It can be challenging to throw away a vase full of cut flowers. I’m sure I’m not the only one who receives them so rarely that I can’t bear to get rid of this special treat. I guess that’s why I hang them upside down to dry in my garage. Of course, after a while, it looks like a strange and morbid garden has grown on the ceiling. But there are many creative ways to use your dried flowers to embellish your home or to pass the gift on to another deserving soul (although for some uses, you may want to squeeze the flowers rather than hang them to dry).
Here are five ways to craft some beauties with dried flowers that can make great gifts or decors!
1. Card stock. You’ve probably already seen these incredibly expensive greeting cards made of handmade paper with leaves and mesh flower petals. Although you don’t want to bother making your paper (although you can), you can still create a unique look. Damage paper or cardboard that has already been made (rub it with coffee grounds, stain it with tea bags and crumple it up a little), then rub it with a bit of sticky glue and carefully press the petals together. You can even stitch the edges with a little gold thread to get a more expensive look at a low cost.
2. Bags. Instead of buying those handy little bags to keep your lingerie drawer fragrant, get a breathable bag (or make one out of linen, lace or tight mesh, like a pantyhose), fill it with petals and tie it with a pretty ribbon. There you go! An instant potpourri. And you can always make a more chic version for gifts.
3. Cut it out. If you don’t know what to do with that old coffee table that’s been in your house forever (you know, the one with the stained top), then consider giving it a floral design. Go to your local craft store and get some cutting glue, a brush (it’s a smoothing tool that looks like a rolling pin, but if you don’t want to buy one, go for popsicle sticks instead) and a sponge or brush. Then, paint a layer of glue on the surface, place the petals in the pattern or arrangement of your choice and seal it with one or more layers of glue that you can smooth and flatten with the brayer (the final result should be fairly smooth, although you may need to sand it lightly).
4. Wall art. Old-fashioned hand-drawn flowers, torn from the pages of wildlife guides, have recently appeared in DIY stores everywhere as a chic framed art for your powder room. So make your own by pressing small wildflowers, sticking them on yellowed cardboard paper and writing their Latin name in block letters. Then throw them in an old frame you found at a garage sale to give them that antique look you love (for less money).
5. Hats. If you’re one of the many women who appreciate a good hat, then make yourself comfortable with dried flowers. The best way to dry them is to use glycerin (which makes the flowers slightly malleable and lasts longer than other methods). Immerse them in a solution of two parts hot water to one part antifreeze (or other glycerin) for two to three weeks before hanging them to dry. Once they are completely dry, attach them to your hat with pins or ribbons. They won’t last forever, and you’ll want to avoid getting them wet, but they can be an excellent seasonal addition to your favorite summer hat.
So what will be your next DIY craft?