Rue How-To: Preserve That V-Day Bouquet

Ladies and gentlemen, tomorrow’s the day. If you’ve prepped your partner, flowers are in your future (hopefully delivered to your desk at work, in front of all your friends). The downside? In three to five days, those pretty petals will begin to wilt. In the spirit of being crafty – and a tiny bit sentimental – here are two ways to preserve that bouquet for years to come.

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The Hairspray Method
Ideal for flowers with delicate petals, like daisies, tulips, and lilies.

What you’ll need:

  • Bottle of aerosol hairspray
  • Twine

How to do it:

  1. Remove flowers from their vase when they’re in full bloom (or at least before they begin to wilt).
  2. Lightly mist each flower with hairspray.
  3. Tie twine to the flowers’ stems and hang them upside down in a cool, dark place (like your basement or closet) for two to five days.
  4. Arrange them back in the vase. If you’re careful not to break the petals (this can be tricky), the colors and shapes of the flowers will last.

The Oven Method
Works best with more compact flowers, like roses, carnations, marigolds, and chrysanthemums.

What you’ll need:

  • Oven
  • Baking dish
  • Sand (hit the craft store, unless you live near the coast)

How to do it:

  1. Set oven to its lowest temperature, between 100 and 200°F.
  2. Fill the bottom of the baking dish with one to two inches of sand.
  3. Place the flowers in the dish and cover completely with sand.
  4. Place the dish in the oven for two to three hours. Check the oven periodically to make sure it does not get too hot, and leave the oven door ajar for extra circulation.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 13, 2013