|Picture this stack
from the bottom up; microwave-safe plate, doubled paper towel, flowers delicately laid out,
doubled paper towel, microwave-safe plate.
stack into the microwave and heat on high for about 40 seconds (this depends on the
flower, delicate petals will dry in about 20 seconds, ferns take about 50 seconds). Check
to see if the flowers feel dry, but not crisp. If they still feel really damp, put them
back in for about 10 seconds. Repeat as necessary.
The paper towels soak up the moisture and the plates get wet
so I dry the plates and switch paper towels between each batch. You can just let the paper
towels sit out for a few minutes to dry so that you won't use so many.
It's best to let the flowers rest on a paper towel for a few
hours before using it in your work. They seem to last better.
I've tried a lot of flowers that didn't work at all and lots
that have worked very well.
Flowers and an acacia leaf dried in
the microwave. Notice how translucent the bougainvillea is.
|Experiment! I've noticed that the
really delicate petals (like, say, a California poppy or an anemone) are very delicate and
turn brown if you dry them for more than 20 seconds or so.
Pansies work really well, oxalis not at all. Ferns work great as do acacia
leaves. Vinca works well but you can only heat for a very few seconds. Bougainvillea and
phlox also look great when dried this way.
As an experiment I did this with a bunch of poinsettia
leaves. I also did some at the same time in a flower press. They looked exactly the same
when all done (except that the pressed leaves took 2 weeks to get there). I call this
method the "Poor Man's Microfleur." I was watching a video in which they were
selling a special device made for this but didn't want to come off the $40 bucks or
whatever. I thought, "Hey, I could do that with my microwave-safe
plates!" The first
batch came out perfectly so I got lots of confidence and now I dry just about everything.