The funeral flowers that adorn a loved one’s casket or service hold deep significance for those grieving their loss. Each bouquet and flower arrangement serves as a heartfelt tribute and final gesture of love.
It’s only natural to want to save these flowers beyond the funeral service as keepsakes and mementoes to honour the deceased. With proper care and the right preservation methods, the memory symbolized by funeral flowers can live on for years to come.
This guide will explore several techniques for preserving and displaying funeral flowers to create lasting remembrances.
The Emotional Value of Preserving Funeral Flowers
For those mourning the death of someone close to them, funeral flowers often represent one of the most meaningful parts of the service. Friends and family carefully choose flowers that capture their relationship with the deceased and provide comfort during the grief process.
Preserving the flowers allows you to hold onto the symbolic meaning behind these gifts. The preserved flowers also become an ongoing memorial to celebrate the loved one’s life and legacy. Seeing the preserved bouquet on display or preserved as jewellery allows you to reconnect with cherished memories of the deceased whenever sadness resurfaces.
Beyond their emotional significance, funeral flowers also have sentimental value as they were present at the final farewell. Preserving them is a way to keep a physical reminder of shared love and special moments. For all these reasons, taking the time to properly preserve funeral flowers is a worthwhile endeavour.
Factors to Consider for Successful Preservation
To best preserve funeral flowers for years to come, you’ll need to make strategic choices regarding the flowers themselves and your approach to preservation. Selecting flowers that are naturally hardy and resilient will increase their lifespan and improve your chance of successful preservation.
Opt for roses, carnations, lilies, lavender, statice, and ferns that tend to dry well and maintain their beauty. Avoid choosing flowers with very delicate petals like orchids, tulips, and impatiens that are prone to wilting and damage. The timing is also essential when preserving funeral flowers. Begin the preservation process as soon as possible after the service, ideally within 24 to 48 hours. For best results, keep the flowers properly hydrated in the meantime and away from direct sunlight or heat.
When you’re ready to preserve, assess the flowers carefully and remove any damaged petals or foliage. Choose a preservation technique that suits the type of flowers, your timeframe, your budget, and any display plans. With patience and care, even the most fragile memorial flowers can become enduring keepsakes.
Air Drying Fundamentals
One of the most accessible and cost-effective preservation methods for funeral flowers is air drying. This technique involves slowly removing moisture from the flowers to leave the organic material intact. When done properly, air drying maintains the original colour and form of most flowers.
To start the air-drying process, carefully trim the flower stems and remove any foliage that would sit below the water line in a vase. Optimal drying happens when flowers are hung upside down in a dark, dry location with ample air circulation. Using string or rubber bands, gather the stems together and hang the bouquet upside down.
The drying location should stay between 20-30°C and away from direct light. To best preserve the flowers’ shape, fill their heads with additional absorbent materials like paper towels, cotton balls, or silica gel packets. Check the flowers every few days until completely dry, replacing the inner materials as needed.
Most flowers take 1-2 weeks to fully air dry. Delicate flowers may take a few weeks longer. When dried, you can spray the flowers with hairspray or acrylic sealant for added preservation.
Step-by-Step Instructions for Air Drying
Follow these key steps for successfully air-drying funeral flowers:
- Select heartier flowers suitable for air drying like roses, carnations, lavender, etc. Avoid delicate orchids or lilies.
- Gather supplies like string, rubber bands, paper towels, cotton balls, and silica gel packs.
- Care for the flowers properly before drying. Keep hydrated in water and away from heat or sunlight.
- Cut each flower stem at a slant and remove extra leaves and foliage.
- Group the stems together and tie with string or rubber bands.
- Hang the bouquet upside down in a warm, dry, dark space with ample airflow.
- Gently stuff each flower head with paper towels, cotton balls, or silica gel to retain the shape.
- Check flowers every 2-3 days and replace stuffing materials as needed.
- Flowers are fully dried when stiff, fragile, and lighter in weight. This takes 1-2 weeks on average.
- For added protection, spray with a sealant once dried.
- Carefully remove string and rubber bands once dried.
- Enjoy your preserved memento and display it in a vase, shadow box, or glass case.
With this simple air-drying method, the funeral flowers become preserved keepsakes that retain their symbolic significance and natural elegance.
Pressing Flowers: An Alternative Preservation Technique
While air drying works well for many flowers, another option is to press your funeral flowers to immortalize their beauty. Pressing involves applying gentle weight to slowly flatten and dry the flowers between absorbent materials. This delicate process preserves the flowers’ colour and allows them to remain supple enough for further creative uses. To begin pressing flowers, carefully disassemble any bouquets and trim the stems.
Place each flower between sheets of paper towel, blotting paper or newsprint. Avoid using tissue, which can stick to the flowers. Arrange the layered flowers inside a heavy book or use a dedicated flower press. Weigh down the book or press and keep in a dry environment.
Change the absorbent papers every few days to prevent mold from moisture. Rehydrating the papers lightly can help quicken the pressing process. Most flowers require 2-4 weeks to fully flatten and dry.
Once dried, the preserved flowers retain their vivid colour and make meaningful keepsakes or art materials. Handle pressed flowers gently to prevent brittleness over time. With care, pressing prolongs the fragile beauty of funeral flowers.
The Benefits of Professional Freeze-Drying
For those seeking to perfectly preserve funeral flowers, consider utilizing a professional freeze-drying service. Freeze drying offers superior long-term preservation compared to air drying or pressing. This scientific process removes all moisture from the flowers while keeping structural components intact.
Special equipment is used to freeze the flowers and then reduce surrounding pressure to remove frozen water molecules via sublimation. The flowers maintain original vibrancy and dimension but become lightweight and fragile. When done professionally, freeze-drying prevents shrinkage, brittleness and colour loss over decades.
It also prevents future mould or rot. Flowers are often arranged in desired poses before freeze-drying to better hold their shape. This level of stability makes freeze-dried flowers suitable for long-term display in glass domes, boxes or vases with occasional dusting.
Their lifelike quality can make funeral freeze-drying a worthy investment for cherishing flowers indefinitely. While costlier than DIY methods, this permanent preservation promises your funeral flowers will remain flawless memorials for generations to come.
Creative Ways to Showcase Preserved Funeral Flowers
Once you’ve preserved funeral flowers through air drying, pressing or freeze-drying, decide how to artfully display these keepsakes. Flatten and dry the flowers for framed wall displays, then spread out and adhere to acid-free backing boards. Seal with UV glass to prevent fading.
You can also showcase funeral flowers inside glass domes or bell jars placed on shelves, pedestals or tabletops. Opt for compact bouquets and sparse arrangements that don’t overwhelm the space. For an ornate presentation, place dried flowers in an elegant vase or decanter.
Those seeking wearable mementoes can have dried funeral flowers encased in resin jewellery or incorporated into rings, necklaces or bracelets. Or use the preserved petals to create meaningful stationery, potpourri sachets or perfume.
However, you choose to honour your preserved funeral flowers, place them in spaces where they evoke fond memories and carry on the legacy of someone cherished.
Protecting Displayed Flowers for Years to Come
To best preserve funeral flowers for ongoing display, adhere to these tips:
- Keep flowers out of direct sunlight to prevent fading. UV-filtered glass helps when framing.
- Avoid excessive humidity which may rehydrate dried flowers, causing discolouration or decay.
- Position flowers away from heat vents or fireplaces that generate heat.
- Regularly dust displays remove accumulated particles and prevent staining over time.
- Gently clean glass display cases, domes or bell jars with microfiber cloths. Avoid moisture.
- Check for insect infestations like moths which may damage delicate dried flowers.
- Consider spraying dried flowers lightly with preservatives occasionally to deter degradation.
With attentive long-term care, your meaningful floral memorials and displays honouring the dead will endure for decades.
Alternative Methods for Preserving Flowers
In addition to traditional drying and pressing methods, here are two other creative options for preserving funeral flowers:
Clear resin can permanently encapsulate funeral flowers to create solid keepsakes like paperweights or jewellery pendants. Carefully position dried petals and flowers before mixing and pouring two-part resin into a mould. Resin cures to a glass-like finish, showcasing the flowers in vivid detail. Finished resin-cast pieces also gain added durability for lifelong memorial displaying.
This artful technique involves gently pounding dried flower petals to release their colours and scents. The crushed petal powder gets combined with binders like plaster or wax and then pressed in moulds to form votive candles, beads or decorative paper. The flowers’ fragrance infuses the materials while the vibrant powdered pigments swirl throughout the designs. This craft allows you to preserve funeral flowers in useful, aromatic art.
Whether you dry, press, frame, wear or craft with preserved funeral flowers, each unique memento keeps affection for those passed alive and vibrant.
Funeral Flowers: Transforming Grief Into Remembrance
Funeral flowers represent the deep care and empathy expressed for someone now gone. Preserving such meaningful symbols provides ongoing comfort while allowing love for those we’ve lost to live on. By caring for these floral keepsakes, you honour the role funeral flowers play in grieving and gradual healing. While the sting of death never fully fades, preserved memorial blooms bring light to darkness through fond memories. When sorrow resurfaces, see your funeral flowers as reminders of a life well lived rather than the pain of loss. Allow the beauty preserved to transform your grief into hope and gratitude for the time shared together. Cherish these flowers as mementoes of the past and hope for the future until you meet again.