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Drying Flowers

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There is nothing more vintage chic than a bouquet of dried flowers on display near your bunting and ornamental birdcage.  Some people feel that dried bouquets are only worth displaying as part of the set of an abandoned house or as part of Miss Havisham’s boudoir from Dickens’ Great Expectations.  However, there is a distinct difference between dried flowers and dead flowers.  Depending on the type of flower, dried flowers can retain much of the glory of their former selves.  They might retain an element of their scent and they will keep their colour even if it is a rustic, slightly darker version of their former glow.

Like with pressed flowers, dried flowers need to be dried while they are still in their glowing prime.  Deciding that you want to dry a flower when it is already dead is completely pointless because then you just have a flower gradually rotting upside down.

Some people choose to dry the flowers by just hanging them upside down from a line or similar.  This must be done inside so that the general warmth and humidity can help the flower to stay open and the gravity means that the moisture leaves the bud last.  On average people hang flowers upside down to dry for about 4 weeks.  This is generally acknowledged to be the most arduous part of what is a generally very easy project because the flowers need to be kept somewhere warm and dry upside down for four weeks but as they dry, they become very fragile and therefore they can’t really be moved or jostled in any way while they are drying out.  Even after the four weeks when they have dried out completely, it is important to handle them as little as possible when you are preparing them and presenting them for the finished product. 

It might be worth spreading them and preparing them on newspaper as they are very fragile and it might be a little dusty and messy to prepare them with no surface protecting measures in place.

Some people choose to dry them out in sand or silicone so that they completely retain their full shapes when they are dried out for presentation in vases.  However, in my experience, this method is not essential to keep flowers full enough to be used as part of bouquets.  Flowers which dry upside down can be used in bouquets too.  

In terms of presentation, bouquets and mounting are the best and most likely options available to you.  You can also put them in wreaths or 3D frames.  In line with the vintage chic look, the receptacle for your dried bouquet could be an old jug or older vase.  The ability to hold water is not essential in this case because your dried bouquet doesn’t rely on water.  Therefore, your vase doesn’t have to look old but actually be fully functional and reinforced – it can be old and cracked and exactly the right level of vintage chic and still serve the purpose well.

For mounting it is advised to attach the flowers to your paper with a needle and thread.  The paper means that you can put all the sewing imperfections to the back and sew through the flower with thread that matches its colouring so that it can be firmly attached without ugly glue marks around the thinner sections.  A blob of glue for the head of the flower would probably work but you don’t want so much that the flower becomes damp again – thus undoing all that waiting for it to dry time.
This is an easy and attractive way to preserve and present flowers.

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