How To Dry Your Wedding Bouquet

11/giu/2014 05:59:06 zmc123 Contatta l'autore

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Many brides have a special attachment to their wedding bouquet - after all, it's an essential part of the wedding, uniquely designed according to the bride's preference to compliment her look?- no two bouquets are ever exactly alike. No wonder more and more brides opt for artificial flower bouquets with an intention of keeping them forever! If your bouquet is made of fresh flowers, you can still preserve it quite easily to keep as a memento for years to come.Image courtesy of The Coral Boutique on EtsyA dried bouquet can be placed in a vase as a decoration, or mounted and hung on display - this is best done by a professional, and makes a wonderful unique piece of art for your home.First, a few practical tips. In general, small flowers dry better than large flowers. Most foliage doesn't dry very well, so you may need to peel away some of the leaves. Flowers shrink as they dry, so your finished bouquet will be smaller than the original. It is recommended you use a sealant designated for dry flowers to get the best results. Before drying you have to ensure that your flowers are completely free of moisture, like dew. If you buy your bouquet with an intention of keeping it, ask your florist for advice on which flowers are best for drying and preserving.1st Method - Hang To DryBouquets look best when they are dried upside down, which allows them to preserve their shape. You need a warm and dry space where they can hang undisturbed anywhere from a few days up to 2 weeks.Remove any fresh foliage/leaves before you hang your bouquet. If you want to dry a few leaves, set them aside.Remove the all the ribbon and wire from the bottom of your bouquet, and then put it back together again with a?large strong?elastic. Wrap the elastic first around a third of the stems, then twist and wrap around half of the remaining stems, and then again around the?rest of the?stems. This will keep your bouquet together as the stems shrink.Hang in a warm dry space, and check progress in a few days. Keep away from direct sunlight to preserve colour.To dry the leaves, you need to place them flat on an airy surface (like a screen, or even a tennis racket!) and cover with a newspaper to weigh them down?to prevent them from curling up as they dry.Your bouquet is dry when the flowers feel stiff, and the stems snap easily.Once your bouquet and the leaves are dry, tidy it up in case it's lost its shape, and reattach the leaves. It is safe at this point to use wire again to hold it together, and some florists even recommend using a hot glue gun to permanently attach the leaves and the stems to each other.Your newly dried bouquet is fragile, so the final step is to spray it with protective coating to preserve it further. Most commonly prescribed sprays are:            Dried flower spray - this is a spray especially formulated for dry flowers. Some of these sprays are meant to be used periodically, and some just once. Always read the label for use guidelines. You may purchase this spray online or at florists and gardening centres.Craft Spray - there is a variety of clear sprays available for craft projects, and some of them are suitable for dried flowers - always check the label. Most of the sprays will leave?a glossy coating on the flowers, and may also alter the natural scent of the flowers, just as hairspray would.Hairspray - add a light even coating to your flowers when they're completely dry. Please note that this will take away the soft natural scent of your dry flowers.2nd Method - Silica GelContrary to its name, the silica gel is not really a gel, but a sandy crystal substance which aids in the drying process, and preserves the flowers in a much truer original form. However, using silica gel can be expensive, and also involves several steps, which must be followed carefully to be successful.?The gel works by drawing any moisture out of the flowers while preserving their colour and shape.?The gel changes colour as?it works, so you'll know right away when the flowers are ready, which usually takes just a few days, for bulky flowers (like roses) up to 10 days.You will be taking your bouquet apart, so take a picture of it to help you reassemble it later.Take apart your bouquet, removing all wires, ribbons, etc. Next, remove all parts of the bouquet that have gone soft or mushy (stems, leaves, buds etc) as they are no longer suitable for drying.Cut off all stems, leaving only an inch below the flowerhead - the stems will be dried separately and then reattached, OR you can purchase green wire stems from a craft shop and attach those to the flowers instead of the real stems (or in case the real stems don't dry properly). Hang real stems to dry (see 1st method above).Take a large deep?container, and pour a one-inch layer of silica on the bottom.Arrange the flowerheads on the silica gel, ensuring they don't touch each other or the walls of the container.Cover the flowerheads with silica gel completely, sprinking it gently to avoid flattening the flowerheads under the weight of the crystals.Cover the container and put aside in a dry warm place, away from direct sunlight.Check in about 4 days - as mentioned, silica gel changes colour to pink when it's absorbed the moisture, and the flowers should be stiff and dry to the touch. If they have any softness, cover again and leave for a few more days.When finished, pour out the silica gel into another container, and carefully brush off any remaining crystals off the flowers.Once the flowers and the stems are dry, you can reattach them together with hot glue using a glue gun, or by pushing a length of wire inside the stem, and then into the flowerhead to join together. This needs to be done very carefullySilica gel can be used again and again for a variety of purposes, so don't throw it out when you're done, but preserve in a sealed container for future use.Your bridal bouquet is worth preserving - and your bridesmaids may want to preserve theirs too!Visit our Inspiration pages for even more wonderful ideas!

 

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