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Published byCarla Ament
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Dried Flowers often sold to customers desiring a permanent arrangement
Methods several have been developed almost any flower can be preserved wide variety of materials available
Dried Flowers few florists elect to preserve their own materials widely available from commercial sources
Hanging Method flowers should be picked for drying just before they reach their prime overly mature flowers do not dry well
strip off all leaves and tie flowers in small bunches suspend flowers upside down in a warm dry place without light
darkness preserves the color drying time varies according to the type of flower and the conditions of the drying location
most flowers dry in one to three weeks leave bunches hanging until they are needed for arrangements
Desiccant Drying consists of burying flowers in a substance that will extract moisture from the flowers by absorption
most flowers can be dried without a loss of color or shape when the petals are supported by the drying agent
support medium should provide even drying throughout the flower and keep petals from curling
all spaces between petals should be completely filled remove stems from the flowers about one half inch below the calyx
place one to two inches of the drying agent in the bottom of a container place the flowers face up on the bed of desiccant
cover the flowers completely with more of the desiccant
gently support the petals while working the substance into and between the folds or the flowers
seal container to prevent the drying agent from absorbing moisture from the air
cardboard boxes work well holes can be punched in the bottom to remove the desiccant without damaging the flowers
length of drying time varies from two to four weeks when flowers have dried completely, gently remove them from the desiccant
brush remaining agent off of flowers.
use a small paintbrush flowers dries with a desiccant are extremely fragile
spray flowers with a dried flower preservative to protect and strengthen them
attach floral wires to the flowers for stems original stems may be dried and reattached with hot glue
if wires are attached, use floral tape to secure the flower to the wire and to give the stem a more natural look.
Sand and Borax fine washed beach sand is best sand should be sifted before use
damp sand can be oven dried in a shallow pan at 250 degrees for thirty minutes mix two parts sand with one part borax
borax can be purchased in the laundry section of any grocery store drying time is one to two weeks
Cornmeal & Borax white cornmeal and borax mixture is light and works well with delicate flowers mix ten parts white cornmeal with three parts borax
sift to mix thoroughly borax is used to protect the petals from mold and weevils during drying
this method takes three to seven days
Kitty Litter is made of ground clay can be used over and over sift of screen litter to discard larger pieces
select a brand that has small particles coarse particles are not suitable for drying flowers
Silica Gel industrial compound that can be purchased for drying more expensive than other drying agents
can be reused almost indefinitely best drying agent for preserving flowers
dries quickly and flowers retain more of their natural colors may be purchased at a hobby or discount store that carries crafts
Tell-Tale, the most common brand name for drying flowers has blue crystals
the blue color is an indicator when flowers are dry the color changes to pink
after drying, sift silica gel to remove flower debris dry in an oven at 250 degrees for 30 minutes
the Tell-Tale crystals will return to their blue color when dry
Microwave drying quick method superior quality colors are brighter
Microwave flowers are not as dry and perishable as conventionally dried flowers trim stems half to 3/4 inch in length
spread silica gel one to two inches deep in small glass or paper bowl prepare one container for each flower
arrange one flower blossom face up in each bowl of silica gel
sprinkle additional silica gel between petals until the flowers are completely covered use a toothpick or small brush to separate petals
place one or two flowers in the microwave oven at a time place a cup of water in the corner of the microwave to provide moisture
this will prevent the flower from completely drying up microwave for one to four minutes according to the drying guide in the text
after drying, leave flowers in the silica gel for 1 to 24 hours remove flowers carefully from the bowl
shake gently to remove silica gel use a small paintbrush to remove any remaining gel
spray with preservative spray and attach a 16 or 18 gauge wire to the stem with floral tape
Glycerin colorless liquid made from fats and oils which can be used to preserve foliage
preserves foliage in a pliable, more natural state frequently used for eucalyptus, magnolia dna maple leaves
also used for drying babys breath can be purchased at any drug store mix one part glycerin with two parts water
Glycerin pour mixture into a container at the depth of 4 to 5 inches stems of fresh foliage should be given a fresh slanting cut at the base
place stems of foliages in the glycerin solution for four days to two weeks replenish solution as needed during preservation process
foliage will darken to an olive or bronze color as the leaves absorb the solution
to prevent darkening of leaves, add absorption dye to the solution dye will be absorbed into the stem and deposited in the foliage
when the process is complete, hang foliages upside down to dry individual leaves are best preserved by submerging them in the solution
place weights on the leaves to keep them below the surface ivy leaves and stems may be preserved by this method
leave ivy submerged for four days rinse glycerin off with cool water when foliage is removed from the solution
Bleaching &Drying items to be bleached must first be dried place dried plant material in a solution of one cup bleach and two gallons water
use plastic, glass or enamel containers do not use metal
weight materials down so that it will be submerged at all times leave material in solution for 5-6 days, longer if necessary
remove after bleaching has occurred and rinse thoroughly leave material in a water bath for a day or two
hang outside to dry and whiten to dye bleached materials, dip for 5 minutes ina boiling Rit solution
mix dye according to package directions
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