Even though they are not as vibrant as their counterpart, dried flowers have an allure of their own & because of their longevity they hold a special place of their own. Creating dried flowers is hobby that can give you a cherished piece of art for your lifetime.

Long after the season for fresh flowers with dew on top has passed away, dried flowers delightfully titivates your home. Though there are a variety of dried flower arrangements that are available in the market, from wreaths to wedding bouquets for the bride & dried flower baskets for gifting as well as dried flowers for the candle stand, but they are a bit expensive to be bought for our own fantasy.

Creating dried flowers:

If you have the patience you can create your own dried flower arrangement that can last for years to come. Either you can choose flowers from your own home garden or you can buy yourself some flowers. When picking up the flowers from your garden the mid morning time is best suited just after the dew has dropped off, the flowers are fresh at that time & they’ll retain the color and texture well.

Plucking up the flowers when they have not completely opened helps, because the flowers will continue to open up while drying, so if you pluck completely bloomed flowers for drying then by the time the process is complete many of the petals will not be able to hold.

Not just the driedflowers but foliage can also be dried up to be used for decorations There are different methods to dry your flowers the simplest & most common method is hanging method. Just pick up the flowers that you want to dry, take as much stem part as possible so that you can hang them properly.

Now tie the stems together with the rubber band to make a bunch & hang them upside down on a wire in a dark & dry but well ventilated place where the air flow is good but not forceful. The place that you select should be as dark as possible because this only will retain the color of the flowers after drying. Flowers thus kept will dry up in a week or two. Different flowers have different moisture retaining capacity so the time will also vary you should check them up after every four or five days, when the flowers have dried completely they’ll become stiff to touch.

It’s even simpler than baking a cake, but it’s a matter of experimenting so you have to try & test it to get the

desired results.

There are other methods also that you can try to have driedflowers, one is the desiccating method & the other is microwave method.

For desiccating, there are a variety of materials available in the market borax powder, silica gel, cornmeal etc. even common sand is also used for mixing it with other materials. Though silica gel is not so cheap but it gives best result for some of the flowers like roses which have closely packed petals. To dry up flowers using this method you need a plastic or glass container that is not very deep, make on inch thick layer of the material for the base now stick the flower stem in this layer to hold up & then slowly and carefully cover the flower with the material, you can do this by sprinkling the material around the flower gently till it gets completely covered, this must be done very carefully because it can harm the petals & the natural form of the petals will not be maintained. When the flowers dried are covered with the material again an inch thick layer should be created. Now seal the container properly & leave it. Your flowers will be done in around ten to fifteen days.

Another method that is even more simple & yet as effective is microwave drying. One can prepare a few flowersdried at a time. Place the flowers in a microwave dish filled with the drying material; this is to be done in the same manner as in desiccating method. Also place a cup of water in the microwave & then cook up for 10 to 13 seconds at medium level. The container must be sealed while cooking. When you take out the container make a small crack in the lid & then let keep it as it is for a few hours. You can use a mixture of borax & cornmeal or sand in a ratio of 2:1.But silica gel gives best results for microwave method.

While taking out the flowers, be careful when you shed off the material so that the flowers don’t get damaged. You can also have dried flowers assortment say petals & foliage by drying them in a microwave. You can use these to decorate gifts or to make a centerpiece for the table.

There are other techniques also like Pressing or heat pressing. This way the flowers or foliage will flatten up while drying but you can set them on a sheet & frame them to create a unique piece of your own.

Either apply age old method of placing flowers in a book & then keep a weight on it for weeks at a stretch or you can do pressing by placing the foliage or flowers in between sheets of wax paper & then ironing them. But the iron should be medium & not too hot. Also use fresh sheets of paper each time so as to preserve the color & texture of the flowers.

Caring them:

When you have a bunch of dried flowers in your hand that you’ve created yourself it gives you a lifetime of cherished pleasure. But these flowers have to be taken care of, while placing them anywhere in your home make sure they do not come in direct contact with the sunlight, otherwise the color will start fading because of the chemical reaction that reduces the pigmentation in the petals. Also make sure that the place is well ventilated but without a direct flow of air coming in. This will keep the flowers in good condition for a long time.

Whenever you need to clean the flowers either use a very soft duster or blow the dirt away using a dryer on a low setting.

To preserve them:

The best way to preserve them is to wrap them in a paper & place them in a box but not a plastic one, because the plastic box will retain moisture when closed & that will spoil the flowers. Keep them in a dark but not damp place & it should not be too hot either, temperate atmosphere is best suited.

Also add a few mothballs to keep away from insects & pests. If ever you find the

flowers infected with any kind of insects or pests or bacteria just put them in a bag & freeze for some time & they’ll be fine again.

With a little effort & endurance & experiments of course, you’ll definitely be able to create a beautiful dried flower collection and whichever way you may keep them they’ll always be your cherished creations.