Using dried flowers in resin

How to use dried flowers in resin

This post is part of a series that shows crafting techniques on drying flowers and using them in resin.

So here comes the fun part — casting the flowers in resin!  This particular day, I cast the flowers dried in the microwave in Castin’ Craft Easy Cast resin.  I used this resin because I needed some for another project and just decided to mix up a little extra for this one.  I prepped rectangular cabochon mold 412 with Castin’ Craft mold release and conditioner before pouring the resin.

coating flower petals with resin gloss sealer spray

While I was waiting for the mold release to dry, I took on Part B of the experiment.  Three of the flowers I treated with several light coats of the Castin’ Craft resin gloss sealer spray.  I did this by placing the flowers onto wax paper and coating them in short bursts.  Allow to dry in between layers.  Three of the flowers I left as is.

placing flowers into a plastic mold with resin

Once the resin was mixed, I put in a bit of the resin into two cavities.  Then, I coated the flowers with resin in the cup and placed them into the mold.  Cover and allow to cure for 24 hours.

flowers in resin curing in a plastic mold

Here are the results:

(Above, the castings are still in the mold)  Overall, it looks like the sealed and unsealed flowers had the same results.  Yes, I was surprised at that too!  I’m not sure I would go out on a limb yet and say you never have to seal flowers, but it certainly is worth trying it again to see if I still turns out well.  The flowers themselves did pretty well.  It is a bit hard to see here, but the hydrangeas in both castings had some tiny, pinpoint areas of translucency.  Both were about equal with the amount of those pinpoints.

sealed and unsealed flowers in resin

(Above, showing the castings with back side down onto white paper) I must also admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how well the flowers have kept their color.  I think I may have found my new resin inclusions!

So here’s what I learned this time that I will do for future experiments:

1.  I will try the microwave dried flowers again in a different resin and compare results.

2.  I am intrigued by the hydrangeas taking on clear spots.  I would love to hear someone else’s thoughts on that.  Is that a hydrangea thing?

3.  I’m also going to try to use unsealed flowers in resin again to see if I get the same results.

What has been your experience with using flowers in resin?

 

Unpublished Blog Posts of Resin Obsession, LLC © 2015 Resin Obsession, LLC

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38 Comments

beth

i believe the main purpose for sealing the flowers is for the long term affect of how they will look. some flowers to me look better with time not sealed like roses, but others will look dead in a bad way eventually without being sealed. nice job btw. jewelry resin has been a real hit with flowers. keep up the good work!

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Kathy

Some random ramblings….

I love your experiments because I work with flowers a lot. It’s what fascinfes me most about reain.

I found out that some blooms will lose color and get spots when they are not sealed. I tried Mod Podge, maybe I’m doing it wrong but it was quite messy and the flowers stuck to the paper sheet (used “baking paper” for tins since we don’t hve wax paper in Germany.) I put some blooms into packing tape and that worked fine.

What bugs me is that pink forgetmenots will turn white when dried. Though the blue, purple and white ones are great to work with, also without sealing.

Some very light pink ones or white ones, depending on how thick the blooms are will get spots and almost turn invisible in resin, which is not what you want.

Last time someone gave me a flowery herbal tea I fished out all the blooms for my resin jewelry which worked great without sealing 😀

I got myself a flower press and that is constantly being used, so I have a nice stash of dried plants now.

Dried autum leaves from trees don’t need to be sealed at all either.

Now what I would need are more nice molds to work with blooms, escpecially for earrings. Like thin long and short drops, long narrow thin rectangles, small shapes with a high shine, not as thick as most molds are and most of all even and no bumps on either side. (My English is kinda leaving me right now,loo. I mean more like a disk not like a cabochon who is round on one side.)

Okay I just typed this on my tablet and hope there are not too many typos in here.

:0)
Kathy

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Katherine Swift

@Beth and @Kathy, thanks so much for sharing your comments. I love hearing from others with experience!

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eleonora

I love including hydrangeas in my resin pieces and I confirm I see those “transparent” spots in every hydrangea flower I used. I think it depends on the hydrangea itself, cause I don’t notice that issue with other flowers, unless they’re ruined.
Try adding more coats of sealer in several days next time!
-Usually I don’t coat my flowers, I just let them go naturally and see what happens ;)-

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Julie

I don’t believe you need to seal flowers if they are dried. I’ve never had any issues with totally dried flowers and resin.

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Katherine Swift

Hi Julie, wouldn’t that be nice? Unfortunately, that’s not been my experience with resin and flowers. I always seal them after drying.

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Carolyn

When I dry flowers in the microwave, they loose their colour and go white or brown. What am I doing wrong?
Carolyn

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Julie

Use flower drying salt on amazon. Put a cup of water while in the microwave and don’t leave for more than a minute. If they don’t look dried leave them in the salt for a couple days. It’s worth it!

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Katherine Swift

@Carolyn, I’m finding out that certain flowers do that. You might also try drying them for less time in the microwave.

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BittersweetCupcake

I am OBSESSED with botanics and flowers embedded in resin. Like seriously obsessed! ≧ω≦ Unfortunately, I live in the Middle effin East (Beirut, Lebanon) and we have no craftstores here, no molds, no resin, no sh!t…I cannot order anything online because the shipping fees are ridiculously expensive. I end up paying for shipping at least triple the price of the amount of what I’m actually buying! Not to mention that orders take months to arrive, if they do! However, I managed to get myself 20 packs if resin lol! My friend was abroad and I made her buy me the whole lot from the store, I use chocolate molds (so I cannot get so creative, and I’m DYING TO USE THAT SPHERE MOLD ESPECIALLY FOR THAT WILD FLOWER THAT YOU BLOW AND MAKE A WISH-FORGOT WHAT IT’S CALLED, SORRY! AND MUCH MORE)! So yeah, I hate my country! Hehe.
Bottom line, we obviously have no resin spray to seal the flowers and modpodge doesn’t sound like a very good idea… Any idea what a good alternative wud be? Because Ive been seeing these resinated petals (no bezel or anything) just a petal or a leaf, coated with resin and then turned into a piece of jewelry. I’m sure u guys know what I’m talkin about. Any idea how we cud do that?
Sorry in advance for the verbal diarrhea haha
Xxx

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beth

Hello ms cupcake!! Do you have any aerosol hairspray? I would get the stiffest spray u can find. Give it a try and tell me how ut works for you. I would atleast do 2 or 3 or 4 coats.let each coat dry. In between.it should take long to dry. I wohld coat both sides. I used to preserve my bouqueats of roses long ago before all the newer sprays started surfacing.

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Ashley

Hi! I know this is sooo long after your post, but everything is forever on the internet lol. I’m trying to start a resin project with flowers and could use some help. Your post cracked me up and I’d love to run my idea by you and see if you could lend me some of your expertise (cuz of course I want my first project to be high-difficulty as always).

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Becky Nunn

I tend seal all my organics. I think it is better to always be consistent in the process because my mind can’t remember what I can get away with and what I cannot. So I just always seal. Where the sealing with resin really comes in handy is on 3-dimensional items. That seems to cut down on the bubbles getting trapped in there and sneaking out when I thought I was good to stop baby-sitting.

My next experiment is on dying the dried organics. Have you tried that? Could be an interesting way to make things more vibrant.

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Katherine Swift

I have not dyed organics, but I’m wanting to try that too. I have seen some other florals in resin and wonder if they have been dyed because the colors are so bright. There must be a way to do this.

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joey ledlie

Dear Katherine and everyone else. I know a wonderful and very quick method of drying flowers. My grandma showed me this many. many years ago. You will need 2 pieces of cotton fabric. Hankies are perfect. Place the flowers, leaves etc on one hanky. Lay the 2nd hanky over this. Press with a hot iron. This dries the flowers beautifully and the flowers retain their colour.
Big hugs, Joey

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Shirley

I have been pressing flowers for over 30 years with 5 presses on the go. I make pictures and greeting cards and have started making resin casting paperweights with pressed flowers. From experience I found that thin or soft petals do not press well, blue and pink colors tend to go brown, bright red, yellow and orange (California poppies are amazing), Lavender and leaves are great at keeping their color. For my frames, I use UVA/UVB glass to block light, for cards I use clear Topcoat nail polish (paint flowers on both sides and thoroughly let dry BEFORE adding to cards.

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Audra

I have some roses from my friends wedding and want to put in a sphere / paper weight for her. I ordered the mold and the resin. My question is, do you have to dry the flower before you put it in resin? If so, why is that?

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Jennifer Larson

I am new to the Resin World. When I use whole dried roses with either doming resin or casting resin they always bubble a huge bubble right before it’s set up. After the rose is dried should I spry the rose with resin spray? Would that prevent the huge bubbles ?

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Katherine Swift

It sounds like there is air trapped in the roses. Try dipping them in resin, then hanging to cure. This will seal bubbles in (or out). Then, use these cast roses in your next project.

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Katherine Swift

I haven’t tried that. I would think it would be hard to get the nail polish on without disturbing the shape of the flower.

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Janet Gressman

The comment about using flowers from tea made me wonder about using potpourri flowers.

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Christy

Potpourri flowers work really well in resin. I cast one in resin a few years ago to test and it still has its color.

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Rose Lovejoy

Hi Everyone, I am in Australia and new to this resin flower thing. We have some stunning natives here which I am excited about trying to resin. I dried some bottle brush flowers which are red. As soon as I put them in the resin they bleached white. I have since put other red flowers in resin which didn’t bleach and are nice and red. By reading some of your comments here I might try with some sealer or hairspray Katherine, what do you think?

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Katherine Swift

Hi Rose, the resin gloss sealer spray works best, but unfortunately, we cannot ship it to you in Australia. Do you have access to a clear acrylic spray? That’s my next best choice. Unfortunately, hairspray won’t work.

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Rose Lovejoy

Thanks Katherine, I will have a search around for it. Our local hardware shop handles a lot of craft stuff. In fact that is where I get my resin and hardner.

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Ann Treiber

I have several rises from my father’s funeral arrangement that I’d like to sphere. What resin do u suggest? I’ve used amazing clear cast on table tops but it’s pricey. Thinking I may need a few gallons since I’m giving them as memorial gifts but don’t want to skimp and use a semi pat product.

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Katherine Swift

You can still use them if you want. I’m afraid I don’t know of a way to get the colors back into them though.

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Andrea Barry

I followed all the correct steps and my flowers immediately turned brown in the casting resin. I could actually see them browning as it was hardening. I actually made 2 and one of them is so cloudy, you can’t even see the flower. I dried the flowers in silicone gel, sprayed them with resin spray, then put them in the mold. Any thoughts? These are from my dad’s casket spray. I have a few left but am scared to try again.

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Katherine Swift

Hi Andrea, sometimes the heat of the resin can cause the flowers to turn brown. You may want to try casting in smaller volumes to lessen the heat.

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