Instructables

Freeze drying flowers at home????

Ok, so I've done a little searching and so far no one has said this can be done without expensive equiptment so I'm not getting my hopes up.  
Here's my idea:
 Place my flowers in a container with silica gel, seal it, and put the whole thing in a deep freezer for a couple weeks.  Then I would unplug the freezer to allow the temperature to slowly rise.  I THINK the silica gel will eliminate the need for a vacuum by absorbing the moisture instead of pulling it out.  Its a long shot, I know. 

Has anyone tried this?  Does anyone think it would work?  Has anyone found another way to preserve flowers so they maintain their shape and color?
I plan on coating them in resin to use in jewelry designs so they need to look as fresh as possible. Thanks for any ideas you can give me!

fchow88882 years ago
Get a mason jar or maybe something even larger what a screw on cap that has a flexible seal around the perimeter of the cap. Large jars for vegetables like beets are available.

Put a layer of dry uncooked rice in the bottom.

Put in the flowers.

Put on the lid.

Punch a pinhole in the center of the lid with a pushpin.

Put a small piece of HVAC foil tape over the hole but do not press it down firmly. You can press just one end down firmly. It has to be able to rise up a bit as air comes out the hold, like a valve.

Use a small handheld vacuum pump to remove the air from the jar. You can get the ziploc vacuum pump for a couple of bucks on the internet.

After removing as much air as you can, press down the foil tape all over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZLRvKwYtzg

Put the jar in the fridge for a couple of weeks or more.

rickharris3 years ago
You have no need to freeze them - The silica gel will do it's job for you - Put them in a warm place for a week or 2 and then you can encapsulate them. I made paperweights like this for a while.

A rose takes about 3 weeks to dry fully.

You can also preserve wedding bouquets like this.
iceng3 years ago
It sounds like you know about the triple point of H2O.
My wife's father collected mosses and small flowers in the dry state 
of Nevada and put them between the pages of large books for a
couple of months.
He created a large hard bound colorful book detailing the mosses
and flowers of a single mountain meadow and donated it to the
land owner's natural history museum.

A
frollard3 years ago
I'd say give it a try, but really freeze drying is all about the vacuum - causing the water to sublimate from solid to gas.

Good news though is it's easy to set up a diy vacuum pump. (see the many ibles on the topic).
yokozuna3 years ago
Sadly, i know of a method to do each, but not a method to do both. Most people know that you can close a flower in a book and it will retain it's color (but obviously loses the shape by being flattened). The other method- hang a flower upside down, and gravity won't pull it apart. After it dries out (and thus losing color) you can laquer the flower and it will hold it's shape. They're often also painted, so if you're good with a paintbrush, you might be able to pull off something that works for your jewelry line. Hope your project works out, and of course remember to document so you can share it later!