DIY Weddings

Preserving flowers (DIY)

blabla89blabla89 Atlanta member
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Did any of you ladies preserve your own bouquet after your wedding? How did you do it, and did it turn out well? I don't want to throw it away but having it professionally preserved is just not in the budget :(

I've read some tutorials that make it sound fairly easy to do, but I'm wondering if it really is that simple. I'm also debating whether to display the whole bouquet in a glass cloche, arrange the dried blooms in a shadow box, or press the flowers. My bouquet will be roses, peruvian lilies and greenery.

Any advice would be great!
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Re: Preserving flowers (DIY)

  • mrscomposermrscomposer Mani-snow-ba member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary First Answer
    I had roses, greens, and a bit of filler.  All I did was hang it upside down and it dried nicely.  I'm not going to do anything else with it, though, other than leave it hang or put it in a china cabinet.
    **The OMH formerly known as jsangel1018**
  • Hey blabla89 !  I haven't yet done this for my bouquet (since my wedding is in October!), but I saw a tutorial for this and helped my friend do this for some of her flowers.  We turned the flowers into Christmas ornaments that she can cherish every December.

    I am looking for the tutorial, but off of the top of my head, we did the following:

    1). Preserve flowers in silica salt for a minimum of two weeks (I believe we did it four).  You can buy the silica at Micheal's in their greenery/faux flower sections usually. 
    2). Fill an airtight bin (tupperware is fine, but make sure that it is large enough to fit all of your flowers comfortably) halfway with the silica.
    3). Cut the flower heads off the stems and insert a small craft wire into the bottom of the head, leaving enough hanging out to act as a stand/leg for the flower to sit in the silica without toppling over.  (The point of this is to stabilize the flower head while submerged in the silica to prevent dropping of the petals.)
    4). Place the flower into the silica in the bin, and then gently pour the rest of the silica over the entire flower head(s).  *Remember to pour gently when filling the inside/petals with silica.  Try to keep the flower supported at all times with the silica that is already in the bin and the craft wire.
    5). Ensure that each flower head is completely submerged within the silica salt.
    6). Put airtight lid onto bin and wait two-four weeks.
    7). Purchase empty glass Christmas ornaments in the Christmas crafts section at Micheal's or other craft store of your choosing.  (This was close to Christmas time for us, but I'm sure with some searching, you will be able to find some ornaments.  At the very least, while you are waiting for the petals sitting in the silica, you can order some online and have them rush delivered to your house.)
    8). After 2-4 weeks have passed, remove the flowers from the silica (shaking loose the excess into whatever bin you used, that way you can save it for later uses).
    9). Take the top off of an ornament and begin to pull petals off of the flower head(s).
    10). Gently pinch the flower petals to insert them into the ornament top.
    11). Insert as many petals/babies breath/etc. that you see fit.  (We found that only filling up the ornament 3/4 of the way was sufficient and made the globe really pop.)
    11). Replace the ornament top and tie a nice ribbon or other anchor to the top for easy hanging.

    This is the website that we got the idea from for the ornament here, however, in her tutorial, it appears her flowers are already preserved.  Unfortunately, I cannot find the link to the website we used for the silica preservation tutorial.  I hope my directions make a little bit of sense!

    Hope this helps or at least gives you an idea of what you can possibly do with your flowers!  You don't have to do the ornament idea, however the silica remedy will still preserve your flowers!  Make sure it is airtight and that you don't wait too long before you put them into the salt (weeks).  It will not preserve them as well if they are already decaying.

  • P.S. There is a hyperlink in the first "here" in the second to last paragraph.  But in case it doesn't work, here is the full link:

  • All I did was hang my bouquet upside down inside a brown paper bag (to asorb moisture) and put it in the basement and forgot about it for two months. I did it while the flowers were still somewhat fresh. Not all of the flowers dried great, but that doesn't matter to me. I have them just laying on a shelf in our bedroom. I'm sure one day I'll throw it out, but that won't be for a long time to come
  • Mine is currently hanging upside down in our bedroom along with one of the bridesmaid bouquets (she was flying the day after the wedding and gave it to me) and one of our centrepiece flower arrangements.

    The options I found for displaying the bouquet: laying it as is on a shelf, shadow box, christmas ornament, paper weight, full bouquet standing in a large glass jar, pressed flowers in a picture frame. 

    Yesterday I found what I'll do: display an assortment of flowers in a large glass jar. I'm going to cut the stems and then very carefully place and arrange them in the jar (they obviously won't all fit, I'll use whatever looks good). Of course, some of them will break and that may end up at the bottom of the jar. 
  • WIth the lilies, I would give the directions that edenisle posted.
    I've preserved flowers in the freezer, but lilies and other tropicals don't do well with the freezer way. So if you do something other than lilies, here's directions for the freezer method, which keeps the color almost the same as if the flowers were alive:
    Get a can of hair spray (the highest hold possible--I like AquaNet).
    Spray the entire bouquet.
    Put it in the freezer for a week.
    Spray the entire bouquet again.
    Put it back in the freezer.
    Continue to do this for 2 months.
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