Saturday, March 23, 2013

A comparison of Flower Drying Media

While the weather and bronchitis have kept me from my regular wrecking ball rounds the last week or so, I decided to try out some new media I had purchased for drying flowers. You can see the results below. Out of the 6 pansies, 2 of them looked pretty good. the others might be used in some project, but they look sort of over dried. This was the second batch I dried with this media. The first time I followed the instructions and put it in the microwave. The flowers came out looking cooked (brown). All the color was lost although the shape was retained. Using time instead of heat definitely worked better. This was after about 5 days in the drying media.
 The pansies dried in pure sand from the Gulf of Mexico worked better than any of the other media. The pansies retained their shape and color.
 For some time I have been saving the little DO NOT EAT packets that come in everything from decorative boxes to medicine bottles. I was surprised to find that there were several different kinds of substances in these packets. One was silica gel balls, one was something that resembled ground charcoal, one resembled clay bits (kitty litter?), and some of the packets seemed to be a mixture of these. At any rate, I don't recommend these for making dried flowers.

 This last picture shows some pansies dried in some 40 year old silica gel  balls that have been shuffling around in the attic for most of it's life. It had turned pink, indicating it needed to be heated to drive off the water and it readily turned blue. You can see after drying the flowers and sitting exposed to the air it has picked up moisture again and is somewhat pink. This media did a pretty good job, but the clear winner to me was just regular old free beach sand (silica), free for the taking. Of course the trip to the beach cost something, but then I was going anyway. regular play sand might do as well. I didn't test that.

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