Have you ever received a special flower or bouquet of roses that you wanted to save? Sure, you can hang them upside down to dry naturally, but for faster results with truer colors, I much prefer to dry them with silica gel. It’s really easy, too!
The first thing you’ll need is quite a bit of silica gel. If you’re not sure what silica gel is, think of those little packets of tiny clear balls that come in the box with your shoes or electronics, that say “do not eat”. That’s silica gel, and its purpose is to suck the moisture from the surrounding air. You can buy it in those little packets or buy it in bulk, and it’s readily available here on Amazon or here on eBay. Or, you can be like me, and whenever you come across a packet, toss it into a plastic bag in the desk. Eventually you’ll have a nice collection like this, and be ready to use them for something crafty!
Now take the flowers you want to preserve and trim the stem off. Then place them upright in a container that’s as narrow as possible but still wide enough for your flowers. In this example, I used a single rose, so a tiny little jar was perfect for me. If you have multiple flowers you want to dry at once, you might want to use a wider jar, bowl, or tray. Just make sure you choose something with a tight-fitting lid.
Then pour your silica gel beads gently over the flowers until they are halfway covered. Take a moment to be sure the flowers are upright and straight, then pour more silica gel on, covering them completely.
Then put the lid on and wait for the silica gel to do its thing. It will take about 10 days, depending on what kind of flower you are drying. Something thin like a daisy might dry in a few days, but a thick rose will take the full 10 days.
When you think they are ready, just dump the silica gel and flowers VERY carefully into another container. The flowers should be very lightweight and fragile. If they are still heavy or flexible, they need more drying time, so carefully re-cover them with silica gel and wait a few more days.
Your dried flowers are now ready to save in a shadowbox or frame. This would be a wonderful way to preserve the flowers in your bridal bouquet!