How to Dry Out a Corsage
How to Preserve a Corsage
A corsage worn during prom, a wedding, or another special event can be turned into a beautiful keepsake if you preserve it properly. You can choose between many different preservation methods depending on how long you want the process to take and what you want the flowers to look like when you’re done. If you take a few steps to preserve and display your corsage, you can create a lasting reminder of your special night.
Air-Drying Your Corsage
Make sure the flowers and other corsage elements are tightly fastened together.The stems will shrink slightly as the flowers dry, so if one or more flowers in the corsage seem loose, fasten them together with a rubber band, twine, or ribbon. Don’t tie them so tightly that the stems bend, however - if bound too tightly, the flowers won’t fully dry underneath the bindings.
- Air drying works best on freshly bloomed flowers, so start the drying process as soon as possible.
Hang the corsage upside down.Fasten it to a hook or hanger, and hang in a cool, dry place with good circulation. It’s best to keep the corsage out of direct sunlight as it dries, in order to minimize fading.
Leave the corsage for 2-4 weeks, until fully dry.Check in on your corsage regularly over the next few weeks to make sure it’s drying. Once all the petals and leaves seem completely dry, carefully remove the corsage.
Spray your corsage with hairspray.Air drying can leave flowers a little bit brittle and prone to crumbling, but a coat of hairspray can help protect them. Use an aerosol can, rather than one with a spray pump, in order to spray more evenly.
Drying Your Flowers with Silica Gel
Find or purchase an air-tight container and silica gel.Silica gel is a desiccant which will wick moisture out of your corsage, helping the flowers dry quickly and thoroughly while maintaining their shape. It can be purchased online, or at a local craft supply store or florist shop.
- Silica gel can be pricey, but it tends to produce better results than other desiccants and can be reused several times, until it turns pink.
- If you’re in search of a cheaper alternative, fine sand, cat litter, or a mixture of one part borax to two parts cornmeal all absorb moisture well and can be used in place of silica gel.
Make sure your flowers are well-hydrated, but dry on the surface.If your flowers have already started to wilt, rehydrate them by recutting the stems at an angle and setting the corsage in a container of water for a few hours, until the petals perk back up. Wipe off any surface water when you’re done.
Bury your corsage in the silica gel.Layer some desiccant in the bottom of the container, add your corsage on top, face up, and then sprinkle more desiccant lightly over the corsage until it is buried. Make sure the silica gel gets in every crevice, but be careful not to crush the flowers.
Seal the container and store your corsage in a cool, dry place.Check your corsage every couple days, and remove when dry. Depending on how much moisture your flowers contained when you first started the process, this method may take anywhere from one to several weeks.
- Try not to over-dry your flowers, or your corsage will be extra prone to shattering.
Unearth your corsage after a couple of weeks.Pour out the desiccant until you can reach your corsage. Remove it carefully and gently brush off any remaining desiccant that’s stuck to it.
Displaying Preserved Corsages
Set preserved corsages in a small vase or container.Set the base of the corsage in a small glass, basket, or decorative container to make it look like a tiny bouquet, and put on a shelf.
Place the entire corsage inside a large glass bottle.If you have a clear glass bottle or vase with a wide mouth, drop your preserved corsage inside. The bottle will display your corsage while protecting it from breaking.
Drop your corsage into a shadow box.These boxes are similar to picture frames, but are much deeper, so they can hold items that aren’t flat. They can be found at your local frame or craft supply store.
- Shadow boxes can be used to display your corsage alongside other objects from your special night, such as a photo, invitation, or piece of fabric from your event outfit.
Save pieces of dried flowers that break off from the corsage.Mix them with other fresh herbs and scented oils to create potpourri and display them in a shallow or clear bowl, or mix into a soap base and add other scents or exfoliants such as oatmeal to make your own hand soap.
- Professional florists often offer corsage preservation services. Professional drying or freezing methods will usually leave your flowers less likely to fade or crumble, and florists can often replace any damaged blooms before preserving. However, these services can be costly.
- If you’re okay with cutting your corsage apart, pressing the flowers can be a great way to preserve them. Lay out your flowers as flat as possible in the middle of a heavy book lined with paper, close the book, and stack more books or heavy objects on top. Change out the paper liners about once a week, until all the moisture has been drawn out.Pressed flowers can easily be framed, or flattened between two glass panes held together with electrical tape.
Video: How Do You Preserve A Corsage?
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