The secret to preserving the color of flowers when you dry them is in drying them quickly. The drying processes that take a long time--such as pressing and hanging--tend to produce dried flowers with colors that are different and often drab compared to the vibrant colors of fresh flowers just picked from your garden. Preserve the color of flowers when you dry them by drying them quickly in the microwave.
Clip fresh flowers from your flowerbeds early in the day. As soon as the dew has dried from the blossoms, remove the best blooms that are fully open. Gather the blossoms in the basket. Continue clipping until you have as many flowers as you want to dry.
Remove all but 1 inch of stem from beneath the blooms.
Pour 1 inch of silica gel into the bottom of the container. Place the blossoms onto the silica gel, fitting as many into the container as you can without allowing them to touch each other. Position the blossoms so the blooms are facing up, if possible.
Add more silica gel over the blossoms, pouring it carefully to avoid changing the shape of the blossoms with the weight of the silica gel. Continue adding silica gel until the flowers are under the gel completely.
Place the uncovered plastic container into the microwave and set the cooking power to just slightly higher than the defrost level. Microwave the flowers for 30 to 60 seconds and stop to check the flowers.
Continue drying the flowers for 30-second intervals and checking between each interval. Stop drying when the flowers feel dry to the touch.
Cover the container immediately. Place the container on the counter and open one corner of the cover to vent the flowers slightly. Allow the flowers to sit this way for 24 hours.
Remove the flowers from the silica gel after 24 hours. Use the dry paintbrush to dust all of the gel from the petals.
Spray the flowers with acrylic spray to seal the dryness and prevent them from moistening again.