Preserving Flowers With Sand
The art of preserving flowers with sand is a delicate but beautiful process that involves giving your fresh flowers a long and durable life. It is a time-consuming process that requires a lot of practice and effort, however using sand as a drying agent isn't very uncommon, especially in places where other materials are not available. That said, if you have commercial ambitions behind your preserved flower arrangements, then preserving flowers with sand might not be the quickest way to go about it.
However, you will find that by using such a technique, you give your flowers a special something that cannot be, otherwise, obtained by working with other drying agents, especially the chemical variety. So here's how you can go about preserving flowers with sand.
Small Scale Flower Preservation
When starting out in the hobby and unsure whether you would like to spend a lot of time and effort on it, then preserving flowers with sand is a great and cheap way to get started. The thing about preserving flowers with sand is that it can happen anywhere, without the need for too many specialized equipment and what's more, if you get things right, you can even use these containers directly for storing these flowers as part of your display.
When it comes to using sand, each flower requires individual attention and care. If you have the initial time and patience to lend to this setup, then you will reap the rewards of the hobby for many years to come. All you need is a box that's about five to six inches high and has relatively thick walls. The longer it is, the better it is for you to maintain your flowers in and the more space you will have for that.
Basically, the equipment you need to start preserving flowers with sand is something you can find in your own home and the maximum you might need is a hole at the bottom, which can be covered, to create the kind of opening you need to get rid of the sand, if required. A fine wire-mesh or a wire-cloth needs to be fitted about an inch from the bottom of the box. This needs to be nailed in, if required, and needs to stay in place at all times.
The Important Bits for Preserving Flowers with Sand
The best kind of sand is the white silver-sand or fine river sand that does the job quite well. Whatever sand you use, you need to make sure that it is completely free of impurities and, most importantly, completely dry. You need to wash the sand in water and make sure that there are no impurities or dust in it. Keep washing and rinsing it until the water is completely clear. After that, you need to start filling your container with sand, but make sure the sand is dry before you put it in.
If you are giving trouble drying your sand, just put it out under the Sun for a while or just layer it evenly and thinly on a tray and leave it in the oven for a little bit, say about half an hour at around 250 degrees. Basically, leave it in until you are completely sure that there is no moisture in it. Once you have the sand in the dry state that you need it to be in, cover the bottom of the box to about half an inch over the sieve that you have inserted. This will give you the kind of grip you need to create to start placing the flowers in the box, which is your next step.
Placing Flowers for Preservation
Once you have the container filled to about half-inch above the sieve, you can start placing the flowers into the box. The general rule to be followed is, flat flowers need to be placed face down while any flowers that are bell-shaped, or have even a slight cup-shaped petal structure, it goes in facing upwards. The idea is that the flowers need to be covered, in and out, with the sand. As a result, you need the sand to go into every corner of the flower and that means, you will need to pour sand carefully into the cup-shaped flowers as well.
First, you need to fill the outside of the flower with sand, covering up every side. Make sure that the outer or lower structure of the flower is completely supported by sand so that when you pour sand over the flower or into it, the shape of the flower doesn't change. Every flower should have its own space as well, again ensuring that one flower doesn't hinder another's shape or position or structural integrity. The shape of your preserved flower will depend largely upon the way the sand has been spread around the flower.
Then, you slowly start pouring sand into the flower and once the flowers are covered completely, with about an inch of sand at least, you can just put the entire container into a warm and dry room, like a greenhouse, and leave it in. Once the flowers are dry, a process that could take anywhere between 3- to 6-weeks, based on the environmental conditions, you can take them out gently and put them up on display. Your hobby of preserving flowers with sand then enters the part where you need to arrange it.
You can attach stems to your flowers if they don't have one already and then, present them in spectacular arrangements. Just make sure that you are careful when handling these delicate flowers because, after all, you don't want to end up breaking or damaging them after you have spent so many hours preserving flowers with sand.