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How to preserve a whole fruit or vegetable for home decor?

Craft Boutique

Posts: 177

« on: December 05, 2007, 11:12:41 am »


Does anyone know how to preserve a whole fruit or vegetable for home decor?

Thanks in advance.
The Knitting Lady

Posts: 72

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 01:35:40 pm »

A lot of root vegetables and cabbage relatives will keep well enough at room temperature to last.

However, if you want to put something together for years, I've seen crafts like that.  Some just aren't suitable, some take some doing...here are a few ideas, but I'm sure others will chime in:

Bananas, kiwi fruit, mangoes, other soft fruit--not gonna happen. They spoil far too easily. Potatoes are liable to sprout at the drop of a hat. Beets and turnips will keep for a while (they were winter vegetables, after all) but long-term preservation requires better drying facilities than we're likely to have at home.

Peppers: Chili peppers will dry if you have a hot, dry room or a regular or microwave dehydrator. My neighbor always has a string of them hanging by her door. They're withered, but bright for a long time. I have never known anyone to dry bell peppers like that, possibly because they're more fleshy to begin with.

Pumpkins will usually keep all winter if you wipe them down with vinegar every so often to prevent mold. In spring, however, they tend to fall apart all at once. That's your hiunt to take them out and plant them, starting your next fall's display.

Apples, oranges, lemons: You pretty much have to dry slices. I've seen some neat-looking wreaths done that way. A slightly odd, but effective, thing I saw was an orange peel allowed to dry. It took some doing; the wreath-maker had cut off the top of the orange, scooped out the innards (and ate them--she's not one to waste), then dried the hollow peel in a microwave. It was hard as a rock and required some cosmetic work with acrylic paint, but she managed. Lemons, limes, tangerines and grapefruit can apparently be done the same way. I had a forgotten orange dry up completely once. It was rather eerie-looking.

Pomander balls: In theory, you can stud an orange or apple with whole cloves and use it for a long while. In practice, they often develop rotten spots. Proceed with caution.

Corn: will dry if you have the proper place to hang it up. Indian corn is prettiest, field corn will dry well, but regular grocery-store corn on the cob will dry out if you're careful to keep it from molding while it dries. Some people have used a microwave for that. I'm not sure how well it would work.

Pomegranates: would last a long while if I didn't eat them. I have had them around for a month at a time and they didn't spoil. Your mileage may vary.

Gourds: Most dry beautifully without much effort. A little polishing or a quick coat of clear gloss is all you'll need once they dry.

Garlic: No problem, looks good in a brain, may sprout toward springtime.

If you want to share what you're planning, we might all be of more help.

Posts: 3

« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2008, 10:15:56 pm »

I have heard of dipping them in a sealant like laquer (sp?) or polyuerathane (sp?)

Posts: 2

« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2017, 04:31:07 pm »

Glad to have found this question being asked. I want to be able to keep a cauliflower white for more than 5 years and I'm wondering if I could simply coat it with a white paint or some type of coating. Any advice?
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