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How to Preserve Flowers With Borax

By Jenny Harrington ; Updated September 21, 2017
Dried flowers often become slightly darker during the drying process.

Drying flowers allows you to save the beauty from your spring and summer garden for many years. When dried properly, the flowers keep both their color and form. This makes them suitable for use in a dried flower arrangements and other crafts. Borax is a readily available household cleaner that also acts as a desiccate when used to dry flowers. Borax works so well that it can over-dry the flowers if the borax powder is not first diluted prior to use.

Mix one part borax with one part sand. You can use cornmeal instead of sand if preferred. Place a 2 inch layer of the borax mixture in a box.

Remove any damaged or discolored petals from the flowers. Cut the stem so that only 1 inch protrudes from the back of the flower.

Set the flowers face up on top the borax. Gently push the stem into the borax layer so that the flowers rest right on top the borax, Leave a 1 inch space between flowers.

Sift the borax mixture on top the flowers until they are completely covered. Use a toothpick to gently push the borax between petal layers as necessary to maintain the shape of the flower.

Leave the flower in the mixture for seven days. Carefully uncover a petal and gently press on it after the seven days pass. If the petal feels cool and moist, cover again for an additional seven days. If it feels dry, it is time to remove the flower.

Brush the borax mixture off the top of the flowers. Slide your fingers under the flower then lift it out of the borax. Store the dried flowers in a sealed plastic bag until you are ready to use them.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Borax
  • Sand
  • Box
  • Flowers
  • Plastic bag

Tips

  • Pick flowers when they are almost fully open, choosing the healthiest and least damaged blooms for drying.
  • Attach floral wire to the 1-inch stem and use this to arrange the flowers. The actual stems usually do not dry well and are not very strong.

Warning

  • Moisture quickly ruins dried flowers. Always keep them in a dry area and do not display them in kitchens, bathrooms or other humid areas.

About the Author

 

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.