Whether it is a wedding bouquet, graduation flowers or a rose from a first date, you can use preservation methods to help keep those visual reminders of cherished memories. Even if your goal is to save attractive flowers for decorating purposes only, you can capture the beauty of most any cut flower by preserving them. While this is not difficult to do, it does require patience and an understanding of some of the different preservation techniques.
Remove all of the leaves from the flowers that are being preserved.
Divide the flowers into small bunches that are no more than 1-and-1/2 inch thick at the stems. The heads should not touch.
Secure the stems with twine, wire or rubber bands.
Hang the flowers upside down in a dark, warm and dry location that has good air circulation. For example, the attic, a pantry or closet are suitable locations for drying flowers. Hang the flowers from a nail, hanger or clothesline.
Lay newspaper beneath the flowers to catch any falling petals or leaves.
Check the flowers after one to two weeks. If they have not dried, leave them another week.
Pour 1 inch of silica gel into a shallow, tin or plastic container with an airtight lid.
Cut the stems of your flowers to fit the container. Arrange the flowers neatly on top of the silica gel inside the container. Place flowers face side up, unless drying flowers with flat faces, such as daisies.
Spoon more silica gel carefully over the top of the flowers. Add enough to equal an additional inch, or to cover the petals completely. Keep the petals in as natural a shape as possible.
Cover the container with its lid and set it aside for two to five days. The flowers are dry when they are crisp, but not brittle.
Lift the dried flowers from the silica gel and brush away the crystals with a soft cosmetic or paint brush.
Pour the silica gel in a shallow baking pan. Dry the silica gel for one hour in a 250-degree oven to prepare it for drying and preserving additional flowers.