It is a sad fact of life that cut flowers do not last for long. However, there are many ways to preserve cut flowers for a little longer, including wax preservation. When cut flowers are dipped in paraffin wax, you can enjoy their beauty for a little longer. Wax preserved flowers sometimes change colour, so experiment until you know what changes will occur. Flowers with thick petals, such as roses, work best with this preservation method. Avoid using delicate flowers.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Double boiler
- Paraffin wax
- Large knife
- Candy thermometer
- Wooden clothes pins
- Long necked bottles
- Waxed paper
Cut flowers stems to at least 2 inches, and remove any unwanted leaves.
Fill the bottom half of the double boiler with enough water that the surface of the water doesn't quite touch the bottom of the top half. Replace the top half and set the double boiler on the stove. Bring the water to a boil.
Chop the paraffin wax into small cubes and place the paraffin wax in the top of the double boiler. Clip the candy thermometer to the double boiler. Carefully watch the temperature of the paraffin wax as it melts. The ideal temperature range is 54.4 to 65.6 degrees Celsius. Adjust the stove temperature as necessary to maintain the paraffin wax temperature.
Dip the flower head into the melted paraffin wax. Gently rotate the flower. Remove the flower from the wax and arrange petals as desired with a toothpick. Rotate the flower for a few seconds to remove excess wax.
Clip a flower with a clothes pin on the stem just below the flower head. Place the flower in a long necked bottle with the clothespin supporting the flower on the neck of the bottle. Allow to dry.
Dip the flower again for a second or even third coat. More coats will help your flowers stay fresh looking longer. Allow to dry between each coat.
Dip the stem into the wax after the flower head has set. Set the flower upside down on waxed paper to allow the stem to dry.
Tips and warnings
- Use caution when heating paraffin wax and when working with melted paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is flammable.
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