How to preserve flowers in epoxy resin
Preserving flowers with two-part epoxy resin is a somewhat messy, but not difficult, procedure that produces striking results. Choose flowers that have tightly petalled blossoms, such as roses, chrysanthemums, tuberoses, gardenias, asters, carnations, marigolds or tulips, for best results.
When you have coated several flowers, use them for a centrepiece display, in vases or as components in craft projects. Work with epoxy resin in a well-ventilated area and wear plastic gloves, as the resin is difficult to remove from skin and can be irritating.
Dry the flowers. You can do this by hanging them upside down with the stems attached to the top of the picture frame with drawing pins. For quicker results, submerge them in a container of silica gel for a few days.
Place old newspaper or another protective covering on your work surface. Epoxy resin bonds permanently to almost everything, so you need to avoid spills and drips directly on your worktop or table.
Measure out exactly equal amounts of the resin and catalyst. Use disposable measuring cups, such as those used to dispense medication, marked in millilitres. Estimate how much of the mixture you will need for one or two flowers, as epoxy resin sets quickly and your work window is correspondingly short.
Pour the pre-measured resin and catalyst into a disposable mixing cup large enough to hold the liquid and a flower blossom. Scrape the sides of the measuring containers to make sure all of the material ends up in the cup. Mix the resin and catalyst thoroughly, then mix it some more. Unequal amounts of catalyst and resin or incomplete mixing will cause the resin not to set.
Dip the flower blossom with the stem attached into the epoxy, and hold it there for a few minutes so the epoxy gets between the petals. Lift the blossom out of the epoxy and transfer it to the picture frame, which is now set upright over newspaper or your other protective covering. Use a drawing pin to hang the stem from the top of the frame. If you intend to keep the stem attached to the blossom, use a disposable paintbrush to cover the stem with epoxy.
Wipe away any drips that form as the epoxy sets. You have about five minutes before the epoxy becomes unworkable. Allow the resin to cure overnight.