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How to preserve flowers in wax

Updated November 21, 2016

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.

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.

Warning

Use caution when heating paraffin wax and when working with melted paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is flammable.

Things You'll Need

  • Flowers
  • Double boiler
  • Water
  • Paraffin wax
  • Large knife
  • Candy thermometer
  • Toothpicks
  • Wooden clothes pins
  • Long necked bottles
  • Waxed paper
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About the Author

Crystal Bench is a senior studying applied mathematics at Brigham Young University, Idaho. Along with her Bachelor of Arts, she has clusters in French, 3-D art, and physical science. Bench is also an avid writer, with work ranging from short stories to nonfiction pieces of many kinds, and even a few forays into poetry.