How to Preserve Flowers With Sand


Save your cut flowers for drying. Use the preserved blooms for potpourri, scrapbooking or in a variety of other craft projects. While commercial desiccants are available for flower drying, these can be expensive or difficult to find. Substitute ordinary sand for these desiccants and save money while also producing the preserved flowers you need for your projects. The sand must be prepared before use to ensure it dries the petals properly without introducing any mildew-causing moisture.

Step 1

Place a 2-inch layer of sand in a roasting pan. Bake it in a preheated, 250-degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes to dry it completely.

Step 2

Cut the stems off the flowers with scissors and remove any damaged or discolored petals. Use flowers that are at their peak of bloom and that are not yet wilting.

Step 3

Fill a container with a 1-inch layer of sand. Use a plastic food storage container or a shallow cardboard box.

Step 4

Lay the flowers on top of the sand, leaving a ½-inch space between each flower. Use a toothpick to force sand between petals to hold the flower shape during drying. Cover the flowers with another 1-inch sand layer.

Step 5

Place the container in a well-ventilated, dry area. Leave the flowers to dry for seven days.

Step 6

Brush the sand gently off the surface of one of the petals and check it for dryness. If the petal is dry, finish brushing the sand off the flowers, then store them in a tightly sealed container until you are ready to use them. If the petal is not dry, replace the sand and check the petals at three-day intervals until they are completely dry.

Tips and Warnings

  • Sand-dried petals are fragile and easily crumble if they are not handled carefully. Never display preserved petals in a moist or humid location, as moisture causes mildew.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand
  • Scissors
  • Roasting pan
  • Container
  • Toothpick
  • Container with lid


  • Maryland Cooperative Extension: Preserving Flowers and Leaves
  • North Dakota State University Extension: Methods of Preserving Flowers
Keywords: sand flower preservation, drying flowers, presreving flower petals

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Dollar Stretcher." Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.