Preserving Beauty: Wedding Bouquet Shadowbox

My best friend got married!! I know…she’s stupidly gorgeous right? So was her wedding. It was the perfect Texas Hill Country affair with peonies and lace to die for. And at the last-minute, while we were picking up the tidbits before heading back to the hotel I asked what her plans were with her bouquet. Lucky for me, she didn’t already have plans for it (because you know…she was busy planning a wedding and all) so I jumped on it and figured I’d try my hand at preserving it.

Preserving the bridal bouquet tutorial on funyumandfrills.comShe has always loved white and soft pink peonies (who doesn’t) and as you can see, her bouquet was loaded with them. Now, as any floral lover knows, white flowers start to “antique” very quickly without water so if you’re attempting this – get those beauties in water and in a cold place as quickly as possible after their use.

Preserving the bridal bouquet tutorial on funyumandfrills.comWe had a bit of a hike home so with the hubby focused on the road and the flowers in a little vase, I did some research on how to dry flowers. The absolute ideal way to preserve flowers and stay the closest to their original color is to freeze dry them…as in an actual freeze dryer machine. One Google search and you’ll realize that’s not going to happen on a DIY budget. Unless of course you’re looking to get into afreeze-dried fruit side business. If that’s the case, by all means. I…at this moment in time…was not. So, next option was to use silica gel.Basically the silica gel removes as much moisture as possible from the flowers, leaving them similar to how they feel if you press them in a book but these will still have volume. We stopped off at Michaels and picked this up for under $10.

Flower Drying Silica Gel - complete tutorial for drying and shadowboxing on funyumandfrills.comTo get started you’ll want plenty of air tight containers. If you need something bigger than your tupperware allows, grab a big baking dish, tin foil and packing tape – it doesn’t need to be pretty at this point! Just put a layer of the gel down first, then place flowers in (leaving some space between if possible) and completely cover the flowers with the silica gel. Make sure they are closed tightly and store in a dry, dark place (I put mine in our pantry).

Drying flowers for shadowbox - full tutorial on funyumandfrills.comYour box should have a chart in the instructions showing you how many days to store your flowers. I checked mine on day seven but they were still a bit soft which indicates there is still moisture in the leaves. If that’s the case with yours, put them back and check to make sure they are completely covered in silica gel so it finishes taking out that remaining moisture.

Silica gel dried flowers for shadowbox - full tutorial on funyumandfrills.comWhile my flowers were drying out I searched for a shadowbox that would go with my color scheme and was coming up with nada. So, I finally decided to raid my stash of paints and get crafty because sometimes you literally have to DIY to get what you want. No problem.

Faux painting shadow box - full tutorial on funyumandfrills.comI started with this silver Rust-oleum spray paint we had leftover from another project. Since I was going for a bit of a textured look I took a paper towel, crumpled it up and sprayed that heavily on the towel first then just used it as a sort of sponge.

Flower Drying Silica Gel - complete tutorial for drying and shadowboxing on funyumandfrills.comIn order to get a bit more dimension I added two more colors – each with different finishes and using a slightly different applicator for each in order to get an antique, coppery look.

Faux painting shadow box - full tutorial on

Faux painting shadow box - full tutorial on funyumandfrills.comOnce the flowers were completely dry, I very gently took them out one at a time, careful to get all the silica gel out from under all of the petals. Then it was play time! Your shadow box’s back panel will be a slim piece of foam and if it doesn’t come with pins be sure to pick some up (it’s best if they don’t have the thick, colored ends on them). I arranged mine a few different ways but be careful because the flowers can only take so much. Once I liked their formation I started pinning – being sure to go in under petals and stick at an angle so they don’t show. Once the flowers were down, I decided it needed a little something to break it up so I pulled out two ribbons from my stash and began to weave them in here and there. Since it was a last-minute decision to do this for the bride, I didn’t think to grab a ribbon used in her wedding but how sweet would that be?! Do it on yours!

Preserving flowers full tutorial on

Wedding bouquet shadow box tutorial on funyumandfrills.comIsn’t that beautiful!? Of course crisp, white peonies are gorgeous but man, the natural yellowing on them is truly beautiful too. A perfect collection of peonies from a perfect day.

Wedding bouquet shadow box tutorial on

-Wedding Photos: Eureka Photography / Frame, Silica Gel & Paints: Michaels



9 thoughts on “Preserving Beauty: Wedding Bouquet Shadowbox

  1. thewickerhouse says:

    It looks so romantic and beautiful! What a wonderful way to preserve a bouquet. Thank yo so much for sharing at the Create – Share – Inspire link party. We hope you will come back again tonight.


  2. Ashley says:

    Did you cut the stems close to the flowers, then just pin through the top of the flowers through the center? Hoping to use your fabulous idea, just had a few questions! 😊


    • Fun, Yum & Frills says:

      Hi Ashley! Yes, I cut the stems very close to the flowers before drying them in the silica gel. Then, when it came time to pinning I actually tried to get as close to the back of the flower as possible so you couldn’t see the pin – so maybe the back few petals and a little bit of the middle if you can get to it. Hope yours turns out just the way you want!


  3. Bridget says:

    What kind of pins did you use? I want to do this with my wedding bouquet but the shadow boxes I’m finding don’t come with pins. Would glue work? Hot glue? E6000 craft glue?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s