How to Permanently Preserve Live Flowers

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    Silica Gel

    • 1). Cut the stems of the flowers, leaving only about an inch of stem intact. Cut a piece of florist's wire the desired length, then push the wire up through the bloom. Bend down the top 2 inches of the wire, then pull the bent section down through the center of the bloom. Wrap the wire with floral tape.

    • 2). Place 1 inch of silica gel in the bottom of a cardboard box, then place the flowers on the silica gel. Place flat blooms such as pansies or daisies face down in the silica gel. Flowers with more petals, such as marigolds, mums or zinnias, should be placed face up. Leave space between each flower so they aren't touching.

    • 3). Sprinkle silica gel over the flowers. Work carefully, adding silica gel a little at a time. Arrange the gel under and around the petals so that the original shape of the flower is preserved.

    • 4). Place the lid on the box and leave the flowers in the gel until the blooms are completely dry. Avoid leaving the flowers too long, as they can become brittle and will break easily. Flowers dried in silica gel usually require between two and four weeks.

    • 5). Remove the flowers carefully from the silica gel. Brush off silica gel remaining on the flowers with a soft artist's paintbrush.

    Hang and Dry

    • 1). Strip the leaves from the flowers, then gather a small bunch of six to 10 flowers loosely. Secure the bottom of the stems with a rubber band. Avoid using string, as the stems will shrink and become smaller as they dry.

    • 2). Hang the flowers upside down in a warm, dry place such as a basement or closet. Hang the flowers from a hook or from a wire hanger. Leave the flowers undisturbed until they're completely dry, which usually takes at least two to three weeks.

    • 3). Remove the dried flowers and spritz them lightly with hairspray to give them extra protection.

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