Wednesday, October 11, 2017

DIY Preserved Wedding Flower Shadowbox

Hey lovelies! I'm coming to you with my best and most precious DIY to date, a gorgeous shadowbox displaying some of my preserved wedding flowers! I absolutely adore my shadowbox. I think it looks so delicate and lovely, and is a perfect reminder of the beauty that surrounded me on my wedding day. I'm planning on including this piece in a wedding gallery wall, and I know that it will add so much texture and dimension to the collection of wedding day memories!

Before the wedding I looked extensively into bouquet preservation ideas. I thought of having them sent to a professional, being made into jewelry, pressed, preserved in resin, but in the craziness leading up to the wedding all of the plans I would have needed to put in place to preserve the flowers in those ways went by the wayside. It wasn't until the day after the wedding that I finally had a chance to google one last time to see what my options for preservation were. I landed on one of the easiest, most affordable, and as it turns out, most successful ways of preserving wedding flowers: Silica Gel.

Yes, silica gel, as in what comes in those little packets stuck into pockets of new clothes that say "DO NOT EAT." You can buy silica gel meant for preserving flowers very inexpensively (especially when considering the cost of professional bouquet preservation services, which cost HUNDREDS) on Amazon. The process of drying your flowers with the silica beads is very simple; all you do is layer the flowers with the silica beads until the entire flower is covered in an air-tight tupperware container, close the lid, and leave the tupperware containers alone for about 5 days (some of my dense roses needed a few extra days to dry completely, but most were dried in this time).

The picture above is what my flowers looked like at the END of the drying process. I used this silica gel method to dry flowers from my centerpieces but did the traditional "hang the bouquet upside down to dry" method for the flowers in my bouquet. I found that the flower dried with silica gel retained so much more of their original color (my flowers that were hung to dry are much more brown) and more of their original shape (where the flowers that were hung to dry look much more shriveled). Such incredible results for such a simple and inexpensive process!

Once your flowers are dried you can move on to the really fun part, arranging it into a shadowbox! After an extensive search the shadowbox I finally settled on is actually the inexpensive Ikea Ribba Frame. I chose this because my gallery wall is going to include a number of white gallery frames, which this will blend with perfectly, and because I thought the size was perfect;not too big, not too small, but plenty deep to accommodate for the layering of flowers in your display. It even comes with a mat that you can choose to put on top of your flowers if you want to make your flower display even smaller or give your shadow box a more traditional picture frame look.

Now that we have the two most essential ingredients lined up, your dried flowers and your shadow box, without further ado, here is how to make a gorgeous keepsake preserved wedding flower shadowbox!



1.) Organize your dried flowers by type. I found this useful so all of my filler flowers, long stemmed flowers, and greenery that I had was easy to see making it easier to create a balanced composition in my shadowbox.

2.) Use the paper that comes in the Ikea shadowbox frame to trace onto your scrapbook paper or card stock. Cut out the scrapbook paper along your traced lines. You will use this paper as the backing for your dried flower display.

3.) Before you begin gluing, I recommend arranging your flowers onto the cardstock so you can get a general idea of the overall shape and design you are looking for. For me, after doing this step, I discovered I liked the look of the tall greenery all fanning out from the bottom center of the scrapbook paper.

4.) Begin using your hot glue gun to secure your flowers onto your scrapbook paper. I found I liked the look best when I applied many overlapping layers of dried flowers, and used smaller filler flowers to fill in most white spots so the scrapbook paper in the background was less visible. Don't be too generous with your hot glue during this step, the flowers are very light and only need a light touch to secure them to the paper or layers of flower underneath, and the overall look of your shadowbox will be better without obvious globs of hot glue peeking out.

So there you have it! A fun, easy, and inexpensive way to preserve and treasure your wedding bouquet or centerpiece flowers forever! Take my word for it when I say the pictures of this project really don't do it justice. The texture, color and dimension the shadowbox has in real life is absolutely stunning.

I hope this has inspired you to create something beautiful with your own wedding flowers after the big day! Let me know if you try this or have tried any other flower preservation techniques! As always, don't forget to follow me on bloglovin' so you never miss an update!

With Love, Katie

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