Fresh flowers can add beauty to any garden or indoor vase, but they will only maintain their look for a few days or weeks. If you want to collect flowers for temporary use, fresh is fine, but if you want to preserve flowers and use them for lasting floral arrangements or crafts, you must how to dry and preserve flowers. Whether you want to dry your flowers and leaves whole or press them flat, you can begin preserving them in one afternoon and have them available when you need them.
Layer a few pieces of newspaper on a flat surface, folding it to the size of a magazine. Place two sheets of paper towel on the newspaper.
Spread out a few petals in a single layer over the paper towel. Keep the petals from touching one another or they may stick together.
Lay a paper towel over the petals, followed by a second paper towel over this one. Press lightly to ensure the petals are resting flat beneath the paper towels so they aren't bend.
Place more newspaper over the petals to help press them down and hold them in place. Start a new pressing area by putting paper towels over this newspaper and layer as many times as necessary following steps one through four until all of your petals are flat between the paper towels.
Set a book, brick, or thick board on top of the last newspaper in your press to pack the layers down. Leave the stacks of paper in place for three or four weeks so the petals can dry out.
Keep the pressed, dry petals in a large envelope or box so they can remain flat and well preserved before you plan to use them.
Hanging Whole Flowers
Collect flowers with stems for hanging. Pull or cut any lower leaves from the stems of the flowers, leaving only the upper leaves you want to dry along with the flowers.
Hold up to six flowers in your hand with the blooms hanging down and wrap the base of the stems with a rubber band. As your flowers dry, the rubber band will hold the stems tight and keep them from slipping.
Hang the flowers up by looping the rubber band over a nail or hook to let the blooms hang upside down. Hang the flower in a warm, dark place like a closet or attic.
Take the flowers down in a few weeks after the thickest parts of the plant, typically at the bud area, are dry. Store the flowers in a box until used or go ahead and set them in a vase or other display.
About this Author
Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for WidescreenWarrior.com as a contributor and podcast co-host.