Cut flowers add bright color to the interior areas where they are displayed, but the beauty is fleeting as most bouquets last no more than a few weeks. Create a long-lasting bouquet that provides beauty for many years by encasing your cut flowers in wax. Paraffin wax is readily available at craft stores and is easy to work with. It creates a thin coating of wax that allows the flowers' natural beauty to shine through. Most important, it prevents air and the organisms of decay from reaching your carefully preserved flowers.
Fill the bottom of a double boiler with water. Alternately, fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water and place a smaller pot or a metal bowl inside the saucepan.
Cut the paraffin into 1-inch chunks with a sharp knife. Place the chunks inside the top of the double boiler or the metal bowl.
Heat the double boiler over medium heat. Stir the paraffin constantly as it melts, preventing any lumps from forming. Lower the heat to low once the wax is evenly melted.
Remove any damaged or dead petals from the flower. Strips the leaves from the stem, then tie a short length of string to the stem.
Dip the flower into the wax, then slowly lift it out. Check that it is evenly coated with wax. If not, dip a second time.
Hang the flower to dry by the string tied to the stem. Place a sheet of newspaper or wax paper under the drying flowers to catch any wax drips.
Remove the strings once the wax on the flowers is dry. Dip the stems into the wax, swirling them around until they are evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper, then lay the flowers on the wax paper until the stems are dry. Display the flowers as desired once the wax has hardened completely.
Things You Will Need
- Double boiler
- Wax paper
- Baking sheet
- Paraffin wax is available where candle supplies are sold. It comes in blocks, sheets or pre-cut strips.
- Only preserve freshly cut, disease-free flowers. Ones that have begun to wilt likely will not survive the waxing process.
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