Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Preparing Flowers for Resin - FAQs

Fresh cut flowers might be short-lived but we can't help but admire them for their fragrance, beauty, shape and colour. It's no wonder that we want to preserve them forever in resin!

But how do you prepare flowers for resin?

And can you put them straight into resin?

These are questions I'm often asked about putting flowers, leaves and other botanicals into epoxy. Hopefully, this FAQ page will answer the questions you've been wondering about.

I know you're itching to get your flowers in resin before they begin to fade, but before you dive in with those beautiful flowers from your bridal bouquet, your Mother's Day flowers or the memorial flowers from a loved one's passing, read through these FAQ's so that you know how to treat your flowers for best results.
Wedding bouquet of white chrysanthemums, deep red rose buds and blushing bride proteas on a wooden deck

Keep Your Flowers Fresher for Longer

First things first, keep the flowers in a cool place until you're ready to work with them. Have you noticed how florists keep their arrangements in the fridge? 

There's a very good reason why. 

It helps slow down the flowers' development so that they are fresher when they're delivered. You can keep your precious blooms in the fridge for several hours.

Things that will make them wilt faster are heat, draughts and direct sunlight. 

Here are some ideas for keeping your flowers fresh until you're ready to dry them:

  • Put the flowers in the fridge 
  • Place them in an esky (aka cooler/chilly bin)
  • Put them in a bucket of fresh, cool water to help keep them hydrated (in the coolest place in your house and away from draughts)
Wedding bouquet of pale apricot open roses, blue sea holly flowers, gypsophila and greenery in a bucket of water.
Keep flowers in a bucket of fresh water in the coolest place in your house

Preparing Flowers for Resin - FAQs

Now, read on to find out the answer to some common FAQs.

Q. Do you have to dry flowers before putting them in resin? 

A. Yes. Flowers and other organic materials should be completely dried before embedding in resin. If any moisture remains in the material, the flowers will become brown, sludgy or mouldy inside the resin in a short time.

Q. How do you dry flowers for resin? 

 A. For whole flowers, place them on a layer of silica sand (like Flower Drying Art) or cooking salt and then carefully spoon more desiccant around and over them until they are covered. 

Leave them to dry for 3 days and then check them. They should feel papery. If not, re-cover them and check again daily until they are dried. 

>> You can learn more about how to dry flowers for resin using silica gel here.
Stem of yellow chrysanthemums lying on a bench alongside a plastic lid of dried yellow chrysanthemums.
Fresh flowers on the left and flowers dried in silica sand in the microwave on the right

Q. How do you preserve the colour of flowers when you dry them?

A. Most flowers will change colour when you dry them. But the best way to preserve the colours is to dry them using a quick method like the microwave drying method.
Pressed rainbow rose petals strewn on a black bench alongside a Microfleur flower press with 4 rainbow rose petals
For quick results, dry flowers in the microwave using a Microfleur flower press

Q. Can I dry flowers in the microwave? 

 A. Yes. This is the quickest way to dry them. You can use a microwave flower press kit like the Microfleur flower press to press the flowers flat. 

To keep the flowers whole and 3D, place them in a microwave-safe container and cover them with fine silica gel. The silica gel needs to get down inside the layers of petals too so that the whole flower dries out. 

Q. What’s the fastest way to dry flowers?

A. Use the microwave. Not only does it give the fastest results, but the flowers retain their colour really well. The power level and length of time required will depend on your microwave. You can press them or dry them whole in the microwave. 

>> Find more information on using the microwave to dry flowers here.

Q. Can you put DRIED flowers straight into resin?

 A. Yes... and No. 

Some dried flowers become translucent when they're put in resin while others don't. 

You won't know the answer until you put your individual flowers into resin, so preparing flowers for resin by sealing them first helps prevent the epoxy from penetrating the petals.
Pressed red and yellow rose petals coated in a layer of wet Mod Podge on a sheet of silicone baking paper. Painting a layer of Mod Podge onto a rose leaf.
Sealing dried petals and leaves with Mod Podge

Q. How do you seal flowers before putting them in resin?

A. There are many methods that work well. Dried flowers can be coated with white craft glue (Mod Podge), hairspray, resin spray, quick-drying gloss spray, or sandwiched inside clear packing tape or a laminating pouch. 

Just choose the one that works best for you. 

Preparing flowers for resin inspiration sheet

Happy Resining!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. This is super helpful thank you!! I am thinking of making resin coasters to preserve my wedding flowers and this makes it seem super attainable.

  2. Hi so I have a question I book pressed my yellow chrysanthemums will they change colour and if they do how should preserve their colour to stay bright

    1. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees. Some flowers will fade no matter what you do and take on a soft, vintage look. There's no way to tell which ones will do that and which ones will stay vibrant. Even the resin can strip the colour from the flower.
      So to give them every chance of retaining colour, seal them first using one of the methods shown in the video linked to in the post. If your flowers are whole or 3D, one of the spray methods will be best.
      Pour the resin in layers rather than a single pour. Let each layer reach gel stage before pouring the next layer. This will help reduce the amount of heat that's generated and minimise the colour loss.

  3. Can you use wax to seal flowers for resin?

    1. Good question!
      Candlemakers often add dried blooms to their wax creations and they hold up quite well, so the sealing them with wax will work. It can be a really good way of sealing simple 3D flowers. The wax may not be able to completely seal flowers that are complex.

      Wax seems to be OK inside resin. I haven't tried it myself to see how it holds up long-term, but it certainly will hold up in the short term.

  4. Thank you for tips! Do you have any suggestions on how to color enhance dried flowers? My goal is to put them in uv resin so I assume I can't use any dyes/paints that are water-based.

    1. Hi Emma
      I have been playing around with Design Master colour sprays to enhance the colour of dried flowers and had quite good success.
      These sprays are transparent so they don't obscure the veins on the petals but they do add delicate colour to them.
      I've successfully used the flowers that I sprayed in epoxy resin but I haven't tested them in UV resin.
      I hope that helps you.


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