Cut flowers don't live forever, but if you preserve them, they will last for many years with something close to their natural beauty. Brides often preserve wedding bouquets as a way to remember the wedding. Others preserve bouquets as a way to create a long-lasting decoration for the home. The best way to preserve a bouquet is to have it professionally freeze-dried, according to information published by The Knot, but that is very expensive and can only be done by a professional. Instead, try some less expensive, at-home methods for preserving a bouquet.
Remove the lower leaves from the stems of the flowers in your bouquet. Foliage does not dry as well as flowers do.
Separate large bouquets into smaller bunches (three or four stems per bunch, or enough so that the flowers are not crowded together). Tie the stems loosely together with string.
Hang the flowers upside down in a warm, dry (not humid) location. It will take up to two weeks for the flowers to dry to a preserved state, according to information published by North Dakota State University.
Prepare a mixture of two parts lukewarm water to one part glycerine.
Insert the flower stems into the glycerine mixture. The flowers will absorb the glycerine, which will replace the water in the flowers, according to information published by North Dakota State University, leaving them supple, unlike air-dried flowers.
Remove the flowers from the mixture after about two weeks. If they begin to wilt, hang them upside-down to help the glycerine migrate to the flower petals.
Prepare a basin of dry, clean sand. Make sure there is no coarse grain or soil. Crafting sand is best, rather than gardening sand.
Create a depression in the sand and place your flowers in it. It is best to use one flower at a time, so you will have to reconstruct your bouquet when the flowers have dried. Gently sprinkle sand into the flowers themselves so that the individual petals are coated.
Remove the flowers when the petals are dry to the touch. Take care when removing them, as flowers dried with sand are quite fragile.
About this Author
April Sanders has been a professional writer since 1998. Previously, she worked as an educator and currently writes academic research content for EBSCO publishing and elementary reading curriculum for Compass Publishing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in social psychology from the University of Washington and a master's degree in information sciences and technology in education from Mansfield University.