Your bridal bouquet is one of the best items to keep as a memento of your wedding. And one of the best storage/display containers for wedding flowers is a shadow box.
Whether your wedding bouquet is artificial or not, you can store it in a shadow box. The process is generally the same, except if your flowers are not faux (fresh blooms), you must process them for preservation before putting them in a shadow box.
In this article, we talk about how to put your wedding flowers in a shadow box. We’ll also answer some pertinent questions you may have and go over other ways to preserve your wedding bouquet.
Before You Put Your Wedding Flowers in a Shadow Box
Buy the Shadow Box Frame
Of course, the first step you must take before putting your wedding flowers in a shadow box is to buy a shadow box frame. When getting a shadow box frame, you must measure your bouquet. Measuring the flowers helps you figure out the appropriate shadow box frame size to buy.
After getting the shadow box, you must process the flowers for preservation. This step is vital if your wedding flowers are fresh blooms. If you do not process the flowers for storage, they will not last long in the box before going bad.
Note that while shadow boxes serve as a storage container for bridal bouquets, they cannot preserve the flowers. The primary purpose of shadow boxes is to hold and display, so nothing in them will keep your flowers fresh.
The primary method for processing flowers for preservation is drying. There are other methods, but drying is the most straightforward option.
If you choose to process your flowers for preservation by drying, some of your options are:
- Air drying
- Drying with silica gel
Air drying is the primary drying method used for flower preservation. It works best for flowers that have thick stems, and it typically takes weeks for the flowers to dry completely.
If you intend to dry your flowers with this method, do the following:
- Take the flowers to a dark, dry area in your home with good ventilation. It could be an unused closet. Then hang the flowers upside down.
- To hang the flowers upside down, you may attach them to an anchoring frame using unflavored dental floss. Alternatively, you can tie the stems together with a string, then hang them upside down from an anchoring frame.
- The frame could be a cupboard, ladder, wall, or anything that can hold the flowers without damaging them.
- Do not bunch up too many flowers when drying. If you do, air may not flow through the flowers well. As a result, they may not dry properly. Split the bouquet into smaller units when drying.
Placing the flowers upside down when air-drying them ensures they retain their upright structure when dry. If you dry the flowers straight up, the stems may bend by the time the flowers are dry.
Avoid placing the flowers in an area that receives a lot of sunlight. If you do, the flowers will lose their color.
Good air circulation is essential to the drying process. With poor circulation, the drying process will be slower. In humid conditions, the flowers may even start to rot.
Drying With Silica Gel
If your flowers have thin stems, drying them with silica gel is the better option. Unlike air drying, drying with silica gel is faster.
Note that silica gels typically come as small crystals packed in little packets for keeping shoes, bags, and many other items dry.
To preserve your wedding flowers with silica gel, place them in an airtight container. Then pour the silica gel over them to cover them completely, then cover the container. If you do not have silica gel, you can buy a silica gel preservation tub from some flower stores.
When drying your wedding flowers with silica gel, you want to ensure you place them in the silica gel not long after the wedding.
Drying with silica gel typically takes around 2 to 7 days. This is shorter than air drying, which takes many weeks.
Another option for drying your wedding flowers is pressing. It works best for flat and thin items.
- To press your flowers, spread them out on a layer of absorbent paper. Ensure they are fully stretched and not kinked.
- Then place another layer of absorbent paper over the flowers and press everything down with a heavy book. Add as many books as you need until you get sufficient pressure on the flower.
- Leave the press intact for several weeks. Check the amount of moisture present in the press after 3-4 weeks. If the flowers are not totally dry, reassemble the press and leave them for another couple of weeks.
How to Put Your Wedding Flowers in a Shadow Box
- Open the shadow box by removing its glass.
- Confirm that the floral foam readily fits into the shadow box, leaving sufficient space for the flowers. You can use a mat board or card stock instead of the floral foam.
- When using floral foam, you can create your desired pattern with the flowers using wires. Just coil the wire around each flower and affix the flowers to the floral foam in your desired pattern.
- Once the flowers are in your desired pattern, secure them by applying hot glue. If using a mat board or card stock, you may have to create your pattern by directly hot gluing the flowers.
- Once you secure the flowers in your desired pattern, apply hot glue to the back of the floral foam, mat board, or card stock. Then gum the back of the floral foam to the shadow box’s back panel.
- After securing the floral foam to the shadow box, put the shadow box’s glass back in place. Now, you have your wedding flowers in a shadow box!
9 Other Ways to Preserve Your Wedding Flowers
Besides placing them in a shadow box, you can preserve your wedding flowers by doing any of the following:
Store Them in Epoxy
Epoxying your wedding flowers is one of the most creative ways of preserving them. If you are artsy-craftsy, you can put your flowers in epoxy by yourself. Alternatively, you may send them to a florist.
Make Pressed Flower Cards
Another way to preserve your wedding flowers is to make pressed flower cards. After pressing your bouquet as described above, glue them to card stock, and you have pressed flower cards.
If you make pressed flower cards out of your wedding flowers, you can send some of them out as keepsakes. They are perfect gifts for the wedding party, close friends, and family.
Turn Them Into Christmas Ornaments
You can turn your wedding flowers into Christmas ornaments. To do this, fill clear glass ornaments with petals from the dry flowers. Then screw the ornament plug shut. You may further design the ornament by attaching a ribbon to the ornament plug.
Store Them in a Bottle
Another option similar to the Christmas ornament is storing the flowers in a bottle. To do this, fill a clean, clear glass bottle with flowerheads from the dry flowers. Then cork or shut the bottle.
Make a Floral Window
Another fun way to preserve your wedding bouquet is to make a floral window out of them. To do this, you need a large glass frame.
Once you have the glass frame, open it, and place your flowers in your desired pattern. Then close it and put it anywhere you want in your home.
Use Them to Design Your Phone Case
You may adorn your phone’s case with petals from your wedding flowers. To do this:
- Glue some dry petals on the back of your phone case.
- Then glue a layer of clear resin on the petals to protect them.
- Once the resin is dry, you have your phone case.
Have Them Painted
No matter how well you preserve your flowers, they will eventually die off. But if you want the memories of your wedding flowers to last longer, you can have them painted.
For the best outcomes, get an artist to paint the flowers while they are still fresh and bright.
Have Them Photographed
Instead of having your flowers painted, you can get a creative photographer to capture artsy photographs of the flower.
Convert Them to Jewelry
Some companies can help turn your wedding flowers into jewelry, such as necklaces and loose beads. You should consider turning your wedding bouquet into jewelry if you want an heirloom you can pass on to your children.