DIY Wednesday: Floral Paperweight

Not every one can be a winner.

This is part of a regular series in which I attempt (operative word) D.I.Y. projects and bring you, dear reader, the results. The good. The bad. And the hideous. I’ll offer step-by-step instructions so that you can D.I.Y. along with me.

Can you believe it was only a month ago that we were frantically knitting scarves on our arms to prepare for the Arctic blast bearing down on us? Now, the trees are blooming, restaurant patios are packed to the gills, and men are once again treating us to the sight of their bare toes. Ah, spring.

But more than just exposed male phalanges, this season also brings colorful new blooms to our floral shops. On a recent visit to Central Market, I espied a bouquet of beautiful ranunculus that I decided to treat myself to. Because I am an adult with a job and I can choose to spend my money on whatever I deem essential. Like a kid who puts a bug in a jar in an attempt to keep it forever (kids do that, right?), I decided to mimic a dandelion paperweight how-to that I’d seen with a few ranunculus blossoms.

So I gathered my materials:

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•Epoxy Resin (found at Michael’s)

•A container in the shape you want your paperweight—I went with a small decorative bowl from Target

•Plastic cups

•Chopsticks for mixing

•Disposable gloves

•The item you’d like to preserve in the paperweight — in my case, two ranunculus blooms

First, pour equal parts of the resin and catalyst (contained in the epoxy kit), into separate cups. The chevron design is not a requisite, but it does make your project infinitely more adorable.

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Combine the substances in one cup and stir. Wear protective gloves and pretend you’re on a medical television drama. Say things like, “Give me the scalpel, STAT! There’s no time to lose!”

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Pour the mixture into your container. The peacock design is also not required, but again, it does help with adorableness.

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Insert the items you want in your paperweight. You could use anything that you want to look at but never be able to use again. Here’s where things take a dramatic turn.

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Almost instantaneously, the flowers started to wilt and lose their color. They also floated to the top of the epoxy, and no matter how many times I tried to drown them with my submerging tool chopstick, they’d pop back up to the surface, protruding about a third of the way from the mixture. What would be the flat bottom of my paperweight would have floral stems sticking out of it. I waited the instructed 24 hours to allow the epoxy to fully harden, hoping for a miracle.

3958EDITIt did not come. Not only did the flowers look sad and dead, the resin would not budge from the bowl. Even when I poked at it menacingly with a knife. All my dreams for that peacock bowl went out the window. No longer would I be able to use it for storing spare pennies, paper clips, and pen caps. Those items would remain without a home.

3960EDITAnd so the epoxy containing the sad, dead flowers, and the bowl with the peacock faces, met an untimely death.

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Verdict: Fail. Technically, you could still use the bowl with the sad, dead flowers as a paperweight if you wanted to, as the dried epoxy gave it a nice heft. But at that rate, you could really use anything to hold your papers in place as long as it weighed enough. A soup can. A small child. More papers. The only thing this did successfully accomplish was killing flowers very, very quickly. If you ever find yourself needing to quickly destroy some blooms, this is your best bet.

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