5 great ways to preserve a bouquet of flowers

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Pick the flowers in the morning or in the evening when they are at their best. When it comes time to keep them, use these specialized drying techniques.

How to dry flowers: in the microwave

Dry flowers in minutes rather than weeks using a microwave. Choose the flowers to dry. One at a time, place the flowers in a microwaveable bowl and cover with about four cups of cat litter. Run at maximum power for two to three minutes. When the cat litter is cool, remove the flower and brush the excess.

How to dry flowers: silica gel

If you want your flowers to look like what they looked like in your garden, try silica gel. This sandy substance found in craft stores works best with sturdy flowers like zinnias or roses. In a large container, cover your flowers with silica gel. From a few days to a week, gently discover preserved and vibrant flowers.

How to dry flowers: by pressing

To use dried flowers for purposes other than decoration, use the pressing method. Take an encyclopedia or other heavy book. File a page of parchment paper or wax paper and arrange the flowers upside down so that they do not overlap. Close the book and forget about them for seven to ten days. Once all the moisture has evaporated and they have a paper-like texture, use your pressed flowers to make bookmarks, stationery, or fill a photo frame for a pretty wall decoration.

How to dry flowers: by air drying

Hanging a bouquet upside down is the most traditional technique for drying flowers . Gather the flowers in a bouquet and attach the stems with an elastic band. Hang the bouquet, upside down, in a well ventilated place, out of the direct sun, on a hook in the kitchen or in an empty cupboard for example. Watch the petals shrink and change color. In a few weeks you will have beautiful dried flowers in period tones. Organize them to make this pretty centerpiece.

How to dry flowers: the lazy way

Drying flowers in a vase is effortless. Place the stems in a few inches of water and forget them. Once all the water is evaporated, the flowers should be upright, clean but dry. Hydrangeas or baby sighs are good choices for this method, because flowers with softer stems may collapse. Simply use the vase as a table decoration or remove the bouquet, attach a ribbon around the stems and hang it on the wall.

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