Drying flowers is a rewarding way to preserve a souvenir from the growing season. Unlike a photograph or painting, a dried flower does not attempt to capture the beauty of flowers at their height. A bundle of dried flowers is more like a pale impression, a delicate reminder of the beauty of blooming plants.
Choose the Right Time
Pick your flowers at the right time. Old Fashioned Living recommends picking flowers right after they have opened so the leaves do not fall off as they dry. Seed pods, on the other hand, should be picked late "after the seed head has developed," since this is the attractive part you want to dry. Pick your flowers in the morning after the dew has evaporated. Do not pick flowers if it is raining or has rained within 24 hours.
Dry Your Flowers Correctly
Dry your flowers immediately after picking them. Bundle them in an attractive bouquet, twisting a rubber band around the cut ends to hold them together. Hang the flowers from a hook or string in a cool, dry place such as a closet or attic until the flowers have a crisp, papery texture. Usually, this will take one to three weeks.
According to online resource Our Virtual Mall, there are a number of different techniques that you can use to dry flowers. One method is to use silica gel, a desicant which will quickly suck the moisture out of the blooms. Pour about an inch of silica gel in a dish, carefully place your flowers in the dish, and cover them with more silica. Cover the dish and leave it for a couple days. The silica should quickly dry the flowers.
Finish Your Flowers
Dried flowers are extremely fragile, and need to be properly finished or they can crumble. When dry, carefully thread a strand of florist wire through the head of each of your flowers and bend it into a small hook to hold it in place. Run the wires along the stems and wrap them together with green floral tape.