How to Dry Pansies

Overview

Pansies take well to drying by a couple of methods. Because they're flat, pansies can be pressed, then enjoyed as is or used for crafts such as paper decorating or bookmark making. You can also dry pansies with desiccants, which you might already have on hand. The high pH of a desiccant like Borax helps to preserve color. Besides pH as a color preserver, the quicker the flowers dry, the better the color. Drying flowers can be a trial-and-error process, since the time flowers take to dry is affected by conditions in your home.

Pressing

Step 1

Cut flowers through the stem as close to the bottom of the flower as possible, leaving the green "cup."

Step 2

Open the telephone book or newspaper on a board that has been placed on a flat surface.

Step 3

Place a layer of tissue on the opened paper.

Step 4

Place the pansy on the tissue, then place another tissue atop the pansy.

Step 5

Close the book or lay another newspaper atop the flower.

Step 6

Lay another board on top of the book or newspaper.

Step 7

Transport the boards and book or papers to a warm and dark area for drying.

Step 8

Put the weight atop the stack.

Step 9

Replace the tissues after a week, putting the tissues and flowers between new paper layers.

Desiccating

Step 1

Cut flowers at their driest. The stem can be left on.

Step 2

Pour about an inch of a mixture of two parts borax to one part sand, or one part borax to two parts cornmeal into the box.

Step 3

Stand the flower in the mixture.

Step 4

Build a rim of the mixture around the flower, then tap the box or gently tilt it so the mixture fills in all the space under the petals.

Step 5

Keep building up the mixture so that the flower is first completely surrounded, then enclosed by the desiccant. Make sure there's enough desiccant in the box so that if it moves, it won't reveal the flower.

Step 6

Cover the box and tape it shut. Put the box in a dry place where it won't get jostled.

Step 7

Start checking to see if it's dry in about 3 days. It may take up to 10 days for the flower to dry, depending on your environment.

Step 8

Pour the desiccant slowly out of the box when the flower is dry, securing the flower with your fingers by the bottom stem or greenery beneath the petals as soon as you can. Continue to pour out desiccant.

Step 9

Remove the flower when you're sure it won't break.

Step 10

Brush the dried flower very gently to remove any more desiccant.

Tips and Warnings

  • Dried flowers can be brittle since the moisture has been removed. If a petal breaks off, you can glue it back on.

Things You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Pansies
  • Telephone book or newspaper
  • 2 boards
  • Tissue paper
  • Heavy weight such as an iron skillet
  • A cardboard box with a lid, for instance, a shoe box
  • Borax
  • White corn meal or white, dry sand
  • Tape
  • Soft artist's paint brush

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements
  • 20 Mule Team Borax: A Guide to Laundry and Household Uses
  • Clemson University Extension: Drying Flowers
Keywords: drying pansies, pressing pansies, how to dry pansies

About this Author

S. Johnson is a freelance writer and editor of both print and film media who specializes in making the complex clear. A freelancer for over 20 years, Johnson has had the opportunity to cover many topics ranging from construction to music to celebrity interviews, learning a lot and talking to many interesting people.