Modern drying techniques at home – microwave drying with silica gel sand
Yesterday where I was drying my marguerite daisies the old fashioned way in the airing cupboard. Today 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. 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. 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.