dried flower storage

Dried Flowers

dried flowers in vase

A couple of years ago, Kenny  bought a book about dried flowers for my birthday.  I devoured that book.  Some part of me just connected with the author.  I guess we both have flowers in our souls.  She made a living out of drying and selling flowers that she grew on her farm. Obviously, I am not able to do that but oh how I wanted to.  I intended for dried flowers to be a part of ..bring Mae’s flowers, and I still do.  

Drying by Pressing between the pages of a book

The first thing I tried was pressing wildflowers between the pages of books with the purpose of creating bookmarks in mind.  This endeavor was so much fun!  My family helped me to gather the flowers on our evening walks and I would come home and press them.  I had every big book in our house full of drying flowers and layed out all over the place.  I gave each group at least three weeks to dry before doing anything with them.  Most of the flowers dried well.  Some retained color better than others but they were all pretty.  


dried flower bookmark

I chose some of the best pressed flowers to try out the bookmarks.  I used a small laminator, layed out my designs, and went for it.  Cutting them out of the sheets was the hard part.  Some of the flowers would slide around as they went through the laminator making them crooked.  Despite that, I loved them.  After hole punching and tying with  jute twine, they were ready!  Due to the imperfections, I decided not to sell them.  Instead, I gave them as a free gift to those who purchased something from our first few Live sales.  This is a project that I fully intend to perfect!

Framing Dried Flowers

Next, I decided to try framing some of the pressed flowers and other plant parts.  I layed out my designs onto watercolor paper that I had cut to fit my frames.  I followed an online tutorial describing how to glue the flowers down.  It was very hard to keep them from crumbling or wrinkling.  I was pleased with the results and sold a few of the pieces in vintage frames.  I didn’t realize just how many dried flowers I would need to continue creating this kind of work and ran out quickly.  I have more flowers drying now and have some designs in mind!

Fall Wreaths

My favorite thing to make with dried flowers has to be fall wreaths.  I’ve been making my own fall and Christmas wreaths for a while now.  The great thing about fall wreaths is that you create them from freshly harvested flowers, grasses and leaves and they are beautiful.  Then they dry as they age and you get a totally different, but still beautiful, look.  Some of the flowers fade and shrivel.  The grasses might turn darker or fluffier.  You just never know what it is going to turn out like!  A pretty bow finishes the whole thing off!

Dried Flowers in potpourri

dried flowers in jars

The last thing I want to mention making with dried flowers is pot fillers or potpourri.  I just thoroughly enjoy this whole process.  Every year, I think about what kinds of flowers that I can plant that will look nice dried.  I also think about their seed pods and leaves.  Mostly, Kenny, the kids, and I just spend time outdoors and look for interesting items in nature to dry.  My grandkids have even learned to bring me neat little finds, like bark and pine cones, for that purpose.  I have found that Black Eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace dry beautifully..  

Sometimes I dry the flowers for potpourri in a dehydrator, sometimes the oven, and sometimes I just air dry them.  It’s a process and it takes up my whole craft room and sometimes kitchen but I love it.  Finally, I choose the materials that I think will look good together.  I add in a little natural fragrance such as herbs, citrus peels, cinnamon sticks or essential oils. Then I present it in a nice jar or container tied with twine or a pretty ribbon.  These, I have sold, but usually just tend to give as gifts.  Not everyone is a nature nut like me but most seem to appreciate the sentiment.  

Things to watch out for

I always watch out for things with spines and poison ivy.  I also try not to gather things I am not sure about touching.  I hate to itch!  I never harvest from private property.  Also, I only take small amounts that are not noticeable because I want to continue to enjoy nature’s beauty outdoors.  Most important is to keep all botanicals away from small children and pets since they can be toxic.

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