You might have received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a special person on an important occasion.  The idea of watching those flowers die and throwing them away is a little heartbreaking.  Perhaps you have a garden full of colorful cut flowers that you wished you could enjoy year-round.

Well, whatever the reason, if you have some flowers around you that you want to preserve, then you are in luck.  There are a few ways to dry flowers that help to preserve their color and shape so that you can use them for all kinds of projects.  Some projects are going to require flowers that are still quite young and fresh.  With other projects, such as making your own potpourri, you might get away with using petals from flowers that have expired.

Which Flowers are Best for Drying?

If you wish to take fresh flowers and dry them, there are a few that are excellent candidates.  These flowers hold their color and/or shape well after drying. You can try to use leaves, also, but they don’t all dry very well.  Leaves such as ferns or eucalyptus would be a good option.  Here are a few flowers that dry well-

  • amaranth
  • coneflower
  • hydrangea
  • lavender
  • pansies
  • roses
  • yarrow

How Do I Dry My Flowers?

There are a few different ways that you can use to dry your flowers ready for crafting.

  • Press your flowers in a book– Take a few of the flowers that you wish to dry and press them flat between a piece of folded parchment paper so as not to stain your book pages.  Slide the parchment between the pages of a heavy book and press the book closed.  Place that book underneath something heavy (more books) to keep it closed.  Leave the flowers to dry for about two weeks.
  • Air dry your flowers– Tie string around the stems of your flowers.  Leave enough string so that you can hang them up to dry. Leave them to dry in a dry, dark place for a few days.  Keep checking on your bunch to see how things are going. Once the petals are crip, they are dried.
  • Oven dry– Another method is to set your flowers on a baking tray and place them in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (or lower) for about two hours. Keep an eye on the flowers as some will dry more quickly than others.

What Can I Do with My Dried Flowers?

There are lots and lots of fun ways to use your now perfectly dried flowers.  They can be used simply as home decor, to make gifts or crafts, or used as pampering products.  Have a look at some of these fun ideas.

  • Potpourri– We can’t do a list of things to do with dried flowers and not include potpourri! Take your dried petals and put them into a bowl.  You can add other treasures such as pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and other fun seeds to the mix for added interest and texture. Then, add some drops of your favorite essential oil.  The oil can be reapplied as needed.
  • Floral candles–  You can make really pretty pillar candles with your dried flowers.  You can either use melted wax to stick your flowers to the edge of the mold before pouring in the rest of the wax, or you can ‘glue’ your flowers to the outside of a pillar candle after it has been made.
  • Floral bathtub teabags– You can take your dried flower petals, especially lavender or rose petals, and combine them in a bowl with some Epsom salts and a few drops of essential oils.  Then, spoon your mixture into little muslin or cheesecloth bags to make a teabag.  Hang this teabag over your hot water faucet and allow the hot water to run through the bag next time you are going to soak in the tub.  You will have a bath filled with floral aromas.
  • Decorate journals, cards, and gift tags– Book pressed flowers are ideal for decorating homemade cards and gifts tags.  You just need a little glue to secure them to your surface.  You can also use them to decorate pages of your journal or use them in scrapbooking projects.
  • Just keep them as they are– Take whole dried flowers and arrange them into bouquets around your house.  They can look quite shabby-chic tied in bundles and hung from rafters or above windows.  Dried rose, hydrangea and lavender can look county-cute and vintage in a simple vase or glass bottle.

Before you toss out your seemingly spent flowers, have a closer look to see if they can be salvaged and upcycled into something just as beautiful.

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