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Lesson Plans

Re: art recipes

From: maryannkohl (maryann)
Date: Thu Jul 06 2000 - 20:55:53 PDT

  • Next message: Kimberly Herbert: "RE: supplies - what to do?"

    >Hi Maryann,
    >Thanks for all the recipes. Do you happen to know the one that makes a
    >solution that you then dip flowers in (maybe leave in overnight) and
    >then take out and dry and they look all crystally?

    I checked the net and found a couple of websites with flower preserving
    info. - and myriad and sundry preservation ideas. Just not the one that
    you want!! The Borax idea sounds similar to your request, but I couldn't
    find the crystally dipping method. But if you do, I hope you will share
    it!! If you have a Michael's in your town, I'm sure they would know how
    to do the method you asked about. Meanwhile, here are the ones I found:

    *** This page tells which flowers and leaves do best with which method.

    *** This one is full of ideas about flower preserving in general.


    *** Drying With a Desiccant:
        Use a desiccant drying mixture such as silica gel, borax, cornmeal or
    alum. The following recipe uses a combination of silica and borax.
         Simply mix a combination of four parts of borax to one part of
    silica gel. You can make your mixture by hand; the borax should be run
    through a sieve before mixing with the gel to remove any lumps.
        You should treat all of the flowers to be preserved immediately after
    picking. Cut off the stems close to the base of the flower. In the bottom
    of a plastic bag or an air-tight jar put down a layer of the preserving
    powder and lay a blossom face down on the powder. Pour some additional
    powder over the flower until it is well covered. Then lay another flower
    face down and cover it, repeating the procedure until the bag or jar is
    full. Put on your lid, or if using a bag, press down on it lightly to
    squeeze out all the air. Tie the bag tightly with string as close to the
    contents as possible to prevent air from coming in.
        Now put your flowers and powder mixture away in a dry place for about
    four weeks without peeking at it. Never store it out of doors.
         At the end of the four weeks, open the container very gently and
    remove the blossoms one at a time, blowing the powder off them.
        Now you have preserved flowers in their garden freshness.

    *** How to Preserve Flowers with Borax and Cornmeal
    1 pt Powdered Borax
    2 pt Cornmeal
    Covered cardboard box (shoe or stationery box)
    Fresh flowers
    1. Thoroughly mix borax and cornmeal.
    2. Cover the bottom of the box with * of an inch of this mixture.
    3. Cut flower stems about 1 inch long.
    Lay the flowers face down in this mixture.
    Spread the petals and leaves so that they lie as flat as possible.
    Do not place flowers too close together.
    4.Cover the flowers with 3/4 of an inch of the mixture.
    5. Place the lid on the box and keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 weeks.
         This is an excellent way to preserve corsages or flowers from
    someone special.
    Try daisies,pansies, apple blossoms, asters, violets, and other flowers
    with this method.
    They will stay summer fresh indefinitely.
    ***Glycerine Drying
    This method keeps some flowers soft and pliable for easier handling and
    less shedding. Try this method with eucalyptus, babyıs breath and
    statice. According to "Martha", this is the best way to preserve leaves.
    You will need:
    Vegetable glycerine, (available at Pharmacies)
    A glass or enamel container large enough to hold the flowers upright
    A hammer
    Freshly cut flowers or leaves
         Mix 1 part vegetable glycerine to 2 parts hot tap water, using
    enough to make the mixture about 2 inches deep.
         Smash the bottom inch or two of the flower stems to help them absorb
    the glycerine quickly. (One or two whacks with the hammer is all you
         Place the flower stems in the glycerine-water mixture, and leave 3
    to 5 days so the flowers can absorb the glycerine. (Babyıs breath can
    take 1 to 2 weeks, wait until the stems turn tan.) You can tell when the
    flowers have absorbed enough glycerine by the way they look and feel. A
    good way to test if they are ready is to let one stem air dry and compare
    it to the flowers in the glycerin after a few days. If the air dried
    flower feels dry and the flowers in the glycerine feel soft and look
    slightly darker in color they're probably ready to be taken out of the
    glycerine mixture.
        Cut off the part of the stem that was setting in the glycerin. Allow
    the flowers to air dry for a week or so before storing. The
    glycerine/water mixture can be reused several times.

    *** Waxing Flowers:
         You may want to experiment with waxing fresh flowers. This too is
    simple; just melt some paraffin wax and plunge each individual flower
    into the wax. Remove and shake the excess wax off each flower. Put it
    into the refrigerator to set and harden.

    *** Egg White and Sugar:
    You can paint blossoms with egg white and dip in sugar for a crystally
    See more about this further in the post.

    ***Flower Preservative With Borax
    Need: Fresh Flowers, Florist's wire, Airtight (such as -a coffee can),
    Plastic bag, Borax, Wire or string, Soft brush
    1. Pick flowers at the peak of their bloom
    2. Remove the stems. Make new stems with florist's wire. Run wire through
    the base of the flower and twist the two ends together.
    3. Line the coffee can with the plastic bag. Pour borax into the plastic
    bag to cover the bottom to a depth of 1 inch.
    4. Place flower face down in the borax. Pour about 1 inch of borax over
    top of the flower. Add more flowers and borax until the container is
    Gather the top of the bag, squeezing out all the air inside it. Fasten
    with wire or string.
    5. Place lid on can and set aside in a dry place for at least 4 weeks.
    6. Remove flowers from borax and carefully brush away all borax with a
    brush. USES: Flowers preserved in this way make colorful "permanent"
    floral arrangements. Flowers picked at the peak of their bloom remain
    looking indefinitely. TO USE: Using the wire stems, make an attractive
    flower arrangement as you would a fresh-flower bouquet.

     (from _Cake Decorating_ by Judy Kelsey, with modifications suggested by
    Martha Stewart, who uses egg whites to do this)
     25 g/ 1 oz gum arabic crystals (or powder)
     60 ml/4 tbsp rosewater
     superfine sugar (castor sugar)
     fresh edible (unsprayed) flowers** or leaves
     wax or silicone paper
     small paintbrush
     small screwtop jar
     1) Place the gum arabic and the rosewater in a screwtop jar and leave for
     two or three days for the gum arabic to dissolve. When the crystals have
     dissolved, the mixture will look like thin honey (viscous and pale
     2) Prepare a shallow bowl filled with superfine sugar (which is much
     finer than regular granulated sugar and looks prettier on the flowers).
     3) Cover a tray with waxed paper or silicone paper.
     4) Hold a flower (or leaf) by its stem and very carefully paint it with
     the gum arabic mixture. Don't coat it too heavily. Paint both sides.
     5) Hold the wet flower over the bowl of sugar and (using a teaspoon)
     sprinkle it evenly with sugar. Turn it over and do the back side, too.
     6) Shake off the excess sugar (tap your hand on the side of the bowl)
     then place the coated flower on the wax- or silicone-paper-covered tray.
     7) Leave to dry for 3-4 days. I leave mine in my gas oven. With the
     pilot light's warmth, they are usually ready in a couple of days. BE
     CAREFUL if you do this. I foolishly pre-heated my oven without thinking
     and blackened a batch of lovely pansies and johnny-jump-ups. :-( Now I
     tape a sign on the oven control to remind me that I have "FLOWERS IN
     8) After the flowers or leaves are dry, clip off their stems and place
     them in an airtight container. I use a shallow Rubbermaid container and
     put layers of waxed paper in between the layers of flowers.
     9) Stored away from light and heat, these are supposed to stay usable and
     retain their color for a year. I have only kept them for a couple of
     months, so I can't say from experience. They are VERY FRAGILE, however,
     so be careful not to drop them or the container they are stored in.
          These look absolutely wonderful on a frosted cake, but they can be
     as little (fat-free) treats on their own with a nice cup of tea or
     Depending on what type of flower you use, they can either taste like a
     very exotic perfume, or like little sugar candies. Mint leaves are
     fantastic this way!!
          Some edible flowers suitable for candying include pansies,
     johnny-jump-ups (viola tricolor), violets, primroses, and dianthus. Many
     people candy rose petals, too, but I haven't had any luck with these
     looking good.
         Other edible flowers for other purposes (salads, etc) are daylilles
     (buds, flowers, and tubers), marigold (calendula officinalis only!),
     nasturiums, sunflowers, and zucchini flowers.
    ***Candied Blossoms
         commonly called crystallized flowers, are simply edible flowers
    temporarily preserved in a light coating of egg whites and sugar. Using
    flowers from your own garden makes the project especially rewarding.
    And, they are relatively simple to create.
    Here's how you can do it ---
     Begin by gathering the supplies you will need:
     Edible flowers
     Powdered meringue (available where cake decorating supplies are sold)
     Wax paper
     A flat baking sheet
     A child's small plastic paint brush
     A plate
     A fork
     A spoon
    Two small bowls
      The most important item in the list is the flowers. They must be edible
    and pesticide free. Adorning a beautiful confection with potentially
    lethal decor could result in unintentional food poisoning. Another
    important factor is the flower's shape and strength. Flowers with a
    simple configuration, like pansies, are easier to work with than a large
    rose. Flowers that are too weak or small may fold under the weight of the
    sugar. Lastly, if you can't wait till spring for your edible blossoms to
    bloom, check your local gourmet grocer.

    ***drying and preserving your Wedding flowers.
    Supplies Needed
                 Silica Gel ( available at craft/art supply stores)
                 Can Of Clear Acrylic Spray
                 Hot Glue Gun
                 Shadow Box ( available at craft/art/framing stores)
                 Background Mat or Fabric
                 Soft Bristle Artist Brush
                 Fresh Dry Flowers, Fillers, Leaves (cut off flower leaving
    appox. 1-2" stem)
                 Wedding Announcement/Photo (optional)
                  Cover the bottom of an airtight container with 1" Silica
    Gel (Tupperware works)
                  Place flowers face up so they are not touching
                  Completely cover flowers with Silica Gel
                  Seal with lid or Saran wrap. Leave undisturbed for 5-7 days
                  Gently pour off Silica Gel and using a brush, dust off any
    remaining Silica
                  Spray with acrylic to help seal in color and resist
    breakage. Let dry
                  Glue mat or fabric to backboard of shadow box
                  Glue flowers to mat/fabric. Be creative! You can arrange
    the flowers as youıd like, insert a photo, wedding invitation or
    announcement, etc.
    C. 1999, Julie Gershman

    *** This page tells which flowers and leaves do best with which method.

    *** This one is full of ideas about flower preserving in general.




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