How to Preserve Leaves and Flowers

Two Parts:Finding and Preparing Materials for CastingCasting Leaves and Flowers

Sometimes you just don't want to let go of a beautiful bouquet of flowers someone special gave you, or maybe you have a gorgeous plant that rarely flowers and, when it does, the foliage and petals decay faster than you would like. There are methods to save and preserve them longer but many of them don't maintain the plant's original colors, shape or beauty. By following this guide, you can learn to preserve them nearly intact for years to come.

Part 1
Finding and Preparing Materials for Casting

  1. 1
    Buy a fresh new can of clear polyester casting resin. A container that has previously been opened may be difficult to open if the cap/lid is sealed tight with resin exposed to air.
    • Find out the date the can was bottled because resin has a short shelf life; even in sealed, airtight containers, it can become too viscous to effectively coat foliage and flowers.
  2. 2
    Check the viscosity of the resin fluid. It is important to find resin fluid that can be sprayed or air brushed through the nozzle or sprayer bottle directly to the foliage and flowers.
    • If the resin is too viscous to be sprayed onto the flower you can carefully sprinkle and pour small drops at a time (This will be further explained below).
  3. 3
    Set up in an open air area with plenty of ventilation and away from open flames.
  4. 4
    Use safety googles, gloves, respirator and coveralls when casting with resins and chemicals.
    • Avoid breathing resin fumes. Resin has an extremely potent smell and just a small amount poured can fill a house with the smell for hours.
  5. 5
    Protect all exposed working surfaces with plastic or drop cloth from spills.
  6. 6
    Replace or clean airbrush nozzles immediately after use. Resin can cure and set quickly jamming and plugging your sprayer permanently if you don't disassemble and clean right away.
  7. 7
    Mix small amounts of resin and catalyst at a time. The container bottle should have an information chart with the proper resin/catalyst ratio depending of the size and thickness of the cast.
  8. 8
    Read and understand the instructions before mixing and using resin. Pay close attention to safety tips and warnings.
    • Use caution while mixing and pouring solutions. When resin makes contact with the catalyst there is a chemical reaction which creates significant heat.

Part 2
Casting Leaves and Flowers

  1. 1
    Use less catalyst than the recommended ratio on the chart because the foliage and petal tips could easily burn or get damaged.
  2. 2
    Spray as lightly and gentle as you could. The thinner and closer the petals and leaves are to each other will be more difficult to cast.
    • Some leaves and flowers are more difficult to cast because they are more delicate and could stick and clog-up to other leaves and petals.
    • Excessive heat and heavy resin layers could cause flowers to to curl, discolor and wrinkle.
  3. 3
    Coat one thin coat at a time to reduce heat shock and faster curing time.
    • It is difficult to spray with resin, you can dip thicker and less dense foliage and hang them dry with good results.
  4. 4
    Wait at least one hour between coats.
  5. 5
    Allow proper ventilation and space between each leaf and flower.
  6. 6
    Use a hair dryer in a low setting to help resin cure faster and dry excess resin.
  7. 7
    Wait at least 48 hours to move and handle your flowers to avoid leaving prints or deforming your flowers.


  • The more catalyst you use will create more heat.
  • Do not pour unused or mixed resin back to the container.

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Categories: Preserving Herbs