Some may see dried flowers and herbs as a hobby but in fact you can save vast sums of money if you choose to dry your own florals as they are costly nearly anywhere that you purchase them and can be grown and dried for a tenth the sum that it would cost to purchase them.
Dried flowers are useful in arrangements and for bath salts, soaps as well as to use in many other craft items.
Dried Yarrow, Dyed Burgundy
To Dry Your Own
Pick your flowers in dry weather. Preferably you will pick them after 11 am, when the dew has evaporated from the ground, and bunch them into small bouquets, protected from dust by covering them with a sheet of paper.
To preserve their bright colors, hang flowers in a dry well ventilated area, with very little light, such as an attic, garage or a closet. Too much light will cause discoloration of the flowers, fading them
Herbs which will be used for cooking, should not be hung upside down, as this will deplete their essential oils. Instead, use paper towels or a wire screen to dry them, or, it can be done quite effectively in the microwave on low power, using paper towels below them.
Blue Salvia, Dried
PREVENTING PETAL DROP
To prevent your flowers from losing their petals while drying, pick them before they are fully opened up, and leave a sufficient amount of space between the hanging bouquets, or about six inches.
You can replace brittle stems with bits of metal florist wire, while the flower is still fresh.
Thread a length of wire through the stem and bloom of brittle flowers such as straw flowers, while they are fresh. Bend a small hook at the end and pull the wire down into the bloom to conceal it.
You can stabilize the colors of leaves by ironing them with a moderately hot iron. The larger ones can be ironed directly, such as maple and oak, while smaller more delicate ones can be ironed between the pages of newsprint .
The heat will set and stabilize the colors even if you don’t iron them or dip them into wax.