How to dry flowers for use in resin
This is Part 1 of a series
I decided for 2015, I would focus on learning more about the things I have been postponing. One of those things is using dried flowers in resin. Many of you have asked me about techniques and such, but I have minimal experience in this area. I decided learning more about this was going to be my first priority for the new year.
I bought a colorful bouquet of flowers from my local supermarket. Disclaimer: I know NOTHING about flowers. In fact, I’m horrible with plants. I will do my best to refer to their names, but I can’t guarantee that I will call it what it really is.
I was also lucky that the bouquet for my Christmas dinner table fit so well into this experiment.
For the first experiment, I decided to try drying some of the flowers in the silica gel. There were two sets of instructions; I decided to try packing them with the gel and waiting for them to dry (as opposed to heating them in the microwave).
As for the silica gel brand I used, I simply did a web search for ‘silica gel to dry flowers’. What you see here is what came up. The five pound bag cost less than $5 and another $10 or so to ship. (Be sure to follow the safety precautions listed on the bag.)
I lined a plastic snap top container with approximately 1 inch of the silica gel beads. I picked off full hydrangea flowers and placed them on the layer of beads. I tried to arrange them so that they would dry in a ‘natural’ shape.
After placing the flowers on the gel layer, I covered them with another 1/2 inch of silica gel beads, then closed the container tightly. The directions on the bag said one week was enough, but I let them sit for two.
How did the flower turn out?
Definitely kept its shape. That part will be nice if I want to use it in a three dimensional mold like one of our resin sphere molds.
Flower feels very dry. I’m not worried at all that it needs more time to dry.
The silica gel pellets left divets the same size on the petals. I don’t know if that will correct itself in the resin or not.
The pretty pink color completely left the flower. Not that anyone else would know, but I do. Ugh.
So here’s what I’m tasking myself for future projects:
Try the silica gel heated in the microwave.
Cast the dried flower above in resin and see if the indentations remain.
What has been your experience using silica gel to dry flowers?
Next on the experiment table is using parchment paper to dry flowers.
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