Lots of different flowers will need varying times to dry thoroughly. A rose can take around 2 weeks, whereas forget me nots can be done within 24-48 hours. Flowers can be quite brittle once they have dried, so don't be too heavy handed, and you'll be fine.
Silica sand can be used time and time again, but after quite a few uses it will need to be dried out and regenerated. You can do this by either popping the sand into the microwave or the oven. The times may vary depending on the brand and the amount of silica you have, but if you're unsure, I usually go with 2-3 hours in the oven. Once cool you can pop it into a sealed container ready for when you next need it.
So if you'd like to give this a go yourself, all you'll need is...
- Silica sand (I find that fine or slightly chunky grain works the best)
- Tub of tray of some kind
- Patience! (The waiting part)
Start by pouring a layer of silica into your tub. The thickness of this layer will depend on the size and shape of the flowers. For deeper larger flowers (like a big rose head) first pour a thick layer. You'll want the sand to support the petals of the flower, so it's nice and snug and supportive underneath.
This will help when pouring silica on top, if the flowers aren't supported there's more chance of them falling apart due to the weight of the sand on top.
Now add your flowers. They will dry in the position that you lay them, so if any petals are bent or squished to one side, give them a little tidy up.
Pour on more silica sand. You'll want to do this slowly and gently, making sure the silica gradually builds up over all areas of the flower.
Once you've done this for all of the flowers in your tub, you can leave them somewhere to dry out.
Times will vary quite a bit, so smaller and thinner flowers like a pansy, forget me nots, or bluebells may only need 2 days in the silica. Larger whole flowers like roses or gerbera may need anything around 1-2 weeks.
You can check your flowers periodically to see if they need longer.
Be gentle when lifting them out, they will be brittle and can break, so gently support underneath the flower when you're lifting it out.
If you'd like to watch a video of this being done, then watch below...
Once you've done this a few times you'll be a pro! It's quite an addictive craft! Don't be discouraged if any flowers get damaged or lose colour. It does happen from time to time.
You can choose to store your flowers however you like, but I thought I'd share how I store mine!
Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you find some of this useful. Goodluck with your flower drying.
All photos belong to Jane Lenahan at Maia and the Wildflower 2020 [c]