Drying flowers is a method of preservation that provides a long lasting decoration at a low cost. Using borax as a desiccant to dry flowers is fast process to pull moisture out of the flower. This method has the benefit over air drying in that it reduces floral shrinkage and holds the natural shape of the flower head. Borax is a white powder made from the salt of boric acid and is used in detergents and cosmetics.
Cut fresh flowers that are just beginning to open and in their prime. Collect flowers that are free from moisture or dew. Place the flower stems in water to prevent them from wilting while collecting.
Create a mixture that is equal parts borax and corn meal. Sand or oatmeal can be substituted for corn meal. Add one teaspoon of salt for every four cups of mixture. Mix a quantity to fill the shoe box half full.
Fill the bottom of the box with the borax mixture so it is covered to a depth of at least one inch.
Create small mounds in the box to set the flowers on. Place the flowers face down on the mounds and gently cover the flowers with the borax mixture. The flower stems do not need to be covered.
Cover the box with a lid and place the container in a warm, dry location for one to two weeks.
Check the flowers periodically during the drying process to see how dry they are. The flower petals should feel dry and firm to the touch. Flowers left too long in the borax mixture will become brittle and lose their petals.
Remove dried flowers from the box and gently brush off the borax mixture with a soft art brush. Use caution when cleaning the flowers as they will be brittle.