How to Weave a Daisy Chain, and Press and Dry Flowers

Tips on weaving a daisy chain and how to press and dry flowers

Beautiful flowers often don't last long enough for us to fully enjoy them. Follow these tips for drying and pressing your delicate blooms and explore other uses for flowers, such as weaving sweet-smelling necklaces from daisies and dandelions.

How to Weave a Daisy Chain, and Press and Dry Flowers

1. Weave a pretty daisy chain

Children love to wear necklaces and garlands of daisy or dandelion chains, and will enjoy the process of making them.  Gather flowers with thick, strong, long stems.

  1. Use a thumbnail to make a split in a stem just big enough to allow you to poke another stem through and continue until you have your chain.
  2. Try to make each split the same distance from the flower head. The closer to the head, the more dense and colourful the chain.
  3. To close the circle, poke the last stem through a small split in the top of the first flower and pull.

2. Press flowers

You will need:

  • Blotting paper
  • Tray
  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Heavy books or heavy microwave-proof dish and microwave

Pressing with books

  1. Put three or four sheets of newspaper on a tray and cover with a sheet of blotting paper. Place the flowers on top, well spaced out.
  2. Cover with another sheet of blotting paper and three or four sheets of newspaper. Place heavy books on top and leave for two weeks in a cool, dry place.
  3. Remove blotting paper carefully to avoid damaging flowers. Leave for another week if not completely dry.

Prepare as above, but using paper towels, rather than newspaper, and a microwave-proof plate or the turntable, rather than a tray. Place a heavy dish on top, then microwave on medium power in one minute bursts, checking for dryness each time.  Flowers should be stiff and the paper still slightly damp — it should take three to four minutes.

3. Dry flowers

You will need:

  • Cut flowers
  • Elastic bands
  • String and coat hangers, or silica gel crystals
  • Shallow airtight glass or plastic container and microwave oven (optional)

Air drying

  1. Strip off untidy lower leaves.
  2. Secure bunches of up to 10 stems with an elastic band (the stems will shrink as they dry and fall out if tied with string), tie to hangers with string of different lengths and hang in a dark, warm, well-ventilated place for up to two weeks.

Using silica gel

  1. Line the base of an airtight container with 2.5 centimetres (one inch) of silica gel then push in trimmed flower heads, face upwards and spaced well apart.
  2. Cover with another 2.5 centimetres (one inch) layer of gel, seal and leave for three to five days. Alternatively, microwave on high for two minutes for delicate blooms and four minutes for fleshier ones.
  3. Cool for 20 minutes. Check that flowers are totally dry before removing.
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