Drying flowers from special events preserves memories. And if you use flowers from your own garden in dried arrangements, it helps carries the joy of spring gardening through the winter. Using borax is an economical and simple way to save whole blooms. Any blossom can be dried in this manner, but those with thinner petals may become brittle.
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Slow and Steady
Things You'll Need
If you don’t have an airtight container, use a shoebox and seal it with duct or packing tape.
Pick garden flowers just before they are completely open, as they will continue to open during the drying process. Pick them early in the morning, when they have less water inside, and choose blooms without dew or rain on them.
Trim the stems of the flowers to about 2 inches.
Mix 1 part of borax with 2 parts of cornmeal.
Add a 1/2-to-1-inch layer of the mixture in the bottom of the container.
Spoon the borax-cornmeal mixture between the petals of the flowers before placing the blooms in the container. Be sure that the flowers are not touching each other or the sides of the container.
Cover the flowers completely with the mixture.
Seal the container and leave it closed for 10 to 14 days.
Pour off the borax mixture and use a soft artist’s brush to clear the desiccant from the petals.
Speed It Up
If you want to speed the process a bit, use your microwave oven. Flowers dried this way often reabsorb moisture from the air, though, so you need to spray them with a fixative, such as an acrylic sealer or hair spray, which may change the appearance of the blooms.
Things You'll Need
- Fine sand
- Salt (optional)
- Microwave-safe container
- Cup of water
Acrylic spray sealer
Mix 2 parts borax to 1 part sand. To help preserve the petals' color, add 3 tablespoons of table salt to each quart of the borax-sand mixture.
Place a 1-inch layer of the borax-sand mixture in the bottom of the container to support the roses.
Trim the stems of the roses to about 2 inches.
Lay the flowers on top of the mixture, making sure they don't touch either the sides of the container or each other.
Cover the flowers completely with the borax-sand blend. Shake the container gently to settle the mixture.
Place the container and a cup of water, both uncovered, into your microwave.
Microwave on HIGH for about 1 1/2 minutes, in 30-second increments.
Allow the flowers and mix to cool for at least 10 minutes before carefully pouring out the borax-sand blend.
Seal the dried flowers with acrylic spray sealer or hair spray.