For ages, man has been attracted by the beauty and fragrance of flowers. Decorating their sweet home with flower vases, showing love to others or leaving flowers at graves—all of these activities demonstrate the same thing: the attraction of flowers.
However long the cut flowers naturally last, their ultimate fate is to wither away. But the trash can doesn’t, and shouldn’t, have to be the only final option. There must be some ways that would ensure that our beloved flowers stay longer with us than they do naturally.
That’s how the idea of preserving flowers gradually evolved.
Some Excellent Ways to Preserve Flowers
Drying and preserving flowers have an array of methods depending on the types of flowers.
Displaying in Resin
Applying this method you can make a wide range of things like a paperweight with fresh flowers in it, incredible dried hydrangea, safflower seed head that has been dried etc.
All you need is a jar of casting resin which you can easily get from Amazon or any craft store around you. Casting resin always comes with a catalyst which, after mixing with resin, makes a chemical reaction that heats the resin, makes a thick, transparent consistency, and eventually hardens it.
Among other things is a plastic cup graduated into measurement units, a four-ounce spherical bowl, and a skewer to stir.
Mix the resin liquid and the catalyst and stir for about a minute. The expected ratio of the two ingredients is precisely written on the package of the resin. Then put the flowers into the bowl of semi-liquid. They will start floating. As the viscous liquid sets up into a jelly-like consistency after 15 to 20 minutes, use your skewer or toothpick to push the flowers back down into the exact position.
The last part of this is to wait for about four hours for everything to set up. After that time you should have a nice semi-spherical paperweight with one side flat.
Don’t take it as merely a paperweight; try them in your showcase and on shelves or tables and see how they add to the beauty of your home.
For a more detailed step-by-step guide to preserving flowers in resin, you can visit craft-art.com.
Pressing and Framing
Collecting flowers, pressing them, and turning them into a piece of art is a great idea. You don’t have to have a high aesthetic taste to appreciate this art; rather any ordinary person can see their beauty and admire them.
The general process of preservation through pressing is very simple: flattening fresh flowers out and extracting all their moisture and sending them for pressing. Some flowers, however, need extra care; others need extra time. Sometimes you need to do different things for some flowers.
The fundamental procedure for making a flower press is to bolt two pieces of plywood together. In between, there are several layers of paper, cardboard, flowers etc.
White construction paper, craft paper or unprinted newspaper works best with this process since they suck and extract moisture from flowers.
Parchment paper, to be warned, is not suitable for all flowers as it’s going to make your flower mold way too quickly and the moisture cannot go away entirely. Don’t use paper towels or they will leave a sort of extra impression on your flowers degrading your artwork.
You need to keep the flowers pressed for about a month. At the end of the time, you need to check them by unbolting and removing the first two layers. If they feel a little cold to the touch or damp they probably need more time.
Flowers that have higher water content like white roses, anthurium, snapdragons, white lisianthus tend not to press well and will mold and brown pretty quickly in the flower press. Ruscus tend to fade rather quickly and turn from green to brown often.
Because of holding fewer water flowers like baby’s breath, dusty miller, butterfly ranunculus, astrantia, delphinium, eucalyptus, yarrow, sweet peas, rice flowers, caspia, ferns— all press beautifully and consistently.
Some flowers that bloom in bunches need to be taken apart. For flowers that contain bulkier middles, you need to remove the bulkier parts before pressing them. The fresher the flowers, the better.
Now is your time to make an aesthetic mixture of texture, color and size of flowers and stems on the paper and finally keep them within a photo frame.
The pressed flowers will tell your story.
Making Jewelry and Decoration out of Flowers
This idea evolved from the above pressing method of preserving flowers and was developed to make jewelry from real flowers. You use silica gel to do it. Here are the steps in brief.
- Get some fresh flowers from your garden. You can choose a single type of flower or assemble an assortment. With silica gel, you can dry almost all flowers like daisies, carnations, zinnias, hydrangeas, larkspur, dahlias, or roses.
- Cut the stems with a pair of scissors before the drying process.
- Take a dry and clean container and pour in the silica gel. Place silica beads beneath any delicate petals, then gently pour beads atop the flowers to cover.
- Seal the container tightly and keep it in a dry place at room temperature for about three days.
- After a few days, open the container and check to see if the flowers are fully dried. Once you find them dried, remove the flowers. Use a soft brush to remove fine dust and unwanted specs. You can also paint the flowers to enhance the color or floral design.
- Now you are off to using the dried flowers in whatever fashion your home, project, or decor calls for.
To Sum Up
Different methods for different flowers work best. Bold and bright colors dry best. Purples and red colors dry well. They hold their color except for going a little darker. And yet the change of color is so subtle that you can hardly detect it.
Any sort of white flower dries better in silica, but they cannot retain their blessed and heavenly color. White roses, for example, turn pale and rusty brown, almost entirely losing their divine elegance.