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How to Dry Flowers With Borax

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How to Dry Flowers With Borax

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Overview

Bringing the beauty of colorful outdoor flowers into a home or office enhances the ambiance and visual appeal of any room. Use a simple method of drying assorted flowers to provide a variety of colors and textures for creating flower crafts and arrangements. The process is easy and fun to share with children.

Step 1

Select flowers for drying after dew or rain has dissipated. Flowers should be free of moisture before placing in the drying mixture. Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns. Using gardening clippers, snip the flower leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem.

Step 2

Lay cut flowers horizontally in a basket or stand the flowers vertically in a bucket or other deep container once cut to prevent petal damage or bruising. While collecting specimens, place the cut flowers out of direct sunlight to prevent wilting.

Step 3

Prepare the drying container by placing a layer of borax approximately 1 inch deep in the bottom of the cardboard box or tray. The size of the box or tray depends on the size of the flower heads and the number of flowers to be dried.

Step 4

Using your hand, make an indentation into the borax the size of the flower head, then place the flower face down into the indentation. Continue placing flowers until the box or container is full. Pour a layer of borax over and around each flower head. It isn't necessary to cover the stems if using horizontal placement.

Step 5

To dry flowers face up, use the lid of a shoebox, cardboard box or the bottom of an egg carton to hold flowers erect. Cut small holes in the lid or carton large enough for the stem to fit through. Insert the stem into the hole and gently pull through until the flower head is resting on the top of the lid or carton. Place the container over an empty box for support and allow room for the stems to hang down. Cover the flowers completely with a layer of borax.

Step 6

Place the containers in a dry location away from direct heat or sunlight. Drying times vary from one to five days depending on the flowers' thickness. Check flowers after one to two days. The petals of flowers that have "dried" will have a paper texture. Remove borax mixture from flowers using a soft cosmetic or artist's brush, then gently remove the flower and stem from the container.

Step 7

Store dried flowers in a container with a layer of silica gel and keep in a cool location until ready to use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not leave flowers in the borax for extended period as it will cause the flowers to deteriorate. Remove from the drying medium as soon as the texture of the flower is dry and crisp.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Gardening clippers
  • Basket or bucket
  • Cardboard box
  • Plastic tray
  • Borax
  • Small soft brush
  • Silica gel
  • White corn meal (optional)

References

  • AgriLife Extension Texas A & M: Drying Flowers
  • West Virginia University Extension Service: Preserving Flowers for Year-Round Use
  • University of Missouri Extension: Drying Flowers and Foliage for Arrangements
Keywords: simple drying method, drying flowers, borax drying method, preserving flowers, flower drying medium

About this Author

Vickie Ferguson began freelancing in1998 and hasn't put the pen down since. Her editorial stints have included working as a reviewer, managing editor and senior managing editor. She writes for several websites and covers a range of topics, including travel guides, gardening, home d├ęcor, crafts, pets and wildlife. Ferguson specializes in flower craft articles and has worked in the flower craft business for some time.

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