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Dried flower décor ideas

July 30, 2021




Dried Flower Arrangement


Meet Mama Bloom 


The dried flower trend can be found splashed across social media, on the pages of stylish magazines, and playing a starring role in fashionable weddings and events. At home, dried floral arrangements are a beautiful way to add natural décor that will last.

When prepared properly, dried flowers can last for years with little to no maintenance. As such they’re a cost-effective and sustainable alternative to fresh-cut flowers which require regular replacement.

If you’re new to the world of dry flower arranging – or if you haven’t considered it since the ‘70s – read this introductory article. It’s packed with stunning ideas for decorating your life with dried florals.


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Looking back: a brief history of drying flowers


Drying flowers is nothing new. The practice has been around for thousands of years and applications extend far beyond décor. People dry flowers, herbs, and petals for cosmetic reasons, medical purposes including natural healing. You’re already be enjoying dried flowers if you brew herbal teas and tisane – chamomile tea includes the dried chamomile flowers and rosehip comes from the rose plant.

Dating back to ancient eras, flowers were used fresh and dried. The Egyptians used them for cosmetics, specifically to create perfume. The Greeks and the Romans crafted wreaths and garlands which were gifted to people of importance and displayed in homes.

The 16th century saw the Japanese begin to use dried flowers in art. Talented artists used this natural medium to create intricate floral artworks called oshibana, created entirely from dried plant materials. Pressed flower artwork remains an important part of Japanese culture today and the popularity of oshibana has spread throughout the world.

The Victorian era popularised flower preservation for decorative purposes. And today, dried flower arrangements remain a common way to enjoy floral displays year-round. Hand selecting your own flowers for drying is a lovely way to add sentimentality and meaning to your arrangements. Especially when gifting dried floral décor to others.


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Flower arrangement ideas


The key to arranging drying flowers well is to have plenty of fun! There are no hard and fast rules. Once your florals are dry, how you arrange them is entirely up to you. You may simply pop a dried rose with a long stem in a single-stem vase or a bunch of hare’s tail grass in a small jug for a playful country style.

Consider how you want to display your flowers at the time of drying. If you need stems, you’ll want to use a drying method that lets you keep the stems. If you want only the heads or petals for artwork, you might choose a method that helps retain petal shape and colour. Once dried, your flowers will be brittle so be careful when arranging. Boughs of lush greenery are a dramatic addition to a floral arrangement and can fill an empty corner beautifully. But again, be careful – if a branch snaps off you might be left with an unsightly hole in your arrangement.


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Going solo


This is for those who like to start simple. Or have a small space to fill with something delicate and sweet. A single dried flower or two to three tiny flowers can make a bold statement in the right vase and position. The trick is to ensure they’re standing upright, so the vase neck will need to be nice and thin. This is a great warm-up for those interested in larger-scale floral arrangements but wanting to practice. From here, add a few more small flowers to create a posy while practising colour matching and texture pairing.

Single flowers look particularly striking in sets of three. Each flower is individually placed in a vase then sat in a tight trio formation. You can experiment with different heights by trimming each stalk separately until your preferred look is achieved. Starting simple with a singular flower is a great way to test the water and fill small nooks around your home. But be warned, you’ll be itching to bunch more stems in no time!


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Traditional bouquet


A classic arrangement for both fresh and dried flowers, the bouquet is a striking table centrepiece. And when dried, you can enjoy it for years instead of days. You may choose to prop your bouquet in a vase or lay it gracefully on the table with its twine or ribbon trailing across the surface.

When it comes to dried flower bouquets, more is often better. We’ve progressed beyond the posy and are entering ‘bigger is better’ territory. Modern style bouquets have added a second guideline – wilder is better! Bulky foliage and trailing vines can be found wrapped around dramatic hydrangea heads punctuated by dainty dried wildflowers and textural seed pods.

A clever trick to keeping your bouquet standing strong in a vase is to first insert a single layer ball of chicken wire into the vase neck, then start poking your flower stems through the chicken wire. Alternatively, tie your arrangement with twine and drop it in the vase whole. When arranging, hold back the flowers that you have the least of and add these last, to punctuate your design.


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Wreaths and garlands


Wreaths and garlands were prevalent in Greek and Roman culture and often gifted to important people. Which begs the question – why don’t you have one already?

Wreaths and garlands can be packed with meaning derived from the flowers used. Modern wreaths are more about stylish aesthetic, but can still be filled with meaning. A wreath in a child’s nursery might feature flower varieties used at their parent’s wedding. With foresight, some people dry their wedding bouquet for future use. Flowers from a milestone birthday like an 80th could also be dried and shared between the family as a special memento of the celebration.

When built on a thin metal frame, a floral wreath can be easily (but carefully) woven together using dried flowers and greenery. Similarly, a garland base could be a strong piece of metal wire bent into shape and wrapped in chicken wire or stabbed through sustainable floral foam. Be sure to fill your arrangement so that none of the chicken wire or foam is visible. Hang the finished product on your front door, protected from the elements, or position it inside as a statement piece of home décor.

If you’re a ‘think outside the box’ person, why not break away from a circular wreath formation and create a free-form shape tailored to its future home? An arrangement laying on a shelf might be teardrop-shaped with dried vine trailing down the shelves while a tall, thin wall cavity could be home to a tall, thin rectangular arrangement.


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Dried floral art


If you’re searching for a unique piece of art, look no further than handcrafted florals. Using your own hands, of course. Framing flowers behind glass and positioning them out of direct sunlight will help preserve their colour and shape as long as possible. This is a great solution for those with rambunctious children in their lives or anyone who prefers not to clutter their table surfaces.

Large flower heads and voluptuous foliage won’t work for this approach. Instead, trim the stems from your flower heads and opt for mid-sized and dainty flowers that will sit well behind glass. Another approach to dried flower art is oshibana. Originating in Japan, oshibana is the practice of creating artwork entirely from dried plant material. Dried petals are very common and traditionally the flower materials are pressed. You can try this using an adjustable flower press or the pages of a heavy book lined with unbleached paper.


Flowers featured in images by Mama Bloom, read more about her here


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A gorgeous gift for family and friends, dried flower candles are an up-and-coming trend. You can jump on the bandwagon early with these simple instructions. This recipe makes one candle and will take half a day.

250ml glass
A slightly narrower glass (must fit inside your 250ml glass with breathing room around the sides)
Small pot
Heat-safe measuring cup (to sit in small pot)
1-2 cups paraffin wax flakes
Cotton wick
Chopstick (to hold wick)
Pressed flowers (dried through the pressing process)
Optional: 30-40 drops essential oils (your choice)

1. Put wax in the measuring cup and sit it in the middle of the pot. Add water to the pot until it reaches 6cm up your measuring cup. Bring the water to a simmer.

2. Once the wax has completely melted, add any essential oils and stir well. Set aside briefly.

3. Insert a wick in the middle of the smaller glass and tie the top of the wick to the chopstick. Balance the chopstick in position on top of the glass then pour the liquid wax into the glass.
4. Sit the glass in a freezer for about an hour until cool. The wax will shrink slightly allowing you to pop the candle out.
5. Place the candle in the middle of your 250ml glass and use the chopstick to hold the wick again. Sandwich dried flowers and greenery between the candle and the glass edge. If structure and position are important, experiment with glueing your flowers to the wall of solid wax.
6. Re-melt your leftover wax and gently pour it over the candle, thoroughly coating the flowers. Trim your wick to length and discard the chopstick.
7. Set your candle aside overnight to completely cool before lighting.

Note: If you prefer soy wax, substitute soy wax for the inner candle but still use paraffin wax for the outer candle layer.

A stroll through your garden or local flower market is the best way to get started. Winter is a great time to harvest seed pods and seed heads, fresh-cut foliage, herbs, and winter flowers while spring and summer offer wildflowers and other sun-loving varieties. If you’re new to drying flowers start simple and experiment with your drying environment, hanging equipment, and flower varieties. And once your florals are dry, the dried flower world is your oyster. Have fun, give it a go, and remember that the only rule is to exercise your personal preference. Consider inviting friends to join you. That way, whether or not you have something beautiful at the end, you will have had plenty of laughs on the way through.

Excited to start drying? Read this article about popular flower drying methods you can try at home.