When I was 26, I bought a five-acre farmette in the rural midwest. The following spring, I was pleasantly surprised to find a bustling and well-established flower garden on the property. I had dreams of homesteading, and I couldn’t let all those beautiful blooms go to waste, so I learned how to dry flowers then how to make money with my dried flower crafts!

Let me share a little bit about what I learned with you so you, too, can create a side gig with these beautiful dried blooms.

There are several techniques for drying flowers. Each has pros and cons, but every method is useful depending on what you want to do with your dried flowers. If home decor is your goal, two techniques are better for creating decor flowers. If your goal is making crafts such as cards, bookmarks, or jewelry, I have techniques that are much more suitable for those crafts. I will go over all the uses for each method.

So let’s get into how to dry flowers at home!

Techniques for drying flowers at home:

Dried red roses on stems laying flat on a white marble background
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

We’re going to talk about four primary ways to preserve flowers at home:

  1. Air dried flowers
  2. Pressed flowers
  3. Silica sand preserved flowers
  4. Epoxy Resin preserved flowers.

How to Air Dry Flowers:

Bouquet of air-dried flowers in a glass jar on a round white table with wooden legs. More air dried flowers laying flat on the table and an empty glass jar in the background.
Photo by Visuel Colonie on Unsplash

Air dried flowers are probably the easier of the four methods. Air drying gives your flowers a beautiful vintage vibe, but they can be a bit delicate. I suggest this technique for wall hangings or decor that will be higher and out of reach. That way, you don’t risk them being knocked over or losing leaves from being brushed up against as people walk past them.

Air drying flowers is straightforward, but you must be patient as it can take weeks to get the finished product. That reminds me! Having a location to hang all of your drying flowers out of the way is probably an important factor in choosing this technique.

Pros of using this method:

  • Cost-effective
  • Requires minimal supplies
  • Super easy

The cons of this method:

  • Takes ups space
  • Requires patience (3-4 weeks drying time)
  • Losing some of the natural vibrance and brightness of the flowers (vintage vibes).

This method is also better for long-stemmed flowers or bouquets of different types of flowers.

Supplies needed:

  • Dried flowers of your choice. Air dried is excellent for long stem roses, larger blooms, or even bouquets you style before drying. 
  • Twine or string for hanging
  • Stick or a dowel for hanging bouquets to dry

Steps to air dry flowers:

  1. Take your long-stemmed flowers or bouquet and trim most of the leaves. You can leave some greenery, but you don’t want the green to overpower the muted colors of your flowers. 
  2. Tie flowers together using string or twine. Be sure to leave a long enough tail to hang your flowers. 
  3. Hang your flowers or bouquets upside down on a dowel or a stick. If you can, hang your flowers in a dark spot to help preserve some of the vibrance of the colors. 
  4. Wait: Leave your flower bouquets hanging for three to four weeks to get all the moisture out of the flowers. 
  5. Spray your dried bouquets with unscented hair spray to help protect the leaves and petals from falling off. 

How to use air-dried flowers:

  • Display your flowers in a vintage vase and place them on a tall dresser or entry table. 
  • Hang your flowers in a wall sconce
  • Create a dried flower wreath using a florist’s hoop. 
  • Add air-dried flowers as an alternative to bows on homemade gift wrapping. 
  • Hang air-dried flowers in vintage jars on a wall for a rustic farmhouse look.

Pressed Dry Flowers:

Image of yellow and white pressed flowers. Image also includes yellow and green foliage. Pressed flowers laying on a light blue background.
Photo by Cary Bates on Unsplash

Pressed flowers are another affordable way to air dry flowers. You only need a heavy book if you don’t want to invest in a flower press.

Pressed flowers are great for home decor as well as smaller craft projects such as:

  • Key chains
  • Book marks
  • Greeting cards
  • Botanical prints
  • And more

Typically when using this method, you dry only the flower heads rather than the entire stem. But if you have small flowers on thin stems, they can look beautiful on a pressed card or bookmark. Pressed flowers can also then be used in epoxy resin to create all sorts of other crafts.

Pressed flowers lose color, but they remain more vibrant than air-dried flowers.

The pros of using this method:

  • Minimal supplies are needed.
  • Excellent for smaller craft projects
  • An eco-friendly way to create a side gig such as selling bookmarks, keychains, and greeting cards.

The cons of using this method:

  • Better for smaller flowers with thinner stems and small flower heads. 
  • Does lose some of the color and vibrance of the flowers
  • Flattens the flowers for a two-dimensional 
  • It can take 3-4 weeks if using the book method.

Supplies needed:

  • Flowers of your choice. 
  • Watercolor paper or card stock
  • Parchment paper
  • Large, heavy book or a flower press.

Steps for pressed flowers:

  1. Remove leaves from flowers ( you can press the leaves separately) 
  2. Remove the flower head from the stem. If using smaller flowers, they can remain on the stem. 
  3. Arrange your flowers face down on a piece of parchment paper. Be careful to place them in the arrangement of your choice because they will stay on the card stock or watercolor paper in this way. 
  4. Place the parchment paper on top of a piece of card stock or watercolor paper. Place another piece of card stock on top of the flowers. Take your paper pile and place it about ⅔ of the way through a large book. Big dictionaries or encyclopedias work best. Feel free to reuse all your old college textbooks you couldn’t justify getting rid of. 
  5. Close the book over your paper and flowers and stack more heavy books on top of it. 
  6. Set aside in a corner where it will be undisturbed and wait 3-4 weeks.

How to use pressed flowers:

  • Homemade greeting cards. 
  • Book marks
  • In glass frames for floral wall decor. 
  • For making botanical prints. 
  • Floral paper lanterns
  • In Epoxy Resin crafts (see below).

Silica Sand Preserved Flowers:

A women's hand holding a large dried white flower with red and green foliage on a stem on a light grey background.
Photo by Katsia Jazwinska on Unsplash

There are two ways to use silica sand to preserve or dry flowers. One method is quick and simple but does lose more color than the other technique. The second way takes much longer but preserves more of the color in the flowers.

The pros of using this method:

  • Best for preserving larger flowers with hearty flower heads such as roses, Gerber daisies, tulips, and mums. 
  • Preserve the color and structure of the slower well. 
  • Can be done with flowers on or off the stem.

The cons of using this method:

  • You need to buy silica gel or silica sand.
  • The silica is heavy, which can damage the structure of more delicate flowers
  • Silica gel or sand is only available in larger amounts.

Supplies Needed: 

  • Flowers of your choice: roses, mums, tulips, or Gerber daisies are best for this technique. 
  • Silica sand or silica gel. 
  • A container large enough to hold enough silica to cover the entire flower head. 
  • Time: This method can take 3-4 weeks for the flowers to dry out completely.

Steps for Silica Sand Preserved Flowers:

  1. Remove stems and leave from flowers. If leaving stems attached, you will need a larger Tupperware container. 
  2. Place a layer of silica gel or sand at the bottom of your Tupperware container. 
  3. Add your flowers. 
  4. Gently cover your flowers with the remaining silica gel or sand. 
  5. Set aside for up to a week in a cool dark place.
  6. Once dried, remove the flowers from the silica and use a brush to get any remaining gel or sand off of the petals. 
  7. Optional: Spray your dried flowers with unscented hairspray to keep the petals intact.

*heat and sunlight can drain any remaining color from dried flowers* 

Alternative or Quick version:

If you don’t want to wait for the flowers to dry in the silica sand or gel, you can use the same method described above and microwave your container at 30-second intervals until the flowers are dry. The microwave method is faster, but it can drain more of the color.

How to use silica sand preserved flowers:

  • In a shallow glass dish for a floral centerpiece. 
  • In shadowboxes for home decor. 
  • Create botanical wall art using vintage or glass picture frames.

Epoxy Resin Preserved Flowers:

Preserving flowers in epoxy resin is like pausing time. Your flowers sit in a globe of epoxy, looking just as beautiful as the day you picked them. You don’t have to worry about losing any petals or leaves to the aging process, and they are perfectly preserved (in a hard plastic bubble).

Using epoxy, you can infuse your botanicals into custom cell phone covers, jewelry, coaster, keychains, bookmarks, and much more. 

Epoxy requires that you work quickly and precisely to prevent unwanted bubbles and accomplish your work before the epoxy begins to set.

The pros of using this method:

  • Versatile: tons of crafts and custom DIY projects you can make using epoxy
  • Bright colors: The epoxy preserved your florals in the exact condition they were in the day you did your project. Vibrant colors that don’t age.

The cons of using this method:

  • Epoxy requires some skill and precision, but it’s super easy to learn. 
  • Molds and other materials are needed.
  • You must work quickly before the epoxy sets. 
  • Must allow adequate drying time.

Supplies Needed:

  • Epoxy Resin and Epoxy Catalyst
  • Craft Molds
  • Jewelry-making supplies if you’re making jewelry. 
  • Keychain supplies if you’re making keychains, etc. 
  • Dried flowers: Use any method depending on your project.

Steps for Epoxy Resin Preserved Flowers:

  1. Follow the instructions on your epoxy, but it’s typically equal parts epoxy to activator. We suggest that you use disposable measuring cups. Mix your epoxy and activator according to their instructions, usually a set amount of time for mixing. 
  2. Place your flowers into your molds and gently pour the epoxy mixture over your flowers. 
  3. Set aside your molds in a cool dark place and allow them to set according to your epoxy’s instructions. Typically at least 8 hours or overnight.

How to use Epoxy Resin Preserved Flowers:

  • Floral coasters
  • Custom Jewelry
  • Custom keychains
  • Epoxy bookmarks
  • Custom book en! ds
  • Epoxy-coated tables and serving ware
  • DIY photo frames
  • And More!

Check out some of our recent crafts that use dried flowers!

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