DIY Decor: Dried Flowers

Saturday, March 31, 2012

In preparation for an upcoming DIY Decor post, I thought I'd do a little dried flower DIY post.  Dried flowers are great for decorating in my opinion because they add a little romance to your room.

I wish I had step-by-step pictures for this post, but (a) I dried these flowers before I even had this blog, so I have no pictures, and (b) I don't currently have a cord for my camera (hence the lack of posts for the past three weeks). I explain things as much as possible, but don't hesitate to ask for clarification if you need any!

There are two ways that I dry my flowers.  The first one is by pressing them.  

Pressed flowers look great when framed and put on a dresser or hung on a wall (hint hint).  To press flowers using my technique, you will need:
  • Flowers, preferably more delicate flowers such as lilies, pansies, orchids or hydrangeas. Flower petals work too. Flowers that aren't bulky are perfect for this technique.  (I prefer not to press flowers like roses because I find them too bulky and I don't like the end result, but it can be done.)
  • Parchment/wax paper
  • A phone book OR a book that you don't mind getting warped and wrinkled
  • A large heavy object such as a dictionary/encyclopedia, brick, more phone books etc.
  1. Cut a piece of paper twice the size of one page of the book you are using.  Fold in half. 
  2. Arrange the flowers/petals on on side of the parchment paper making sure to leave space in between!  This is important.  If you do not leave space in between the flowers, they will stick together and crack when you try to separate them.  Also when arranging the flowers, make sure that you are happy with the way that they will look when flattened.  It is pretty much impossible to try to change the way the flower lies when it's been flattened and dried.
  3. Fold the other half of the parchment paper over the flowers, and then carefully place it into the book.
  4. Double check to make sure that the flowers are arranged the way you want them to be, then close the book over the flowers, pressing down to flatten them.
  5. If you have more flowers to press, repeat the process.  Just make sure to put the flowers between different pages of the book.
  6. Once you're finished, find a cool dark place to place the book with the flowers.  Place your heavy object on top of the book and leave it there for 3-4 weeks.  I usually leave my flowers there until I remember that I pressed them ... which is about a month!
  7. Once the flowers have dried, you can leave them in the book until you are ready to use them!

The next, much less complicated way that I dry flowers is by hanging them.  This is the technique I use for roses.  This is great for displaying them in  a vase (like pictured above), or creating/saving a bouquet to put on display.  Hanging flowers upside down to dry ensures that the flower heads stand straight up, like in the photo above.  If you like the droopy flower look, dry your flowers by standing them in a vase.

To hang roses all you need is roses (of course), a few elastics/string, and a cool dark place to hang your roses from.  Beams in an unfinished basement are perfect.  I use the bar from my curtain rods.  Even though the sun still shines, I find that it works just fine.

Tie 2-3 roses together in a bunch with the elastic about two inches away from the end of the stem.  Use another elastic/a piece of string to make a loop from which you can hang the roses.  I apologize for not having pictures for this, but you all are smart enough to figure it out :).  Hang the roses up and leave them to dry. I usually leave them for a month.  When they are fully dried, take them down and use them as you wish!  Spray with hairspray if you want them to last longer.

Sorry for the lack of posts, and sorry that this post was super long and lacked proper photos!  I'll be back to posting regularly soon.

- xox, Jayy

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