In the tradition of the Victorian waxed flower bouquets the Little Ladies and I had to try this method of preservation out! We picked all different types of flowers and leaves to see which would work best. The feverfew, daisy and echinacea did not work very well at all; you need more thick fleshy type petals that can withstand the hot wax.
*Pick a cool rainy summer day for this activity; it will warm up the kitchen quickly!
What you need: soy wax, beeswax or paraffin, (I used soy) fleshy petal flowers (zinnia, tulips, lily, orchid, rose), clothespins, double boiler to melt wax, wax paper, narrow-necked glass bottles, candy thermometer (optional)
Steps: Melt the wax until it shows a temperature of about 130 degrees on a candy thermometer (or just wait until all of the wax melts). Remove the pan from the heat. Hold the flower by its stem and dip it into the wax, I used clothespins to prevent my fingers from getting burned. Dip the flower into the wax, deep enough to cover its entire head.
Then lift the flower immediately and shake it over the pan to remove excess droplets. Separate and straighten the petals to your liking before the wax dries.
Stand the flower upright in a narrow-neck bottle until the wax has hardened. Don't let the flowers touch each other or they will stick together. Let them dry and re-dip if you wish. You will notice that the wax catches in the nooks and crannies of the petals and will leave a thick waxy area. Blot these places carefully to rid of the excess wax.
The lily and orchids kept their colors really well after waxing. The wax just seemed to soften them a bit. Here they are before:
Zinnias lose their color when waxed but they created a really pretty wood appearance. Here they are before the waxing: