best ways to preserve flowers

13 CRAFTY Ways To Dry & Preserve Flowers [2023]

Here are the most popular ways to preserve flowers. Preserving flowers allows us to extend their natural beauty and capture fleeting moments for a lifetime.

If you want to create stunning pressed flower art, make personalized keepsakes, or simply enjoy their vibrant colors and delicate forms, there are numerous methods available.

best ways to preserve flowers

In this article, we will explore a variety of ways to preserve flowers, ranging from traditional techniques like pressing and air drying to modern approaches such as microwave pressing and resin embedding.

Discover the methods that resonate with you and unlock the secret to preserving the magic of flowers.

No matter what method you use from this list, always do a test piece before jumping in with keepsake flowers to make sure the method you choose is the right one for the particular flowers you will be preserving.


1. Traditional Flower Pressing

One of the most traditional methods is to press flowers between the pages of a heavy book.

Place the flowers between two pieces of absorbent paper, close the book, and add some weight on top. Leave them undisturbed for a few weeks to allow them to dry flat.

how to press flowers

It's best to choose flowers with relatively flat petals, such as daisies, pansies, or violets, as they tend to press more easily. Gently pluck the flowers, ensuring you handle them with care to avoid damaging their delicate petals.

2. Using A Flower Press

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Invest in a flower press, which is a specialized device designed for pressing flowers. It usually consists of two wooden boards with bolts that apply even pressure. Follow the instructions provided with the press for best results.

A flower press is a specialized device designed specifically for the purpose of pressing flowers.

A flower press provides an efficient and controlled method for preserving flowers, allowing them to dry flat and retain their delicate beauty for a variety of artistic endeavors.

If you are wondering what the best way to dry flowers for resin, this is one of the most popular ways.

best flower presses

3. Microwave Drying

Microwaving flowers is a quick and convenient method of drying and pressing them.

Place the flowers between two pieces of absorbent paper and put them in a microwave for short bursts of about 30 seconds at a time. Check the flowers after each burst until they are adequately dried.

By placing flowers between layers of absorbent paper and microwaving them in short bursts, the heat gently removes moisture, preserving the flowers and allowing them to retain their color and shape.

how to dry flowers with a microwave

4. Microwave Flower Press

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Microwave flower presses provide a modern twist to the traditional method of pressing flowers.

These specialized presses consist of microwave-safe plates with layers of absorbent paper, allowing for a faster and more efficient flower drying process.

They utilize the heat generated from microwaving to speed up the drying time while still achieving beautifully preserved flowers.

Once your flowers are dried, use them for display in glass apothecary jars or use for crafting project like cardmaking.

microfleur flower press

5. Silica Gel For Drying Flowers

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Silica gel is a desiccant commonly used in flower preservation to effectively dry and preserve flowers while maintaining their shape and color. It is a porous and granular substance that has a high capacity for absorbing moisture.

When using silica gel to preserve flowers, you begin by selecting fresh flowers at their prime and removing excess foliage and stems.

Next, you choose a container that can be sealed tightly, ensuring it is large enough to accommodate the flowers without overcrowding.

Pour a layer of silica gel into the bottom of the container, ensuring it covers the entire surface. Gently place the flowers on top of the silica gel, making sure to position them in a way that maintains their desired shape.

silica gel for preserving flowers

Slowly pour more silica gel over the flowers, gently tapping the container to ensure the gel settles around and in between the petals. Continue this process until the flowers are completely covered by the gel.

Seal the container tightly and place it in a dry and cool location, away from direct sunlight. Allow the flowers to sit undisturbed for approximately one to two weeks, or until they are thoroughly dried.

During this time, the silica gel will slowly absorb the moisture from the flowers, leaving them in a desiccated state.

how to dry flowers

Once the drying period is complete, carefully remove the flowers from the silica gel, gently brushing off any excess gel that may cling to them.

The preserved flowers will retain their original shape, color, and texture, making them ideal for various decorative uses such as floral arrangements, cottagecore crafts, or jewelry-making.

6. Ironing Flowers

This method can be used to quickly press flowers. Place the flowers between two sheets of absorbent paper and set your iron to a low heat setting.

Gently iron over the paper for a few seconds, being careful not to apply too much pressure. Check the flowers to see if they are adequately dried, and repeat the process if needed.

ironing flowers to dry them

7. Epoxy Resin

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Using resin to preserve flowers is a popular method that results in stunning and long-lasting floral keepsakes.

By embedding flowers in clear epoxy resin, the delicate blooms are preserved in a glossy and durable finish, retaining their vibrant colors and natural form for years to come.

Check out this article about flower resin coasters that are created with resin.

preserving flowers with resin

The resin acts as a protective layer, sealing the flowers and creating unique pieces of art, such as jewelry, paperweights, or decorative resin blocks, allowing you to showcase the beauty of nature in a captivating and timeless way.

Do be aware that some resins will turn yellow over time. Choose a resin that has an anti-yellowing formula.

8. Freeze Drying

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Freeze drying flowers is a specialized preservation technique that yields exceptional results.

This method involves freezing the flowers at very low temperatures and then removing the moisture through a process called sublimation, where the frozen water evaporates without going through the liquid phase.

freeze drying flower for preservation

The end result is beautifully preserved flowers with minimal loss of color, shape, and texture, making freeze drying a popular choice for creating stunning floral displays and arrangements that retain their natural beauty for an extended period.

9. Glycerin Preservation

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Glycerin preservation is a unique technique used to maintain the color, shape, and texture of flowers while keeping them pliable and soft.

By immersing flowers in a mixture of water and glycerin, the solution is absorbed by the plant's cells, replacing the natural moisture and preserving the flowers in a supple state.

preserving flowers with glycerine

This method is particularly popular for creating long-lasting floral arrangements, wreaths, and displays that maintain their beauty and flexibility, making glycerin preservation a favored choice for floral enthusiasts.

10. Wax Preservation

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Wax preservation is a charming and effective method for preserving flowers by encasing them in a protective layer of melted wax.

Melt paraffin wax or beeswax in a double boiler. Dip the flowers, one at a time, into the melted wax, ensuring they are fully coated. Remove the flower, gently shake off excess wax, and place it on wax paper to dry and harden.

paraffin wax for drying flowers

By dipping the flowers into melted paraffin wax or beeswax, the wax acts as a sealant, locking in the flowers' natural colors and forms while providing a glossy and durable finish.

This preservation technique not only prolongs the lifespan of the flowers but also allows for a range of creative uses, such as incorporating them into candles, decorative crafts, or even as standalone wax flower displays.

11. Air Drying Flowers

Air drying flowers is a simple yet effective method of preserving their natural beauty. The process involves bundling the flowers together and hanging them upside down in a cool, dry place with good air circulation.

Over time, the moisture in the flowers evaporates, resulting in beautifully dried blooms that can be enjoyed for months or even years.

air drying flowers

When air drying flowers, it's important to choose flowers with sturdy stems and petals that retain their shape well when dried. Delicate and fragile flowers may not fare as well in this method.

Bundling the flowers together with a rubber band or string helps to maintain their shape while they dry.

hanging flowers to dry

By hanging the bundled flowers upside down, you allow gravity to help retain their form and prevent the petals from wilting or drooping.

A well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight is ideal to prevent color fading and maintain the vibrancy of the flowers.

The drying time can vary depending on the type of flowers, their moisture content, and the environmental conditions.

It usually takes a few weeks for the flowers to completely dry, but it's important to periodically check on them to ensure they are drying properly and not developing mold or rot.

12. Oven Drying

Oven drying flowers is a practical and accessible method for preserving their beauty at home. It involves using a conventional oven to gently remove moisture from the flowers, resulting in dried blooms that can be used for various artistic and decorative purposes.

To oven dry flowers, start by selecting fresh flowers at their prime. Remove excess foliage and trim the stems to your desired length. Preheat your oven to the lowest possible temperature, usually around 180 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (82 to 93 degrees Celsius).

ways to dry flowers

Place the flowers in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a non-stick mat. Make sure the flowers are not touching each other to ensure proper airflow and even drying. Avoid overcrowding the baking sheet to allow heat to circulate effectively.

Carefully place the baking sheet with the flowers into the preheated oven. Keep the oven door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape. This helps prevent the flowers from getting cooked instead of dried.

Monitoring the process is crucial to prevent overheating and ensure the flowers are drying evenly.

drying flowers in the oven

It's important to note that oven drying works best for flowers with sturdy petals that can withstand the heat.

Delicate or highly fragrant flowers may not be suitable for this method, as they can lose their color or scent during the drying process. It's recommended to research specific flower types and experiment to determine which ones are most suitable for oven drying.

13. Dehydrator For Flowers

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Using a food dehydrator for drying flowers provides a convenient and efficient method for preserving their beauty.

A food dehydrator is a machine designed to gently remove moisture from various foods, and it can be adapted for drying flowers as well.

Check out our Cosori food dehydrator review and see how this can be used for cottagecore food and crafts.

preserving flowers with a food dehydrator

To dry flowers with a food dehydrator, begin by selecting flowers at their peak freshness.

Remove excess foliage and trim the stems to your desired length. Arrange the flowers in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they are not overlapping.

Set the dehydrator to a low temperature, typically around 95 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (35 to 43 degrees Celsius). The low heat allows the flowers to dry slowly, preserving their color and shape. Keep in mind that drying times may vary depending on the type and moisture content of the flowers.

ways to dry flowers

In Closing

If you're enchanted by the nostalgic and romantic aesthetics of cottagecore, preserving flowers can add an extra touch of whimsy to your rustic-inspired décor.

Cottagecore enthusiasts often incorporate dried flowers into their interior design, creating dreamy arrangements, wreaths, or even adorning floral crown creations.

best ways to preserve flowers

By embracing the art of flower preservation, you can capture the essence of the countryside and bring a touch of enchantment and natural beauty into your living space.

Let these preservation techniques be your gateway to infusing cottagecore charm into your surroundings and embracing the timeless allure of blooming flora.

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