Old Dried Flowers

lulie___wayneJune 14, 2002

I have some flowers that I have kept from my daughter's casket after she was killed 4 years ago. My husband and I have kept them on our mantle under a large picture of her for these four years (hating to disturb them). As you can well imagine, they are VERY dry and somewhat dusty. I had finally decided to put them in a shadow box to preserve them. Does anyone have any other ideas of what I could do with them and also, any way to clean them without damaging the dry petals? Any suggestions would be welcomed.

Meet Christin at:


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Dear Lulie Wayne,

First of all I am truly sorry for your loss..
I have always used hair spray to save flowers, leaves, pussy willows, etc...Just spray lightly at first , then when dry, you can spray again...
Or how about putting them on a nice colorful piece of construction paper and then frame them. Hanging this on the wall would be beautiful....
Good luck to you...and keep a smile on your face and in your heart....

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 7:42PM
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Thank you for your condolences and also for your suggestions. In addition to keeping the flowers together better, would the hairspray help make them look fresher since there is some dust on them? I had planned on backing the shawdow box with something special from her, possibly a solid piece of fabric from one of her favorite outfits (if I can bear to cut it) or something that was special to her, and then displaying the box on one of our many "Christin" walls which contain many of other special treasures involving her life and death.
Thanks again.
Lu from LA

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 8:15PM
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Hi I'm sorry about your loss. One way you can clean your flowers is get a soft craft paint brush (the kind you oil paint with) and brush the dust off of the flowers. Becareful when you work with your flowers, they will fall apart depending on what kind they are and you would be heartbroken if this happens. Good luck with this wonderful project your daughter would be proud of you I'm sure. Susan

    Bookmark   June 14, 2002 at 11:49PM
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For Lulie__wayne,

I offer my condolences for your daughter.

I would reccommend that you do not use hair spray on the flowers. Hairspray makes them even more fragile because the alcohol in the spray breaks down flower and also discolors them greatly. I would use a high gloss clear enamel spray after misting the flowers lightly with water. The misting should return them to the color they were orginally. then just let them dry and give them several coats all over, letting dry between coats, the enamel type spray will also protect them from breaking apart as it also gives the flowers a "suit of armor" so to speak. :)
i always use a brand by the name of Zinnsser- Bullseye Protective Enamel Spray- High Gloss
Have a wonderful day.
your in my prayers......all of you.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 3:02AM
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One suggestion I have for cleaning the dust off of your dried flowers is to use a hair dryer on a cool setting from a fair distance to blow he dust off. I do this and then spray them with clear acrylic sealer such as Krylon. I have been drying flowers for several years and this works pretty good for me.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 10:42AM
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After you clean and refresh them, why not place them under the glass of the frame, surrounding her photo. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 1:47PM
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Joysong(z3 MT)

Just saw a Martha Stewart show on drying flowers,so did a quick search on hgtv.com. If you do a search for dried flowers, there's a wonderful page on making a mobile or a wall hanging from old ones. I like the idea of the wall hanging if you're planning on making something using some fabric from her. So sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 2:28PM
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Hi Lu
I'm so sorry for your loss and I can totally understand how precious those flowers are to you. My father died a month before I got married and I saved one of the funeral boquets and used the blue statice as my something blue, tucked in my gown next to my heart so that he was walking with me down the isle. These types of flowers are just so priceless and precious. While I again agree with Redhead, a very soft paint bursh is best, but for something this priceless I would strongly recommend that you actually contact a professional, if not to actually clean and protect them then to give you the best possible advice for them. But I do love your ideas for them, I think they are wonderful.

My Mom passed away 2 years ago and we dried her fowers (yellow roses), and we had lots of petals that broke into pieces. These we didn't throw away but turned into potpourri. We used both flowers and leaves for this. We then went to the craft shop and bought some clear hearts that could be opened and filled. We decorated the outside with a bit of ribbon and each family member got one. I have mine hanging up on the wall away from direct light and at Christmas time I hang it on the tree where everyone can see it. I don't know if this is something that you might be interested in doing if you should have any petals that crumble as it would be such a shame to not keep them all.

One last thing, if you decide to use some material behind them, please put a piece of glass between the material and the flowers. Also if you decide to use colored paper instead, make sure that the paper you use is acid free and lignin free to protect the flowers. The acid from the dyeing process for clothing as well as in some paper-making can cause these delicate things to break down much quickly. If you do decide to opt for paper, please feel free to contact me and I can provide you with whatever color(s) you want (for free) and they will be safe for it, if you wish. My email is shelltel@aol.com and you can contact me anytime.

Again, my deepest sympathies for your loss! My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Warmest Wishes


    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 9:13PM
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Shelley, you are so sweet and generous. Thank you so much for your ideas and suggestions. Your idea about wearing some of your dad's flowers near your heart at your wedding is so beautiful. I am sorry about the loss of your dad as well as your mom. Also, thank you for your condolences concerning our sweet Christin. I might take you up on the paper if I decide to go that route.
Christin still has dozens of flowers and corsages which have been given to her for various occasions and she treasured them, so of course, we treasure anything that is hers. I had thought about using the petals for potpourri, and now that you suggested keeping the leaves too, I may do that also. Shoot, I may even cut the stems and keep them too. :)
An idea that came directly from Christin was to have a painted flower. She wanted a black rose at one time, so a boyfriend gave her a fresh rose that he had spray painted black. It was absolutely gorgeous. It looked like wax. It lasted a long time, just the way it originally looked. I wouldn't try this on something that you treasure without experimenting a little first, though.
Throughout the years, I have been given dozens of flowers from my husband which I have made potpourri from some and also made decorative designs/arrangements in frames with some of them. For border, I have used lace or other items which have special meanings to us. They are not only conversation pieces, but are a few of our very treasured items which hopefully, our grandchildren and their grandchildren may treasure some day and have a special story to go with them.
Lu from LA

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 10:16PM
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Just thought of another beautiful use for dried flowers. The day that my daughter was buried, one of her friends and her mom went to the gravesite and gathered a few flowers (she had more than anyone had ever seen). The girl was married a couple of months afterwards. Being that she knew that Christin would have been at her wedding, to symbolize her presence in spirit, the flower girl carried the dried flower petals in a basket and sprinkled them along her path as she walked down the aisle to the alter. I thought that was such a beautiful and sweet idea. Luckily, my husband and I could not make it to the wedding, and I did not know that she had done that until afterwards. I am honored that she did this, but it would have been a little too sad for us to bear. By the way, she is among many who named her first child after Christin.
Lu from LA

    Bookmark   June 15, 2002 at 10:46PM
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handmayyd(z5 CO)

As with the many others, I send my condolences. Losing a loved one at any time si heartbreaking - but, remembering their smile and laughter makes it easier. I lost my mother and grandmother over 25 years ago but still hear them laughing at me (and scolding me when I do something sill - you know, when they use your full name?)
Anyway, something to do with broken petals -
Make the "scented rocks" by making a simple salt dough (flour, salt & water)and add the petal pieces. Add a few drops of fragrance or essential oil if you like. Press into a mold and let dry. Or make small beads (1/4" or so), let dry and string them. I used a heart mold for soaps, etc. that is about 1 1/2" across, put a hole in the top and ran a ribbon thru it, then used it as apendant, used some as package ties.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2002 at 10:06AM
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Posie(z3 MN)

I still have flowers from funerals in our families. Most of the time I have just laid themm carefully into a shoe box or a box of the right size and wait until they dry before using them for something. Roses and statice dry very nicely. Sometimes I've put the bouquets into a vase so they can be seen. One time I took some of the faded blooms and added a tiny bit of green and mounted them and made bookmarks for all the family with a tiny note as to where the flowers came from. I use old greeting cards for the bookmarks and put clear contact paper over them. Everyone loved them.They do fade and will loose their perfumes. As far as dust, just barely blow on them or use a soft soft small paint brush. I would position them in a shadow box along with other keepsakes, such as her funeral program, etc. Most shadow boxes are lined with a pretty velvet or taffeta and have a glass closure so you don't need to open the box for ages. Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2003 at 6:08PM
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medowbug(NE Ks)

Hi, Have you thought about getting a special bottle ( maybe heart shaped etc.) just make sure the mouth of the bottle is large enough to get the flowers in without breaking. Put an assortment of flowers in the bottle, the more the better. Then fill with either baby oil, or mineral oil or even the parafin oil that you burn with a wick. These last forever and really keep the bright color of the flowers. I've got both types I have made years ago and still look wonderful. You would think that the parafin oil would be to harsh to preserve flowers, but it really turns out well. My heart is with you, and hope what ever you choose to do with the flowers will bring you joy when you look at them.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2004 at 3:03PM
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Posie(z3 MN)

Another thought: I've saved flowers from alot of funerals of persons near and dear to me. Usually they end up in a shoe box with labels on them. But, now I've deceided to make a wreath and take the blooms and insert them here and there in the wreath.
Two of my daughters take the roses they receive from their husbands for anniverseries and such and lay them in tissue paper that contrasts with the dried roses and then just lay them on top of a chest or on a shelf in their china cupboards. I would be very, very careful when attempting to dust them as most dried flowers are so brittle. I just gently blow on mine when out of doors. I don't like to spray them with anything as the hair spray and paint sprays tend to become "sticky" with age and just collect more dust. The year 2000 I lost six family members. Two brothers, a sister, a sister-in-law and two very dear cousins. Needless to say I am still reeling from the losses. I don't have a source but some places such as JoAnn's or Michaels may have tall containers (either glass or plastic) for holding special dolls and they would work to hold your precious flowers. Perhaps you can find a tall clear flower vase and have someone cut out a cover of glass or plastic to cover it. My Best Wishes to you.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2004 at 5:58PM
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