If you have dried flowers of sentimental value, you can preserve them permanently with polyester resin. Resin is a liquid plastic that solidifies when mixed with a hardening chemical. You can use it to create a large variety of items with your dried flowers, from paperweights to jewellery. Pay close attention to the details while you are creating a resin piece to avoid accidents and get the best results. The process is straightforward and becomes more comfortable with practice.
Place the dried flowers on a newspaper and spray them with an acrylic spray. Make sure you spray between the petals also. Let it dry completely. The acrylic spray prevents the flowers from losing their colour from the heat of the resin. Arrange the flowers in the pattern you want them to take in the resin.
Pick a mould that is appropriate for the item you are making. For instance, use a mould with small shapes for jewellery pieces and a larger mould for a paperweight. Spray a mould release agent into the mould. Let it dry completely.
Pour the resin and hardener into separate plastic disposable cups in the ratio that the manufacturer has specified. Make sure it is enough for the amount you will need for the first layer of resin. Pour the hardener into the resin and use a mixing stick to scrape the sides of the cup containing the hardener so you get the remnants as well. Stir the liquid together, but avoid using a whipping motion so you do not create air bubbles. Pour the mixture into a new disposable cup and stir again briefly.
Pour the resin into the mould until it is filled to 1/4 inch. Let it cure until the resin is rubbery. Poke it with a toothpick to check to check the consistency.
Place the dried flowers on the resin in the pattern you have created. Make sure they are facing the right direction. For instance, place the flowers facedown if the bottom of the resin will be the top of the piece you are making.
Mix more resin and hardener for the second layer of resin. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions before you again follow the procedure in Step 3. The process may vary slightly for additional layers of resin.
Pour the resin over the flowers in the mould until it is full. Let it set completely from four to 24 hours. When it has hardened, pop it out of the mould.
File off any rough edges with 100-grit sandpaper. Lay the sandpaper flat and move the piece over it until it is smooth. Do this gently to avoid scratching the plastic piece. Repeat the process under water with a finer grade of sandpaper.
Buff the resin piece until it shines with a soft cloth or buffing wheel and a buffing compound. Repeat the process from Step 2 if you need to create more items with any leftover dried flowers.
Things you need
- Old newspaper
- Acrylic spray
- Mold release agent
- Polyester resin
- Plastic disposable cups
- Mixing sticks
- 100-grit sandpaper
- Fine sandpaper
- Soft cloth or buffing wheel
- Buffing compound