A lot of effort and thought goes into choosing your bridal bouquet. After selecting the blooms you love, saving and spending, and all the time it took for your florist to arrange them, it only makes sense why a bride would want to preserve her bouquet as a keepsake. While we can’t exactly freeze flowers in time to stop them from wilting, there are other methods that will help you keep your flowers in a beautiful and lasting way. You can even turn them into home décor. Here are some ideas that you can either do yourself or have a professional do for you!
Air drying your bouquet is a simple process which you can do at home. First you’ll need to separate the pieces of your bouquet stem per stem and then rearrange them into smaller bundles using yarn, twine, or a rubber band. Let gravity work in your favor by hanging the smaller flower bundles upside down, this prevents them from getting droopy. Remember to hang them in a dry storage location like a kitchen cupboard or a cabinet. Simply leave your flowers to dry for up to two weeks and voila! After air drying, you can now get creative by arranging your flowers in a vase, a box, or in any space you want to brighten up.
Another drying method you can consider is the use of silica gel crystals. This is a sand-like substance that can absorb moisture and dehydrate your fresh blooms. Silica gel is safe to use, it’s like the packets you find in shoes and bags, but it’s also a good idea to wear gloves and a mask to avoid inhaling its powder. This drying method can retain as much of the original color and look of your flowers, but they may also appear smaller since moisture will be removed.
Silica gel crystals are available for purchase online and the method of drying is pretty simple. In an airtight container, pour the silica gel crystals about an inch thick or at least enough to make a bed for your flowers. Make sure to trim the stems and leave only the petals or buds. Place the buds on top of the bed of silica gel then pour in another layer to fully cover the flowers. Seal the container with a lid then store in a dry location for three to five days. Some flowers may take up to a week to dry. Once dried, remove the buds and brush off any excess powder. Now, you’re free to arrange or decorate your dried flowers in any way you want!
If you’ve seen flowers floating in a glass-like container, that is most likely a clear resin. This is a gorgeous and artistic way to preserve your flowers and it will certainly be a great addition to your home. However, you might want to outsource a professional to do this for you since working with resin takes skill and practice. It takes a lot of work to make sure the resin will be smooth, even, and bubble-free once you pour it in the mold. You’ll also need protective equipment and a well-ventilated area to work in. This process involves clear resin or epoxy resin mixed with a hardener. Once the mixture is done, it is then poured in a silicone mold. The flowers, with stems cut off, are then arranged on top of the first layer of mold. A second layer will be poured to fill the mold and cover the flowers. Curing takes place for 48 hours usually using a heat torch. When the resin is completely dry, it is gently removed from the mold. Sanding down the dried resin is needed to remove the sharp edges.
Another popular method is pressing the flowers. You can either DIY this process or outsource a professional to help you out. Like air drying, you’ll also need to take apart your bouquet and then place each individual stem on top of wax paper. Add another layer of wax paper on top to sandwich the stems in between then place them inside a heavy book like text books or hardbound coffee table books. Close the book and allow the weight of the pages to press the flowers sandwiched in wax paper. Place more books or other heavy objects on top for additional weight and leave them for up to two weeks. Once your flowers are dry and pressed, you can have them framed!
While paintings or pictures don’t preserve the actual bouquet, they sure are a meaningful way to treasure the memories. You can commission an artist to create a painting or any visual representation of your bridal bouquet. This can be digital art, hand painted in water color, or any medium you wish. It can also be abstract or realistic. If you don’t want to go through the whole process of drying your bouquet, this is also a creative way to preserve it as a keepsake.
Whichever method you decide on, just think of what would suit your home or simply what would make you happy and spark the good memories from your wedding day!