As important as the other sola wood procedures, we also agree that drying is an essential step in achieving quality dyed flowers. Proper drying methods contribute to flawless finished pieces. While there are different techniques used by other crafters, I will only be sharing what I have tried so far and what has worked for me.
Craft Supplies Needed
- Raw sola wood flowers
- Acrylic Paint or sola dye
- Drying rack
- Wire Mesh or Bamboo rack
- Tissue paper
- Parchment paper
- Floral foam
- Egg tray (PET or carton)
- Paper cup
Ways to Dry Sola Wood Flowers
Drying the flowers is the final step in our dyeing process. We have tutorials on the initial steps in the links below.
As soon as we lift the dyed flowers from the paint, we make sure to twist, turn, and jiggle the blooms so that the excess paint will drip quickly and easily. This will ensure an even shade all throughout the petals as well as prevent paint pooling and clogging at the base of the flowers when they are set to dry.
Method 1: Dry on Egg Trays
I use either plastic egg trays or cartons and any of the two is ok. I recommend this for cupped flowers or those that have elongated sides. The egg cups fully support the flowers upright. Again, make sure to shake excess paint or dye so they don’t gather at the bottom of the flowers and possibly extend drying time.
Method 2: Dry on a Rack or Tray
I generally choose any tray and put a wire mesh or bamboo rack on top. With the rack elevated, excess dye drips more efficiently without creating a pool around the flowers.
Method 3: Dry on Paper Cups
This method is recommended for flowers that have curled edges. I would dip-dye the sola flower really quickly, shake a bit then place it in a cup to dry. The cup should be just as wide as the diameter of the flower for an optimal support to the edges and minimize uncurling.
Method 4: Dry on a Tray with Tissue or Parchment Paper
I use a flat tray for this method. I usually cover it with either thick tissue or parchment paper. When lining the flowers to dry, make sure to leave enough space in between the blooms. The flowers could potentially stick to each other or paint drips could swamp the base if there’s too many flowers in a tray.
Method 5: Dry on a Floral Foam or Styrofoam
For flowers with thistles like daisies or curled flowers like peonies, I insert a toothpick stem to the base and dip it in the dyebath, swirling gently but quickly making sure they do not soak up too much paint. I directly stick the stems to a floral or Styrofoam depending on what is available.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take for wood flowers to dry?
Most flowers will take around 24 hours to dry. Bigger flowers may vary in their drying times so we leave them in the drying racks a while longer. If they’re dry to the touch, they are now ready for crafting.
What is the best method in drying sola wood flowers?
Any of the techniques above work. However, I found out that the more efficient methods would be where there’s more airflow, where flowers are elevated and where you allow excess paint to drip freely. These would be using a rack or with a toothpick stuck directly into a foam.
Is it ok to dry the flowers bloom side down?
Bloom side up or bloom side down is ok depending on the look you are going for. Remember, the color could be more concentrated on the part where the excess dye gathers. If you want darker tips, you can set it bloom side down. Either way, make sure to shake or spin before putting down. This will alleviate a lot of dye pooling.
Why do some of my flowers look wilted when dried?
This may be an indication that you have oversaturated the petals by leaving them in the paint bath a little too long or you might have used too much softener. Using excessive softener may feel like the flowers are never dry.
Is it safe to dry sola wood flowers in the oven?
Please use this method with caution and only when absolutely needed. (Acrylic or latex paint when heated releases toxic fumes and while a small amount is generally safe, inhaling it for long periods can have adverse effects on your health). You do this by popping your sola flowers in the oven for 5 minutes or so. Leave it in the open air for a while longer until it’s fully dried.