With all of life's weddings, anniversaries and birthdays, a floral arrangement can carry sentimental value you're just not willing to compost. Instead, dry out your special flowers and turn them into lovely home accents. Dried flowers, although beautifully macabre, don't have to be a dark Halloween centerpiece or potpourri, there are many creative, yet Fall-friendly, ways to transform plant remnants into something everlasting. Check out my guide to drying, transforming, and reusing yesterday's flowers.
4 Ways to Dry Flowers
Air dry — Air drying is the most common and easiest way to dry florals. Tie a small bundle of flowers together with twine or ribbon. For the best results, one bundle should consist of one or similar-size flowers; large flowers work best when dried by each individual stem. Hang the bundle or stem upside down from hooks, rods, hangers, etc., in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Tip: cutting off the leaves before you hang will expedite the process.
Water dry — It may seem counterproductive, but placing stems in a few inches of water and letting the flower absorb the water will eventually dry the plant to the point of your desired crispiness. This process works especially well with hydrangeas, hybrid delphiniums, and acacia.
Oven dry — I know it sounds weird, but flowers like marigolds and chrysanthemums dry well in well-ventilated convection ovens. Allow the stems to dangle between small slots on a rack, and just be sure to keep the temperature under 100 degrees. The process will take several hours, but keep a careful eye on the oven!
Microwave dry — The most tumultuous of all the techniques, heat those succulents up via your household microwave. Place them on a paper towel (and don't overlap) and nuke them up on medium high for one minute. If the flowers are still moist, change the paper towel, wait 10 minutes, and repeat the process. When cooled, store in a covered container.
For more tips on preserving your special memories,
7 Creative Ideas Perfect For Fall
Wedding bouquet — Dried florals don't have to be dark and depressing. With a bright color palette and the right choices, dried flowers can add Autumn rusticity to any bouquet.
Pumpkin garland — Wrap dried garlands around your glowing jack-o'-lanterns; it'll add extra charm and mystery.
Gift accent — Add a few dried lavender sticks or baby's breath on top of presents with ribbon or twine.
Kitchen magnet — The refrigerator door will no longer need to be plagued with out-of-state, kitschy magnets.
Hair accessories (i.e. barrettes, headbands, combs) — All you need is a hot glue gun and bobby pins.
Corsage and boutonniere — Just in time for the homecoming dance, your daughter or son will be the cool couple with vintage style.
Frame wreath — Grab a frame-like foam piece and cover it with the dried flower of your choice.
5 Ways to Preserve Dried Flowers Forever
Seal them in a tightly covered glass jar
Press them between the pages of a scrapbook (this will flatten them)
Frame them in a shadow box
Pay a florist to preserve your flowers for you (this will be pricey but quality may be better)
Use liquid resin
Source: Martha Stewart and Flickr Users Don Hankins and SurFeRGiRL30