Starfish are a great decoration that you can find on the beach. To prevent these decorations from spoiling, it helps to know how to preserve them, by drying them with alcohol to make the stars look beautiful. It is very easy. See Step 1 for more details.
Method 1 of 2: Preserving Starfish
Step 1. Make sure the starfish you find is dead
Of the approximately 1500 species of starfish that exist in the world, they have one thing in common: they are slow. It is very difficult to know whether the starfish you find is dead or not, but you can preserve the beauty of the starfish by preserving the dead starfish, without you having to kill them first.
- If you find a starfish on the beach, wait a while before touching it. Is the starfish still moving? Are there air bubbles rising from the sand beneath? If so, please help by returning the starfish to the water. Wait a few minutes to see if there are any signs of life before taking it.
- If the starfish feels fragile and doesn't move, then the starfish is dead and ready to be brought home for you to preserve as decoration.
Step 2. Clean your starfish
You can clean it before preserving and displaying the starfish. While not the main thing, some collectors often dip starfish in soapy water and then dry them before dipping them in alcohol or drying them with salt.
- If you want to clean it before dipping in the alcohol, take a little detergent and a few glasses of water and dip the starfish in the water to clean it. Do not brush or clean with too rough hands, because starfish are fragile.
- Dry the starfish in the sun, keep the arms of the starfish. Usually these sleeves curl when they are drying, so it's important to gently flatten them with two flat slab blades so they don't shrivel.
Step 3. Preserve the starfish with alcohol
Usually collectors will dip them in alcohol right away, but it's still up to you how you want to preserve them. After you bring your starfish home from the beach, soak it in isopropyl alcohol completely and let it sit for 30-48 hours.
Alternatively, some people choose to soak the starfish in formalin, one part formaldehyde and five parts water. If you do this, keep in mind that the starfish will have a fairly strong chemical smell for some time before it goes away on its own. Putting it in the glass doesn't make the smell go away, be aware of this. Preservation steps with formalin are the same as with alcohol
Step 4. Dry the starfish in the sun
Whichever way you choose to prepare your starfish by dipping it in any liquid, you'll need to dry it properly before storing it. The scorching hot sun is great for drying out the starfish and ensuring they will last a long time.
Support the starfish's arms with a slab (don't support the starfish's arms with books or other heavy weights) to ensure that the starfish's arms stay level and balanced. Check regularly to make sure the drying is shaping the sleeve in the shape you want it to be if you want to shape it a certain way
Step 5. Try preserving the starfish with salt
One alternative preservation method you can use is to place the starfish on a flat plate and sprinkle with natural sea salt. Press with a flat plate on top to keep the arms even.
The salt will work to absorb moisture from the starfish and dry it out, making it last longer. It's probably best if you do this outdoors in the sun so it doesn't smell and dries faster
Method 2 of 2: Displaying Starfish
Step 1. Make sure the starfish stays dry
Whether your goal is to preserve the starfish, for a beautiful display or a work of art, make sure the starfish stays dry and can still dry until the smell starts to wear off. Although the smell is not very strong, the smell of alcohol will usually linger for some time after you are done with the curing process. Place it in a dry place and don't touch it too often.
Step 2. Make a nautical-themed framed display case
A common way of displaying starfish is to combine them with displays of clam shells, sea urchins, sand dollars, and seawater eroded wood in a framed display case. This decoration is good enough to be placed in the office, living room, or any other room, especially for homes near the sea.
Step 3. Use it to add accents when wrapping gifts
Instead of ribbon, use starfish. Using preserved starfish is a cool way to wrap gifts. You can also hang it using a ribbon on a gift bag to make the packaging more festive. Pair it with an ocean-themed gift for an added touch.
Step 4. Use it to decorate your dining room table
Making a starfish decoration to place in the center of your dining table is a great way to display your starfish decoration. Placing seashells and starfish in a simple bowl will keep your table beautiful for months on end and remind you of the beach.
- Stick the starfish on a napkin to sweeten the room.
- Decorate a wine glass with starfish by tying it to the glass with a ribbon. Make sure you take it off before washing the glass.
Step 5. Fill the glass tube
One of the easiest and most elegant ways to display your starfish and other marine-themed displays is to place them in glass jars. These displays are great both indoors and outdoors, and in formal or informal themes. As a reminder of sunny and choppy days.
Step 6. Make a starfish pin
Make a pretty brooch or pin with a starfish and wear it with pride. Attach it to your beach bag or purse, your jacket or scarf.