When it comes to things to embed in resin, flowers have got to be one of my all-time favorites. They add charm and personality to resin paperweights, jewelry, and more. But, before you add flowers to resin, there are a few things you need to know, including how to dry them.
Why do flowers need to be dry before including them in resin?
If you don’t, the flowers will change color and look awful. Your radiant reds and gorgeous greens will turn the color of mud if you don’t dry them first. If you don’t believe me, you can see for yourself what happens when you put fresh flowers in resin.
Now that you know drying the flowers before putting them in resin is essential, how do you do that?
There are a few different ways, but one of my favorites is to use flower desiccant. It’s a sandy material that absorbs flower moisture. As a result, your flowers dry slowly but maintain their natural shape. I’m going to show you the process of how to dry flowers with some roses I dried recently for a future epoxy project.
Because I’m a little nerdy about my epoxy resin experiments, I let some of the roses dry naturally in a jar. I’ll share my results there, too, for comparison.
Step 1: Gather supplies
Besides fresh flowers, you’re going to need a container. I’m using a plastic tub with a tight-fitting lid for the desiccant.
Step 2: Add a drying layer
Pour a small amount of sand desiccant into the bottom of the container.
Step 3: Cut the flower
This part was the hardest for me. I very much wanted to enjoy these roses while they were full and colorful. But, to maintain the shape while drying, you must dry them before they go droopy. Be sure to leave a little bit of stem on them. This will help them stay upright in the container.
Step 4: Place in the container
Nestle the flowers in the sandy base leaving room between the rosebuds.
Step 5: Fill with desiccant
Fill the container, so your flowers are completely surrounded by drying material.
Then, close it with a tight-fitting lid.
Step 6: Wait
You’re going to have to wait days for your flowers to dry. I left these roses in the container for twelve days. There was no real reason for that number except it was the holidays and it wasn’t a priority to check on them.
Step 7: Remove the flowers
Open the container and pour off the sand.
Then, gently lift out the flower.
There will be sand particles that you will need to shake out.
Before I show you the results, here’s how I set up the other roses to air dry.
Step 1: Put in a jar
I grabbed a few other stems and put them in a glass jar without water. They stayed next to the ones in the container, but I got to enjoy these.
Step 2: Wait
Okay, so this is the more hands-off way of how to dry flowers for resin, and you might be tempted to do it this way. But, before you do, why don’t we look at the results?
The flower on the left is the one that air-dried. It looks more crumpled and not as smooth as the desiccant-dried flower.
When viewed from the side, you can see the desiccant-dried flower kept more of its original color.
I prefer the desiccant dried rose. Which one do you prefer?
Pro tip: You know those packs you find in packages that say ‘don’t eat this’? Those are silica gel beads and you can use them to dry flowers for resin. But, there is something you need to know first. Read this about using silica gel beads for drying flowers.
What do you do if you want to dry flowers for resin but don’t have days to do it?
If you don’t mind smashing the flowers flat, you can have dried flowers for resin in a couple of minutes. How? You use an appliance you probably have in your kitchen. Learn how to dry flowers in a microwave.
Now that you’ve learned how to dry flowers for resin, what’s next?
That’s where my ebook, Resin Jewelry Making, comes in. It gives you ideas on how to turn those dried flowers into jewelry you can keep, share or even sell. Buy the ebook PDF now, and it’s yours to download in minutes.
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