Dried Flowers are a great crafting material, but it requires some prep before using which is like a crafting project in its own way!
Total Project Time: ~2 hours to 4 days
The more I get into epoxy, the more I want materials that I can cast inside the resin to add that bit of pop to the projects. And dried flowers are a great material. There are two main methods that I explored when it came to drying flowers: air drying and pressing. Both provides their own challenges and unique look. And the types of flowers they can affect are different, I will break down each section by processing type so let’s get into it!
Both processes are simple in what they require. More than likely, you’ll find that you have these materials lying around your home.
- Wire Coat Hanger
The flowers for this method generally will be those that have some volume and wouldn’t do well lying flat.
- Parchment Paper
- Iron / Ironing Board
- Some Heavy Books
Flowers that can lie flat are preferred for this method.
Both processes are also simple in their process and don’t really take a lot of active time. We’re going to start with the air-drying process.
I found air drying works very well with flowers that have volume. The biggest example of something with volume that I like to dry would be roses. In this example, I decided to dry some flowers that I found in my front yard. I have no idea what they are. They might even be weeds but I like them because they look pretty.
To start the drying process, the twin is used to tie the flower stems for hanging. You don’t want to have too many stems in a bunch because air needs to get be able to reach the flowers and get in there to dry everything out. With one end of the twine tied to the flower stems, the other end will be tied to the wire coat hanger. The flowers should be hung up somewhere dark (I like using a closet) – this is done to preserve the color of the flowers. The drying process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 days depending on the volume of the flower.
I grew up hearing about pressing flowers inside of books, but it always seemed like such a tedious process. Also, I was always nervous that I would hurt the book with the moisture from the flower. But I found a more instant method of pressing that I really like.
The first step is laying the flower between two layers of parchment paper and then helping the process by laying books on top. I had some old textbooks lying around so it seemed like the best way to add a decent amount of weight to the project. I generally let the flowers rest for about an hour or two before moving onto the final step. On a low heat, you want to iron the flowers through the parchment paper. The paper will be able to handle the heat (I mean, it’s used to an oven), while taking the moisture out of the flowers. And there you have it! Considering what this method is doing, I am curious how a dehydrator would work for drying flowers, but I do not have one of those yet.
Be Careful of Mold!
When air drying flowers, you need to be careful about mold building up on the project. Mold tends to grow where there is excess moisture and in a dark environment. This is why it’s good to separate the flowers because it reduces the amount of moisture build up. If you’re really worried about mold – it’s a good idea to hang the flowers in the sun to remove some of the moisture before putting them in a dark place.
Watch Your Heat.
If the iron is too hot when pressing flowers, they will disintegrate. Flowers aren’t meant to handle high heats which means you must be very delicate when handling them. I may have disintegrated my more delicate flowers when I first did this. While using low heat may take a little longer, patience is the key to this process. More heat will ruin it.
- Separate flowers into small bunches.
- Use twine to connect the flower bunches to the wire coat hanger.
- Hang to dry in a place without light (like a closet)
- Leave for several days.
- Remove flowers from stems, place between two sheets of parchment paper how you want them to be flattened.
- Weight down project with books for one to two hours to establish shaping.
- Iron flowers on low heat through the parchment paper.