With a garden full of flowers, you wish to persevere their beauty. You can save the flower’s beauty in several ways that do not require a large amount of money and that children can enjoy. With a few simple household items, you can save a flower for long after you picked it.
Drying is one of the oldest methods of preserving flowers and works best with flowers that still have at least 2 or 3 inches of the stem attached. Tie small bundles of flowers together with string, twine or a rubber band and hang them on a nail in a low moisture area such as an attic or closet. Depending on the water content, a flower will take about one or two weeks to dry.
Pressing is one of the easiest methods and oldest ways of keeping flowers. Although the flower will lose petal detail, pressed flowers will work well for flat displays such as frames and cards. Place the flowers on newsprint, unglazed paper or an old telephone book, making sure that the flowers do not touch one another. You can do several flowers at once and stack them together in separate layers. Place a piece of cardboard or thin plywood over the flowers and add a weight, such as large books or sand weights. This process will take two to four weeks for the flowers to be fully preserved.
Using fine sand that has been washed to remove any residual dirt and dried fully, place a few inches into a flat container. Make a depression to hold the flower. Carefully place the sand over the flower, allowing the sand to build up in between the petals. Continue to spoon sand around and over the flower until it is completely covered. This matter of preserving is a very delicate method and the container should not be disturbed while the moisture from the flower is drawn out. The time of drying will depend on how much water content is in the flower.
One of borax's many uses is preserving and drying flowers. Borax used alone can burn you and damage the flower, so use a mixture of one part borax and three parts of either cornmeal or cream of wheat along with 1 tbsp. of non-iodized salt. Use the same method as sand drying.