I wasn't bridezilla until after the wedding. The night after, I sobbed inconsolably because my wedding flowers were gone. I had plans to turn them into decorations, into a Christmas ornament, and to display them. I wanted to save them forever, but they were stolen out of our hotel room after the wedding.
I was heartbroken. I was so upset that Pete actually "found" them and had them delivered to the apartment two weeks later (if that story sounds familiar, it's because I posted it here). It made me so happy knowing how much he cared -- and to know that I was able to do what I wanted with them.
Everyone I know who has saved flowers has either put them in the freezer (and then forgot about them, like my prom corsage) or dried them. But I decided to try silica gel. I had never used it before and wasn't sure my wedding bouquet was the place to try it on but I decided if it didn't work, I could always get a second replacement bouquet. Thank goodness I didn't have to. This worked amazingly.
Preserving Your Flowers At Home
What You'll Need:
Silica Gel (I bought two 5 pound boxes of Activa Silica Gel for Flower Drying)
Medium to large sized air tight box
What You'll Do:
Cut the stems off the flowers.
Pour a layer of silica gel in the bottom of the box.
Fill your flower with silica gel (filling it will help it hold its shape, overfilling it will help it fall apart).
Place the flower in the box.
You can fill any type of flower.
Just rest it in the box with the other.
Fill an entire layer with flowers and greenery.
Top it with a layer of silica gel.
Add another layer of flowers and greenery.
Repeat with silica gel and flowers.
And then again until the box is filled. Don't put the flowers right on top of each other or too close to each other, but layers of flowers and gel is okay.
Fill to the top with silica gel.
Close the lid and wait at least two weeks.
After I had the flowers in the box, I strung a few together and hung them from the guest closet. I figured if silica gel didn't actually work, at least I would have these. I then left the rest of the bouquet whole on my desk and that dried pretty nicely, actually. I figured that would work for a memory if silica gel flopped.
But it didn't.
It was amazing.
I opened the box, gently removed the flowers, and was shocked. They are as bright, beautiful, and clean as the day I put them in the silica gel. The whites were white, the greenery was green, and my flowers held up their shapes too.
My only regret was not buying a bigger box so I could preserve more of my flowers this way.
You can tell the rose I overstuffed fell apart, but I actually wanted petals for another craft. I'm going to purchase glass ornament balls and fill them with petals, then use the ribbon we used for our wedding favors to embellish and tie them.
But of course, I had to run in the other room to compare them to the dried flowers, just to make sure this process and the money invested was worth it.
The top photo is dried flowers from the ones hanging on the closet. The bottom photo is the same flowers (Picasso calla lily, white rose, orchid, respectively). The picture speaks for itself.
From now on, any time I'm thinking about preserving flowers at home, this is the method I'm using.
BRIDAL BABBLE: Have you ever used silica gel for preserving your flowers at home?