1. Designer Clare Miers wanted to preserve a special bunch of red, velvety roses, but never liked how they turned into a black, gothic-looking bunch of depressing crispy things when she hung the bouquet upside-down. As an alternative, she used silica drying granules. For pretty keepsake boxes, she painted and stamped round papier-mache boxes. Other homemade box options include half-gallon ice cream containers, shoe boxes and metal cake pans with lids, coffee or juice cans.
2. For red roses, be sure to dry them while they are still full-bodied and robust. Cut flower stems, leaving approximately 2" to 3" of stem for using in arrangements and gift wrap. Fill bottom one-third of container with silica gel, then place flowers inside so they are not touching each other. Fill remaining space with silica gel using large spoon or small scoop. Slightly cover flowers, but avoid packing layers of silica gel on top of roses. Depending on humidity levels, product you're using, and the flower's moisture content, most silica gels will dry flowers in four days to a week.
3. Clare suggests experimenting with all kinds of flowers and adding little pieces of filler plants that were designed into the original bouquet. A few sprigs of eucalyptus in the drying boxes is lovely. Try all types and see what happens.