Giving flowers for a holiday or birthday can be a thoughtful and loving gesture, but flowers come with one distinct disadvantage as a gift: they die within days. Some people see giving and receiving flowers as a waste of time and money because the gifts do not last, but others have found a way to make these presents last longer. Drying flowers can extend their life and beauty. Lilies are delicate flowers, and may not dry well if heated or simply hung to dry; the best way to dry lilies is to press the moisture from the flowers.
- Giving flowers for a holiday or birthday can be a thoughtful and loving gesture, but flowers come with one distinct disadvantage as a gift: they die within days.
Place a layer of unglazed paper, such as newsprint or old book paper, onto a flat surface. Choose a surface that can be occupied for up to four weeks; depending on the number of flowers you have and the type of paper you use, it can take that long to dry.
Spread the flowers across the unglazed paper so that they do not overlap. If you run out of room on the first layer, add a second layer of paper on top of the first and lay more flowers.
Continue spreading layers of paper and flowers until all flowers are in place. Cover the top layer of flowers with a layer of paper, followed by a thin wooden board or piece of cardboard.
Lay a heavy object on top of the board; the object does not matter, as long as it applies constant pressure to all of the lily flowers under the paper. Leave the weight in place for two to four weeks; check on the flowers as necessary to see when they are dry.
Remember that pressing will flatten the flower. If you want to try to retain the lily’s shape, hang the flowers upside down in a cool, dry place for two weeks. However, lilies may wilt under these conditions.