Capturing a Single, Dried Rose in a Dome Paperweight

This is my second blog post in a series that's all about working with preserved flowers.

Last week I showed you how to dry flowers in six easy steps.  Now I'm going to show you how to capture a single, dried rose using our Heirloom Dome Paperweight Kit.  (Available at PhotoWeights.com)

For most dried flower arrangements, with the exception of pressed flowers, you'll need to select a hollow dome because they have the extra ceiling height you'll need.  Something I really love about these domes is the fact that they magnify whatever they display.  This will add a lot of interest and dimension to your designs.

For this project you'll need the following supplies:

Heirloom Dome Paperweight Kit
Dried rose (or other flower)*
Swatch of background paper (any color you like)
Tacky glue
Small paint brush

* You'll need to select a flower that will fit within the display area of the paperweight. The thickness of the flower must fit the bottom recess.  The bottom recess is the ceiling height of the hollow area within the dome.

Step 1:  Place the adhesive side of your mounting board (the round disc shown above) onto a scrap of colored paper.  This will act as the background to apply the flower to.  I used some textured, black paper left over from another project.  I thought a black background would really bring out the color of the orange petals.

Here's a tip!  If you don't have any colored paper available, search the pages of a magazine or catalog for small sections of color you can clip out.  You can also print some color on a sheet of white paper using an inkjet printer.

Step 2:  If the flower has any loose petals that need to be secured, gently apply glue to the underside of the petal and lay it on the petal below.   (I used Aleene's Original Tacky Glue.)

Step 3:  Apply glue to the bottom of the flower, making sure to cover the lower petals (not quite to the edge).

 Step 4:  Glue to the flower to the center of the mounting board that was covered with paper in Step 1.

Step 5:  Once the flower is secured to the mounting board, center the board onto the adhesive side of the bottom pad and press into place.  This will frame the mounting board with an adhesive area that will bond it to the bottom of the glass paperweight.

Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours, or refer to your glue's instructions.

Step 6:  Place the flower (face down) into the recessed space on the bottom of the paperweight by centering the bottom pad over the base.

That's it!  In just a few steps you can create a flower paperweight that looks like it was purchased from a high-end boutique or museum store.

I hope you'll return to my blog as I add more paperweight design projects made with preserved flowers.


Six Easy Steps to Creating Beautiful, Dried Flowers

Because the art of drying and pressing flowers has become more and more popular, I wanted to create a series of blog posts to walk you through the steps involved in drying, pressing, and using small bouquets of color in a variety of paperweight designs.  You'll see how flowers and floral accents can be used as focal points or to simply lend a touch of natural elegance.

If you're drying flowers for a paperweight (available at PhotoWeights.com), it's important to choose flowers that are small enough to comfortably fit within the paperweight's display area (length, width, depth).  I'll explain more about this in my design posts.

Here's what you'll need:

     A variety of small flowers and greenery
     Silica gel crystals
     Air-tight containers with lids (at least 3-4" deep)

Be sure to read and follow the safety information and instructions that come with your silica gel.

Step 1:  Pour at least 1-2" of silica gel crystals into your container.  The silica needs to be deep enough to gently sink the base of your flowers into so they'll remain upright.

Step 2:  When preparing flowers for drying, remove the stems by cutting across the hip.  This will reduce the thickness of the flowers and create a somewhat flat bottom, making it easier to lay them on a background.

Step 3:  Place the flowers into the silica, sinking them slightly into the crystals so they remain upright.  Be sure there is separation between the flowers so they don't touch.

Step 4:  Cover the flowers with the silica by slowly sprinkling the crystals over them.  When the petals are nearly covered, gently tap the container on your work surface to help fill in any voids or gaps.  Slowly sprinkle more silica into the container until the flowers are completely hidden.

Step 5:  Place the air-tight lid on the container.  For small roses, store the container in a cool, dry place and allow them to remain in the silica, undisturbed, for at least 5-6 days.  Larger flowers and flowers with thicker petals will require additional time.  (Refer to the directions that come with your silica gel.)

Be sure to clean up any silica gel that may have been spilled in your work area.

Six days later...

Step 6: After the right amount of time has passed, slowly pour the silica gel from the container into a large bowl.  Gently remove the flowers from the silica and shake each one gingerly to remove any excess crystals.

The silica gel is reusable, so place them in an air-tight container for future projects.

Again, be sure to clean your work area to clean up any silica gel that may have been spilled.

Your flowers are beautifully preserved.  

Small Accent Flowers and Greenery

Small accent flowers and greenery can also be dried using the same process.

I hope this project will inspire you to pick a few flowers from your garden, or visit a local florist, so you can create dried flowers of your own.  They're perfect for paperweights, shadowboxes, and a number of other decorative crafts.

My thanks to Connie at Black Tie Floral in De Smet, SD, for providing me with the beautiful flowers I used in this post.