and twigs. Spray or dip branches in the mixture, then hang to dry.

Considerations when preserving flowers

  • Pick flowers and foliage when they’re dry
  • Dry flowers immediately after cutting
  • Wire flowers (to lengthen stems if desired) before drying
  • Flowers dried or stored in the sun will fade; store dried flowers in a dark, dry, airtight container to preserve their color

Keep the beauty of flowers alive throughout the year by preserving your own blooms. It’s an inexpensive way to bring natural beauty indoors.

How do you preserve the blooms of Summer?

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