Drying flowers in your microwave is a snap using Silica Gel! Silica Gel is a chemical that is used as a dehumidifying or dehydrating agent. It is often used in packaging to keep the packaged items dry since the gel will absorb any moisture. This gel can be purchased at most craft or department stores in the craft section and is a blue crystal-like product.
The purpose of drying flowers in this method is to remove the moisture from the flowers while keeping the form and color as original as possible.
Almost any type of flower can be dried using this method, but in particular roses, pansies, mums and daisies work well. Be sure to pick your flowers in the heat of the day when the moisture is of the petals. You will of course have to remove most of the stem (leave at least 1 inch), but if possible leave a few of the leaves.
The first thing you need to do is pick a microwave-safe container that will be large enough to hold your flower and enough gel to cover the whole flower. I would also not recommend using this container for food after using it for drying flowers.
Next cover the bottom of your container with at least ½ inch of the gel. Place the flower stem down into the gel, letting the flower stand upright. Carefully sprinkle more gel over the flower until it is completely covered. If at all possible hold onto the flower petals to keep them from spreading out as you sprinkle on the gel unless, of course, a more open look is what you are going for.
Depending on the size of your container and also the size of the flowers, you can do more than one at a time.
Place a small microwave-safe container holding 1 cup of water in the rear of your microwave. This little trick will provide a little added moisture and will prevent your flower from becoming too dry.
Now onto the drying process. This will take a little bit of trial and error, depending on the size of your flowers, the wattage of your microwave, and the number of flowers that you have in your container. Anywhere from 2 ½ to 3 minutes.
After the time is up, remove the container (this will be warm so use potholders) and set it aside. Let this cool completely before removing your flowers.
If your flowers are not completely dry, return to the gel, using the same steps as before, and continue to microwave in ½ minute intervals. Repeat the cooling and checking process. If at all possible keep a chart of your drying times to prevent yourself from having to go through this trial and error process each time.
After your flower is dry, carefully pour off the gel until the flower is exposed. Then carefully, using a small soft paintbrush, remove gel from petals. With a rose-type flower with deep petals, turn the flower upside down and gently tap to remove any embedded gel.
If you are not using your flowers directly, store them carefully since they are very fragile. These dried flowers are beautiful in arrangements and attached to wreaths. Save any petals that may come off for use in potpourris.
Silica Gel can be used many times. Used silica gel will turn pink due to the addition of moisture. Bake it in a 250-degree oven until it turns blue again to reuse.Silica Gel