How to preserve flowers, 7 methods
Table of Contents
- Written by Hannah Kingston on June 29, 2021
Wondering how to preserve flowers? Sometimes it’s too hard to say goodbye to a lovely bouquet of blooms. The good news is that you don’t have to!
Most flowers can be preserved and will make for lovely decor for your space, or alternatively, they can be re-imagined into another craft.
The preservation type for you will depend on the type of flowers that you would like to look keeping fresh. We’re here to help.
Read on to learn more about how to preserve flowers.
How to preserve flowers
There are 7 ways that you can preserve flowers to fully or partially maintain the flower’s original beauty.
Here are some of our favourite methods:
- Press flowers
- Microwave flowers
- Air-dry flowers
- Preserve flowers with sand
- Use epoxy resin to preserve flowers
- Dip flowers in wax
- Paint the flowers
Pressing flowers is one of the easiest and most cost-effective way to preserve your blooms. It is a method that has been around for centuries. Whether you’re a budding botanist or someone who just doesn’t want to say goodbye to a particular bunch of flowers, this method is for you. All you need is a heavy book. We recommend in investing in a flower press if you would like to make this a weekly hobby.
Here’s how to press flowers:
- Remove the flowers you would like to press. If you would like to keep the stems, simply remove any unwanted leaves.
- Open your heavy book halfway and place absorbant sheets in between the pages, you could either use watercolour sheets or baking paper.
- Place the flowers face down on your sheets of paper.
- Place another sheet over the flowers.
- Close the book and place more books or an alternative weighty material on top of the closed books.
- Place the pile of books in a safe and dry place.
- Check on the status of your flowers in 3-4 weeks.
Note: The best flowers to press are those with a single layer of petals.
Microwaving flowers to preserve their beauty may be a little bit more challenging than pressing but it can produce stunning results.
It’s super important not to microwave the flowers at too high a heat or it could result in wilting. The use of silica gel helps to ensure that the integrity of the flower is maintained.
Here’s how to microwave flowers:
- Remove the flowers you would like to preserve from the stems.
- Cover the bottom of a microwave-safe container with silica gel.
- Place the flowers into a microwave-safe container.
- Place the flowers into the gel, ensuring that the blossom side is up.
- Pour more silica gel over the flowers.
- Place the container into the microwave without a lid.
- Put the microwave on at a low heat setting and let it run for 2-5 minutes, checking in on the drying process every 30 seconds.
- Once dried, take the container out of the microwave and place the lid on.
- Let sit for 24 hours.
- Once 24 hours have passed, remove the silica gel using a soft brush, old eye-shadow brushes work well here!
- Gently spray the flowers with acrylic spray for protection.
Note: This process works for all flower types, however, it is important to ensure that you don’t microwave the flowers at too high a temperature or it could lead to the flowers become damaged, or wilting.
Air-drying flowers is another easy and effective method of preserving your flowers. All you have to do is simply hang your blooms upside down!
Here’s how to preserve flowers via air-drying:
- Remove any unwanted leaves from your bouquet.
- Tie the stems together with string, or a rubber band.
- Cut stems, but ensure that you leave 6 inches of space.
- Hang the bouquet upside down in a dry and dark area. Do not leave the flowers hanging in a place that receives a lot of natural sunlight as this may impact the integrity of the flowers.
- Leave your flowers hanging upside down for 2-3 weeks.
- After 2-3 weeks, when the flowers have dried, spray them with unscented hairspray to ensure they are sealed and maintain their colour.
Note: Air-drying works best for whole bouquets of flowers. This works particularly well for flower types including:
- Baby’s breath
Preserve flowers with sand
You can also preserve flowers with sand! Fine sand contains silica and can preserve flowers in a similar way to silica gel.
- Pour silica sand (about half an inch) into a sturdy box.
- Lay the flowers on top of the sand.
- Slowly pour fine sand over the flowers until you can no longer see them.
- Remove flowers from the sand in 2-3 weeks.
Note: This method should only be used with strong flowers such as greens and foliage.
Use epoxy resin to preserve flowers
Using epoxy resin to reserve flowers is very effective, however, it can be challenging. You need to move fast once the resin is activated. It’s also super important to wear gloves during this process.
Here’s how it works:
- Dry your flowers using the microwave or air-drying method described above.
- Cover your workspace with a protective covering.
- Pour the resin and catalyst into a container, closely following the instructions as laid out by the manufacturer.
- Dip the flowers into the epoxy and hold for a few minutes.
- Lift the dipped flower and hang it over protective covering.
- Wait 5 minutes for the epoxy to set.
Note: This is the best method of flower preservation if you are hoping to use your flowers in craft-making, particularly for jewellery.
Dip flowers in wax
Dipping your flowers in wax will not permanently preserve them, however it will give them life for longer!
Dipping flowers in wax will help to keep the colour and structure of your plants intact for longer.
- Gather paraffin wax and a saucepan.
- Melt the wax in the saucepan. Turn the heat down once wax is fluid.
- When the wax is cooled down, dip your flowers of choice upside down into the wax.
- Lay the flowers out on a protective covering to let the wax cool down as it coats the flowers.
Note: This is not a permanent form of flower preservation.
Paint the flowers
Painting the flowers will not permanently preserve them, however, it is a great way to give them some more life, with a slightly altered look and feel.
- Brush off any dust or residue from the flowers with a soft brush.
- Paint the flowers with colours of your choice.
- Enjoy for a limited but colourful time only!
Note: This is not a permanent preservation technique.
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