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