Learning how to dry flowers and create all sorts of DIY projects and activities with them is a really great way to bond with your children, while you also teach them to love and appreciate nature, and spend more time in the garden. So if you’re looking for a way to get your children outside and interested in gardening, you can start by teaching them how to dry flowers. Today, we’ve prepared a couple of methods that can be quite fun for the kids, as well as 3 activities you can do together using the flowers you’ve pressed.
Perhaps one of the most popular methods of drying flowers is pressing them in a heavy book. What you have to remember is that you should only use this method with relatively flat flowers, for the best results. Thicker ones, or flowers that have a fleshy stem, might not end up properly pressed. Moreover, extra thin ones might not survive you pressing them.
The process of pressing flowers isn’t at all difficult. After you’ve gathered them, ask your child to help you prepare some paper tissues to arrange the flowers on. Then, use another tissue to cover them. The trick to drying them properly is to find a large and heavy book. Place the flowers in there, making sure you stack them in a place where they’ll stay warm and dry.
Remember to remind your kids to check on the flowers regularly. That’s because, after the first week, you’re going to have to replace the tissues. It will take a couple of weeks for the flowers to press. You’ll know they’re ready when they’re paper thin, crisp, and transparent when placed in the light.
If you need to know how to dry flowers which are sturdier, the answer is by air-drying them. Go look for flowers to air-dry with your kids, since this activity in itself can be entertaining. That’s because you’ll have to choose flowers which are 100 percent healthy, in order to avoid the pest damage showing after they’ve dried. Furthermore, you’re going to have to select flowers which are barely opened. That way, they’ll keep on opening as they dry, and you’ll also avoid petals falling off.
The process of preparing the flowers for air-drying is also quite crafty. Try to get your child to help you with it, especially if he or she enjoy crafty projects. You’ll have to separate the flowers according to their species, strip all the leaves from the stem, and then create bouquets of 10 flowers at most. In order to make sure the bouquets will stick together, tie a rubber band around their end. The rubber band ensures that as they dry and shrink, they will stay together.
Now, here comes the best part of this DIY, namely hanging the bouquets. Allow your child to choose the place where they want to hang it. The bouquets can become decorative objects as they dry. Just remember the place should be dry, warm, and quite dark. A place with good air circulation is also desirable. In about 4 weeks, the flowers will become crisp. If you want, you can spray them with hairspray in order to set and preserve them.
A more complicated way of drying flowers, this one involves using a desiccant of your choice and burying the flowers in it. This method works best for large flowers or flowers which are particularly delicate. The desiccant can be silica gel (best and fastest option), white cornmeal and borax, or fine sand. Due to the extra-absorbent nature of the desiccant, the water will be pulled out of the flowers. If you want to make sure the flowers keep their lovely color even as they dry, add 3 tablespoons of non-iodized salt to each quart of desiccant.
The container where you’re going to place the flowers is also important. Ideally, you should find one where you can fit the whole stem. If you’re going to use silica gel, it’s important to choose a container that you can seal completely. For the other two desiccant options, an open container is better. First, pour part of the desiccant in the container. Then, place the flowers and cover them in more desiccant. In the case of sand, you don’t have to bury the flowers all the way up. That’s because the sand mostly serves as support, while air actually dries the flowers.
The great thing about this method is that you learn how to dry flowers quickly. So if you know your child is impatient and wants to move on to cool dry flower activities faster, you might want to consider this method over the others. Just make sure you supervise your child at all times since you’ll be working with desiccant. Here’s where you can find “Dry&Dry” Silica Gel Packets to use for this DIY. In the case of silica gel, the flowers will dry in about 4 days, up to a week. The borax mixture can take up to 2 weeks, while the sand method takes up to 21 days. After you’ve carefully removed the flowers and used a brush to slowly brush away any desiccant left on them, you can seal them with hairspray.
Now that we’ve taught you how to dry flowers with your kids using 3 different methods, it’s time to see what you can actually do with these flowers. Luckily, there are a lot of fun projects and activities that might peak your child’s interest. We’re going to provide you with 3 of them today.
One of the simplest things you can do now that you’ve learned how to dry flowers is to use those flowers to decorate fragrant candles. If you and your child are fans of candles, you’re going to thoroughly enjoy this project. A lot of candles smell incredible, and they can really change the look of the room you place them in. Still, not that many are focused on appearance. If you want your candles to not only smell good but also look good, you could decorate them with some dried flowers.
All you need for this project are the flowers, a candle to decorate, a tea-light candle, and some rubber cement glue. We recommend the Elmers No-Wrinkle Rubber Cement that you can find here. Put some of it on the flowers and then affix them to the candle. Make sure their edges are perfectly pressed to all the curves of the candle. Then, light the tea-light candle and use a paintbrush to collect some melted wax. Place the wax over the flowers you’ve just added to the candle. The wax will act as glue, ensuring the flowers won’t fall off in time.
Making a dream catcher using dried flowers is one of the best ideas you could suggest to your children. That’s because dreamcatchers were used a long time ago as talismans. They were supposed to protect people – most commonly children – while they were sleeping, ensuring they would have no bad dreams or nightmares. If you think your child might be interested in decorating his/her bed or bedroom with a dreamcatcher, don’t hesitate to make one together.
There are many dreamcatcher DIYs online, from the simplest ones to some that are truly impressive. The kind of dreamcatcher you’re going to make depends on how much time you want to spend on it, and how you want it to look. Just remember that there are no wrong dreamcatchers. As long as you use your creativity and incorporate all sorts of dried flowers in the pattern, you’re going to end up creating a unique dreamcatcher. For instance, we particularly enjoy the dreamcatchers in the image below, where flowers were used to decorate the ring.
The great thing about making cards using dried flowers is that you don’t need a special occasion to do it. This is something you should teach your kids as well. Someone you really care about will always be happy to receive a handmade card from you. Especially if it contains dry flowers that you’ve picked and dried yourself. When it comes to this project, you can go in whichever direction you want. You can keep it simple and only use dry flowers, or you can add glitter, stickers, beads, and all kinds of decorative items.
All you need are some dried flowers, craft glue (such as the Craft Silicone Liquid Glue by Topenca Supplies that you can order here), some cardboard pieces (colorful or not), and other decorations (optional).
We hope today’s guide on how to dry flowers with your kids and use them for fun DIY projects and activities has managed to provide you with some cool ideas on how to keep your children entertained and get them interested in nature and spending more time outside in the garden. Remember that there are plenty of crafts that you can use dried flowers for. All you have to do is use your imagination and creativity.