5 simple steps to design dried flowers

5 simple steps to design dried flowers

Spring rains bring fresh flowers, but they die after a few months. If you're planning to add some floral decor to your home this season, can we tempt you to think about dried flowers? Watching your favorite flowers slowly wither is arguably the worst part about decorating with live plants.

“Dried flowers were really popular in the 1980s and then declined in the 1990s,” says Megan Callahan, brand manager for Afloral. For a long time these arrangements had a distinctly old-fashioned air. “A few years ago, boho style was really coming back on trend, and it definitely has a wild, organic and whimsical look,” explains Callahan.

“There has been a very big revival in dried flowers over the last five to seven years,” she adds. “We've really seen a peak in traffic and interest since then.” There's no denying that dried flowers are huge right now, and for good reason. They are beautiful, innovative, generally cost effective and a very sustainable way to cover your home with color and flowers. Best of all, it's easy to grow and dry yourself. But don't just take our word for it: We spoke to two of the best florists in the business to find out how to do it in five easy steps.

Choose your flowers

“If you have the space, and if you're interested in doing it, it's cheaper, better for the environment, and more sustainable to grow your own flowers,” says Caroline Dunster, florist and author of “Peace Be Upon You.” Cut and Dry: The Modern Guide to Dried Flowers from Growing to Design.

Dunster suggests starting with annuals, which are flowers that sprout, grow, flower, set seed and die, all within one season. They don't usually need a lot of space to grow and are low-maintenance, making them great for apartments or homes without a lot of outdoor space and for first-time florists. Cosmos, begonias, petunias, chrysanthemums, primroses and pansies are all examples of annuals that can look beautiful in your arrangements.

“Research into color theory is always very useful,” insists Callahan. So, turn on the color wheel and look for complementary or similar hues or any other scheme that you particularly like. You can apply the theory to the arrangement itself and find flowers that fit those shapes or even think about how the flowers will fit into the rest of the room or space where you plan to place them. You can also visit your local flower shop to find things you're drawn to.

Dry your flowers

There's a little more to the craft than just waiting for your bouquet to wilt. It's best to have a game plan with your flowers since there are a few factors that will come into play.

Whether or not flowers dry successfully comes down to two things: the humidity of the room you're drying them in and the timing in the plant's life cycle. “A warm, dry room is ideal,” Dunster explains, although a cool room may also be suitable if the air is able to circulate. You just don't want to keep your flowers in a damp area where they can easily rot.

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