An elegant bunch of seasonal dried flowers can bring a flair of vintage refinement or classic cottagey cosiness to any space. It all depends on which colours you choose and how you arrange them. Welcome spring/summer vibes into your home or business store front with a specially selected bunch of preserved native flower, fern, and grass species.
Creating your own dried flower bouquets and arrangements at home means you can say goodbye to fresh flowers that wilt after a few days in a vase. Dried flowers will bring a gorgeous, Instagram post-worthy feature to any room. If you are lucky enough to have a dried flower bar in a city near you (Perth, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney) or a friendly dried flower supplier who is willing to ship these seasonal beauties directly to you, you can have a go at making your own DIY dried flower bouquets at home – it’s easier than you think.
Why do dried flower last for so long?
You may not believe it, but dried flowers, fern, and grasses are very different from dead or wilted ones. They are handpicked fresh from indigenous Australian flower farms while at their peak and preserved so that their natural beauty lasts indefinitely. Any fresh flower bouquet can be turned into memorable vintage dried flower art, but if you don’t want to dedicate a room in your house to drying fresh flowers or prefer to choose from a wider choice of colours, textures, and varieties, then stick to buying from dried flower bars.
Flowers are dried out in a way that removes all the moisture from the stems, while still retaining the original shape and unique beauty of the flower. Flower drying is an art, long used to preserve flowers with sentimental value. Most flowers, grasses, and ferns can be dried, but some adapt more easily to the process.
Artisanal dried flower experts know which flowers to choose and when is the best time to pick them. They seek out fresh flowers just shy of being full bloom, and with buds changing from tight to open. Flowers that have past their peak and with petals already starting to fall are no longer viable dried flower contenders. Also, look for flowers with thick, straight, long stems – they are ideal for making bigger bunches and are easier to tie together, if you are going for a bouquet.
Flowers with low moisture content:
- Fynbos (native South African flowers)
Various ways to dry out the flowers:
- Air-dry – hanging flowers upside down in bunches in a cool, darkened, low-humidity room.
- Silica gel – place silica gel with the flowers into a microwaveable container. Microwave on defrost setting for 2 – 5 minutes, depending on microwave and flower amounts. Brush off silica and allow to rest in a dark, dry room for one day.
- Try microwaving flowers directly in the microwave without the silica gel. You might need a few trial runs before you find the right time = number of flowers ratio.
- Use hairspray to stop the dry petals and leaves from breaking.
Getting started with dried flower arranging
Have a look at the space where you want to place your dried flower arrangement, and select colours and textures that will enhance it. If your decor is minimalistic, stay away from large, circular designs and stick to vertical, linear angles such as the ones you will get from grasses or tall, long stemmed flowers. Suit the vase to the room as well if you plan on making a dried flower arrangement or think about the paper in which you will be presenting the bouquet.
Choose large, long stemmed flowers first. These provide the foundation or base of your bouquet. Think hydrangeas, sunflowers, and large varieties of roses – the bigger, the better. This foundation of large flowers is going to be the focal point of your dried flower arrangement. Remember that texture is also an important factor. Grasses like barley or wheat, raw cotton balls still on the cotton plant, and pussy willow are wonderful textural contrasts to flowers.
Next, choose smaller dried flowers to complement the base structure, like gypsophila (baby’s breath), cornflowers, and fern leaves. You can build around a colour or theme, construct a particular shape or height, or gather the blooms tightly or loosely – it’s all in your hands!
If you’ve managed to get hold of some striking-looking dried wheat or barley stalks, but haven’t gotten around to drying out sunflowers to go with it, no need to worry because there’s no law saying that you can’t mix dried flowers with fresh ones! Just place the two types of flowers together in your bouquet and present them with a smile.
Once you have put your dried flowers altogether in a way that pleases you, use string or twine to secure the position of the flowers. You can wrap the bouquet in coloured or transparent cellophane, tissue paper, wrapping paper, or use all three. Make sure the string is tied around the stems thoughtfully and artistically, because if you or the lucky recipient put the bouquet into a glass vase, it will be on show alongside the stems.
What else can you do with dried flower arrangements and bouquets?
Fresh flowers don’t own the rights to wonderful scent anymore. Just a few drops of your favourite floral essential oils – jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, even lemon or orange – can perfume an entire vintage dried flower bouquet.
After you have secured your flowers with string or ribbon, gently drop a few beads of essential oils onto the flowers, leaves, and stems. Now, your dried flowers don’t just look good, but they smell amazing too. You can refresh them at any time with more essential oil drops.
There you have it – everything you need to know about using dried flowers to beautify your home or office, or even to give to someone you think is very special. Decorating with stunning vintage-looking dried flowers as a hobby can even be turned into a viable business if you realize you have a flair for doing it. It’s a beautiful way of bringing the seasons into your home on a budget.