Modern drying techniques at home – microwave drying with silica gel sand
After my post yesterday where I was drying my marguerite daisies the old fashioned way in the airing cupboard, I thought I’d have a go at a quick and easy way of drying flowers using silica gel.
Method for drying flowers using silica gel sand
Using the same technique I used for drying violas with silica gel beads, I covered the flowers with the silica gel sand – which is about the consistency of granulated sugar. I microwaved them in a tupperware container on high for 1 minute, then left to cool down for 1 hour before checking.
Results of drying the flowers
As you can see from the results above and below, the dried flowers look as good as fresh. I had to brush the remaining sand crystals from the flowers using a paintbrush.
The picture above shows how good the drying process is – you can just make out one or two grains of sand still attached.
How to improve on my drying techniques
Firstly the flower stems were very brittle, and if I had wanted to make them into a bunch, I would have had to use florist wire instead – I will write a post on that some time soon!
Update – I have now written a post about wiring dry flowers.
Secondly the photo shows fennel foliage, but although it dried well and was pretty in the picture, it shattered on handling – so not recommended!
Thirdly, I suspect that the flower centre, being thicker than the rest, may not have fully dried in the time, so I would experiment by microwaving again after the first cooling hour, and leaving to cool again. But I guess every flower is different.
Of course you can dry without heating – just leave sealed in the container with the sand for a day or two.