If you want to preserve natural flowers in resin, make sure they are completely dry first. Otherwise, they will rot or become sludgy and moldy over time. Moreover, they can resin that moisture in your resin piece, causing it to turn brown and cloudy.
But how do you dry flowers intended for use in epoxy? Where do you even get started?
Well, there’re various techniques you can use to preserve your precious bouquet. In this article, I’ll show you 6 effective and most popular methods on how to dry out flowers fast!
We’ve sorted it from the quickest flower drying methods to the slowest. So here’s how to dry and press dandelion, daisy, hydrangea, hibiscus, lavender, calendula, bouquet flowers, etc.
Drying Flowers in Microwave Oven without Silica
Drying flowers with a microwave Similar to the food dehydrator method, microwaving is the ideal approach for impatient pressers. It’s considered the fastest drying method out there. In addition to being quick, this approach preserving the petals’ vibrancy.
The microwave emits heat that turns moisture in the petals into vapor.
This vapor then escapes from blooms, allowing them to dry out. The best blooms to dry out with a microwave are; daisies and roses. It’s also an excellent option for most pale-colored and white petals.
Microwaving may sound intimidating, but it’s quite simple! You need to take your petals or the entire flower, lay them flat on a paper, and fold them over. After that, use a kitchen towel to cover the paper and put it in the microwave.
Add a weight on top of your paper to press it down. Alternatively, you can place the petals between two flat microwave-safe tiles/ ceramic plates.
Run your microwave in 30-60 seconds bursts using the moderate setting. Don’t run the microwave for a long time since it can blacken or burn the bloom. Also, allow everything to cool down completely after every cycle.
- Quickest method of drying blooms
- Efficient and easy process
- Preserves the vibrancy of the petals
- May overheat and destroy some varieties
How to Dry Flowers with Food Dehydrator
Using a food dehydrator is one of the fastest methods of dry flowers for epoxy. Unlike most techniques we’ve looked at above, this method can give you noticeable results in just 24 hours! Besides, you just need to put your petals in the dehydrator and walk away.
However, remember to rate the trays a few times within that duration.
The other great thing about this approach is that petals maintain their color and shape. Drying blooms with a food dehydrator is a relatively simple process as well.
First, choose the flowers you intend to dry, especially when they’re in full bloom. Note, this method works well for medium- or small-sized blooms that will fit in the dehydrator. It’s an excellent option for drying potpourri, raspberry leaf, chamomile, and rosehips.
Next, clip off the little leaves and stem. Arrange them on the dehydrator trays and turn them on. Make sure the blooms aren’t overlapping.
During the drying time, rotate the dehydrator trays about 2 to 4 times. After 24 hours, take out the varieties that have dried fully. If there are flowers that are not yet ready, let them stay in the unit a bit longer. Lastly, seal the petals with a spray sealer, hairspray, or mod podge.
- Straightforward process
- Excellent method for drying small-/ medium-sized blooms like potpourri
- A relatively fast method
- Some varieties leave a small on the trays
- Most petals change their color
Drying Flowers with Silica Gel, for Epoxy Art
The use of silica gel is another effective method that you can use to dry flowers. This technique works best for delicate varieties such as lilies. Pick the flowers is before they’re fully open. This method isn’t as cheap as the air-dry method since you’ve to buy silica gel.
Nonetheless, it’s cost-effective since you can use silica gel to dry flowers over and over again.
One thing you need to note is that this technique works much like sand. Silica gel comprises tiny white and blue crystals. These granules absorb moisture from the petals and plants. The blue crystals change their color to pink when they extract moisture.
This allows you to determine how much moisture they’ve extracted from the petals. If you want to reuse the gel, bake it first to remove all the moisture.
To use this technique, look for a container that can accommodate the entire flower with its stem. More importantly, ensure the container is airtight. Now, pour some silica gel into the container. Put the blooms into the gel and make sure they stand upright.
Some types like delphiniums and snapdragons dry well when they’re inserted flat onto the gel.
After inserting the blooms, pour more gel onto the container to cover them completely. Keep the container in a warm and dry place, and let them dry. Drying flowers in silica can take 2 – 4 days. Remember to wear a pair of gloves and an air filter mask when working with silica!
- Silica gel crystals are reusable
- Preserves the entire bloom
- Simple, quick, and effective technique
- Easy to monitor the drying process
- Retains the amazing colors of the petals
- Pouring too many crystals can damage the petals
Drying Flowers with Sand or, Cat Litter
The last method on our list that you can use to dry our petals is the sand or kitty litter technique. This method works the same way as the silica gel. In other words, it pulls out moisture from the petals, causing them to dry.
To dry the bloom with sand or kitty litter, cut the stems about 1 inch from the head first. Then put the bloom heads in a container. Make sure the container is at least two inches taller than your flower.
Carefully pour sand/ kitty litter over your flowers until they’re completely covered. Cover the container with a lid, set it aside, and leave it for about 10 to 20 days. After that duration, gently remove your flower from the container.
Remove the remaining kitty litter/ sand with a soft bristle brush.
On the downside, tiny sand grains may get stuck in your blooms. Removing these grains can be tedious, especially if your petals have deep crevices. Luckily, you can simply hang the flowers upside down to remove the excess grains.
Other than that, sand is cheap and readily available. You can even get it at the beach for free!
- Simple and cheap process
- Gives you control over the process
- Sand is a readily available material
- Petals don’t retain their vibrancy
- Can easily damage the blooms during the removal
Air Drying Flowers for Epoxy Resin
The air-dry method is the easiest and the most popular technique of drying flowers for resin. It’s a traditional approach that involves hanging up blooms and leaving them to dry. They can take up to 3 weeks to dry using this method.
During that period, the flowers should not be disturbed at all. This will allow nature to dry them out over time, as you wait for the final results.
If possible, hang out the flowers in a dark room with adequate ventilation and good airflow. Keeping them in a dark room protects them from sunlight, helping them retain their color. Now, tightly tie a piece of string or rope between 2 pints to create a hanging line.
Tie a piece of string or a rubber band around the stems of your blooms. Then attach the rubber bands/ string to a rod/ coat hanger and hang them upside down. Leave them to dry!
Once they have dried out, spray them with an unscented hairspray. This gives the petals durable protection. They’re now ready to be embedded in resin! This technique works best for robust blooms and bouquets.
You can use it to dry roses, lavender, sunflowers, yarrow, and poppy.
- Allows you to dry the entire bouquet without separating the flowers
- Very simple to do
- Requires minimum supplies
- Petals retain their color, shape, and scent
- Increases the petals’ lifetime
- Time-consuming (can take 3 to 4 weeks).
- Some varieties can crinkle and shrink
- The flowers can break easily after drying
- Not ideal for orchids
How to Press and Dry Flowers Quickly for Resin
As the name suggests, this procedure involves pressing petals until they’re flattened. It’s another traditional technique that has been used to preserve leaves for years.
With this method, make sure the petals are completely free from moisture/ condensation. To accomplish that, you need to put the petals on absorbent material. This includes something like parchment paper or even a napkin.
So if you’ve ever wondered how to dry flowers in a book…here’s the trick!
Carefully arrange them in a flower press or a heavy book. Then place a heavy object on top of the book. Leave the petals for about 3 to 4 weeks to dry. This approach flattens the petals, making it easy to frame and hang them on the wall.
This technique is ideal for drying blooms that have flat petals. Such varieties include; pansies, poppies, Gladiolus, Delphiniums, and Geraniums. However, avoid opening the book/ press before petals are completely dry. Otherwise, they’ll be damaged or even change their color.
- Doesn’t require special supplies/ ingredients
- Creates amazing flat flowers
- Quite simple and cheap method
- Ideal for multiple craft projects
- The book can easily damage the petals
- Petals may not retail their full vibrancy
- Can take up to 30 days
To preserve flowers and petals in epoxy, you need to dry them first. And as you can see, there are so many techniques you can use to achieve that. You can use any of these techniques at home to make your bouquet last forever.
Besides, you can apply any technique for various resin casting projects.
However, remember to keep your blooms away from direct sunlight. Otherwise, they may bleach or lose their luminescence over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can you embed flowers in resin without drying them first?
Fresh petals and leaves can decompose when embedded in epoxy. To prevent that, it’s important to ensure they’ve been dried fully first.
2. Which is the best technique for drying flowers to use in resin?
The best drying method will depend on your project needs and preference. For instance, if you’re in a hurry, microwaving is the best method since it’s the fastest. On the other hand, if you want the cheapest method, you can go with the air-dry or press technique.
3. How do you preserve the color of the dried flowers?
To retain the color of dried flowers, cut them before they open full and tie them in bundles. After that, hang them in a dark room in an upside-down position. Leave them for about 10 to 20 days to air dry. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight since it can cause them to bleach.