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Flowers were not a priority for me in the wedding planning process. I gave the florist a few photos and gave them full control. I have to say, I was blown away by my bouquet on my wedding day! It was exactly what I would have asked for if I could have put it in to words. I was thrilled, but sad at the same time, because I knew that their beauty was fleeting. The day after the wedding, I went right to Google to search for ways to preserve flowers. Everyone knows about the old “hang the bouquet upside down” trick, but that leaves the flowers brown and brittle. In my search, I found a few posts on using silica gel to dry flowers, but maintains their shape and color. I had to try it!
Credit: Boucher Visuals
I went to Michael’s and bought two boxes of Activa Flower Drying Art Silica Gel, basically the same stuff that is in those little packets when you buy new shoes, but in a much larger quantity. I also picked up an air- and water-tight plastic storage box, but I’m sure any secure plastic box would work.
After deconstructing — massacring — my beautiful bouquet, I layered the silica powder with flowers, set the flowers upright in the powder and covered each layer of flowers with enough gel to cover them completely. In the process, some flowers, like roses, will fill with powder which helps them maintain their shape. I used a little more than two boxes of the silica, but I think the box I used was too big, so I need extra to fill the gaps in my layers.
The next step is to wait.
I would suggest leaving them in the box for at least two weeks. When you open the box, you need to go on an archaeological dig for the flowers. This is a delicate process. I covered the surface with a plastic bag to collect the gel that fell off the flowers as I took them out. Many of the smaller ones disintegrated, so I had to be very careful in removing them.
Once they were out, I tried to shake them off the best I could to remove excess silica. To display them, I arranged them in a shadowbox. The original one I bought was too big since the flowers shrunk down a lot as they dried. I ended up using an 8×8 box, and it was perfect. The background was a black fabric, so I bought a piece of decorative paper to dress it up a bit. Then I arranged the flowers and glued them to the back of the box. I’m so glad I have a way to keep enjoying my flowers and remember the day.
Do you have any special plans for your flowers after your wedding day?