Learn How to Preserve Your Favorite Flowers in Resin
Preserving dried flowers in resin is an artful way to create a one-of-a-kind keepsake. "Whether they are your favorite flowers or flowers tied to an important event like your wedding bouquet, preserving them in resin will capture their beauty forever," says resin artist Elaine Huang, a Micheals Maker. In addition to crafting a sentimental art object, you can preserve flowers in resin as a way to design custom piece of functional home décor. "Ring holders, coasters, and trinket trays are some of the most popular ways to preserve flowers in resin," says Brandee Hoffmann, ambassador at Counter Culture DIY and founder of Resin Art by Bee. "You can add in all kinds of interesting details, like gold flakes or small seashells."
Interested in learning about how you can preserve dried flowers in resin at home? From the best materials to use to curing tips and more, Huang and Hoffman share their best advice.
Gather all the necessary materials.
When working with resin, Huang says having the right protective gear is crucial. "You will need a respirator with filters ($30.99, michaels.com) rated for organic vapors, nitrile gloves ($22.68 for pack of 100, lowes.com), and goggles ($5.79, michaels.com) to protect yourself from chemicals," she explains. "Make sure you are also working in a well-ventilated area."
You'll also need a high-quality casting resin, a silicone mold for shaping, and, of course, dried or artificial flowers. "I would also recommend a heat gun for clarity in the resin as bubbles often form when using dried flowers," Huang adds.
Dry (and press) flowers if necessary.
If you're preserving natural flowers, Huang says it's crucial that they're completely dry before casting them in resin. "If there is any moisture in the flowers, it will rot in the piece over time," she explains. "You can also press flowers in the microwave to speed up the drying process." To press the flowers, simply place them between two pieces of parchment paper inside a heavy book, and allow them to sit for about a week. "Another popular method of drying flowers is with silica gel, my main method for flower drying," Huang says. "Letting the flowers dry in a container covered by the silica gel preserves the form of the flower in 3D."
Mix the resin.
No matter what type of resin you use to preserve your flowers, Huang says it will require mixing with a hardener. "Different brands and types of resin will require a different ratio of resin and hardener, as well as different hardening times," she explains. To mix the resin, Huang says to use two separate cups to pour the appropriate amount of resin and hardener before combining. "Using a mixing stick, very slowly mix both parts until the mixture is clear and ready to pour," she advises. "Don't mix too fast, or else you will get a lot of bubbles in your piece."
Cast the flowers in resin.
To cast the flowers in resin, Huang says start by pouring the resin mixture into a silicone mold. "Arrange the flowers to your liking in the resin using tweezers or a mixing stick to ensure proper placement in the mold," she advises. As you pour resin, Huang recommends placing the mold on a level surface, which will ensure the finished product is even. "When working with dried flowers, the flowers will often float to the top," she warns. "It's best to create the piece in two layers, the first being the placement of the flowers and the second filling the resin to the top of the mold."
Cure for at least two days.
Hoffman says casting resin typically takes longer to cure than other types of resin, usually at least 48 hours. "Resin cures best when using a heat gun or torch to pop all of the bubbles that the resin accumulates when mixing and pouring," she explains. "Temperature is key and you have to make sure your environment matches the temperature it specifies on the bottle of your resin." After both layers are completely dry, Huang says to gently de-mold the resin piece as some edges might be sharp. "For finishing touches, sand down the edges if needed," she says.