What to Do with Funeral Flowers After the Funeral
If you’re coping with the recent passing of a loved one, all of the minute details can be overwhelming. Such tedium as deciding what to do with the deceased’s clothes, finding a new home for their pets, and closing their various accounts can pile up into a mountainous to-do list.
One of the most common to-do list items for grieving people is figuring out what to do with funeral flowers after the funeral. If throwing them away or waiting for them to wither and die feels cruel, consider this list of tips for honouring the deceased even in the handling of their flower arrangements.
Who Gets the Flowers After a Funeral?
During the funeral planning process, someone in the group should make a plan for what to do with funeral flowers after the funeral. Pose the question to your funeral planning group: If the deceased’s next of kin doesn’t want to take the flowers, consider giving them to another close friend or relative.
Alternatively, you can give a few flowers to each person at the funeral as a keepsake or distribute larger bouquets and arrangements among the deceased’s relatives and close friends. However, if someone is offered flowers and doesn’t want to take them, don’t force it.
Importantly, there should be a person in charge of handling the flowers for a funeral after the ceremony. That person should be prepared to take as many flowers as they can (potentially all of them) if loved ones and funeral attendees don’t want them.
What Happens to Crematorium Flowers?
After cremation services, flowers may be left at the crematorium and picked up by family members or a designated person in charge of flowers a few days after the service. The funeral planning group or designated flower person can also take them as soon as the cremation service is over.
The fate of crematorium flowers is usually the same as funeral flowers. Like the other sometimes tedious arrangements that you must make after the death of a loved one, the logistics of the flowers will have to fall on someone’s shoulders.
If the deceased’s next of kin are in charge of planning the cremation services, and you’re not directly involved, consider offering help with the flowers. Even help with the smallest of tasks can help loved ones share the burden of funeral and cremation duties.
How Do You Preserve Funeral Flowers?
You’ve planned (or attended) an inspiring funeral befitting your recently-passed loved one.
You’ve been given some of (or all of) the flowers, and you plan to preserve them in a way that honors the person you’ve lost. So, where do you start? If you plan to maintain flowers, drying is a crucial first step.
Drying Flowers and Bouquets
Flower preservation simply doesn’t work if blooms and stems aren’t dehydrated. Any remaining moisture in the flowers can cause mold growth, rotting, or aesthetic degradation of individual flowers and bouquets.
Dry your flowers by disassembling the flower arrangements and gathering them into manageable bouquets. Tie the stems together firmly with string (but not firmly enough to potentially break the stems once the flowers are dry) and hang them upside down to dry.
Gravity will aid evaporation as the remaining moisture leaves the flowers since the humidity will mainly relocate to the bottommost point of the bouquet (the blooms). Hanging bouquets with buds facing downward helps protect petals from breakage when you eventually take down the dried flowers.
Once your flowers are dry, storage or further preservation efforts become much more accessible.
Store Whole Bouquets Safely
If you’ve not yet decided how you want to preserve funeral flowers further, or if you think they’d be best held in storage, it’s essential to keep them dry and out of the elements after you’ve dried them.
Use store-bought plastic bins with lids that seal as tightly as possible. Bouquets should only make up one layer per container, as piling flowers on top of each other could result in damage to both blooms and stems.
It is vital to add some sort of moisture-absorbing product to the containers to keep water from collecting back in the flowers after drying. Proprietary products like Damp-Rid are helpful for this purpose, as are silica packets, which you can reuse (making them both an affordable and sustainable solution).
Check on stored flowers regularly to make sure that they’re staying dry in their containers. Keep them in a cool and dry location, like a dark closet or a storage unit.
How to Press Flowers into a Photo Frame
Pressing flowers into a photo frame with a photo (or two) of your deceased loved one is an excellent way to both make use of their funeral flowers and honor their memory.
If you want to use pressed flowers, you’ll need to press them before drying them (but they’ll mostly dry during the pressing process). To press flowers:
- Grab some parchment paper and a few heavy books.
- Open up a book, line both facing pages with parchment paper, and set the flower on top of the parchment paper.
- Close the book, and put an additional heavy book on top of it.
- Wait at least one week for the flower to flatten completely.
Pressing flowers is easy and results in flat flowers that you can use for various mixed media, but they also work well when pressed inside the glass of a photo frame. An arrangement of pressed flowers surrounding a photo of your loved one would make an excellent display of gift for their next of kin.
Use Dried Flowers to Create an Art Piece
You can use dried flowers to create an art piece, an excellent preservation method for funeral flowers. You can use pressed or dried flowers as part of a mixed-medium painting or collage to add additional color and texture.
The addition of dried or pressed funeral flowers to a work of art will add special meaning. Every time you work on the piece or look at it, the result will remind you of your loved one.
Consider making an art piece inspired by them or their life, like:
- A portrait of them
- A landscape of their favorite place
- A painting of their childhood home
- A painted recreation of a photo that they were in
Paintings aren’t the only artworks where you can incorporate dried flowers. If you set your mind to using your loved one’s funeral flowers in an art piece, you’ll be ready to include them when inspiration strikes.
Suspend Dried Flowers in Epoxy Resin
Using epoxy resin and molds to make trinkets, art, and wearables isn’t a new artistic trend. If you have a penchant for crafting, epoxy resin offers an excellent opportunity to commemorate your loved ones and preserve their funeral flowers.
You could incorporate pressed or dried flowers into any of the following epoxy resin crafts (just make sure you have the appropriate mold):
- Statement earrings
- Drink coasters
- Refrigerator magnets
- Freeform trinkets for the mantel or bookshelves
- Mobile phone cases
Especially if your lost loved one was into arts and crafts, using funeral flowers for any of the above epoxy resin projects would be an excellent way for funeral flowers to live on in art.
How Do You Repurpose Funeral Flowers?
If you’d like to do justice to a loved one’s funeral flowers without creating art or storing them away in the dark, consider disposing of them in a meaningful way or creating something useful or consumable with them.
Each of the following repurposing ideas for funeral flowers offers an excellent option for what to do with funeral flowers after the funeral.
Scatter Dried Flower Petals
Whether or not your loved one was cremated, and whether or not you’re personally involved in any scattering of your loved one’s ashes, scattering dried funeral flowers can create a meaningful memory and provide a sense of closure.
You’ll want to dry the flowers as suggested above and separate the petals from the stems once the blooms are dehydrated. You can also crumble the petals into smaller pieces (which is recommended if you’re going to spread the flower petals in addition to the ashes) for easier dispersion.
You can scatter the flower petals at an ash-scattering ceremony in addition to the ashes, or you can choose your own meaningful place to spread the flower petals as a part of your grieving process.
Use Dried Flower Petals as Confetti
Your loved one would want you to enjoy celebrations long after they’re gone. Whether you use confetti to celebrate at a party or include it in an envelope or gift basket, confetti is a valuable product that is sure to spread joy whenever it’s used.
Consider drying your flowers, removing and storing the petals (in a cool and dry place) until you have the opportunity to use them for something unique. Dried flower petal confetti can provide the feeling that your loved one is still a part of future joy and celebrations in your life.
Create a Self-Care Product
Self-care is often neglected during the grieving process, especially if you’re in charge of handling the deceased’s personal belongings, executing their will, or planning their funeral.
After drying a loved one’s funeral flowers, consider incorporating them into a self-care product. A combination of isopropyl alcohol, a few drops of essential oils, and a dried flower in a glass spray bottle can make a pleasant (and aesthetically pleasing) room spray.
You can also dry flowers, crumble the petals and stems, and incorporate them into a homemade salt scrub for added exfoliation.
Creating a helpful product with funeral flowers is a sustainable and honorable way to keep someone close to you in your daily thoughts.
What to Do with Funeral Flowers: No Wrong Answers
Just like elements of your future funeral, how you choose to preserve or repurpose a loved one’s funeral flowers is entirely up to you, and there’s no wrong way to honor someone close to you privately.
After drying or pressing funeral flowers, they can become beautiful works of art, joyous additions to gifts, consumable and valuable products, and more.
Using funeral flowers for any of the above projects will also give you time to meditate on your grieving process, keeping memories of your loved one at the forefront of your thoughts.