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The uses for dried flowers to decorate items are seemingly endless. Possibly the most common use of dried flowers is in a wreath or floral arrangement, but you can also decorate gift packages, masks, hats, candles, and lampshades. Dried flowers often embellish stationery or are used to create unique pictures or shadow boxes.
For stationery, choose high-quality paper that is flattering to the flowers you are using. Using a small paintbrush, apply a thin layer of glue to attach the flowers in a predetermined arrangement to cards, envelopes, or paper. It might be helpful to use tweezers when handling the flowers. If you apply too much glue, blot the area carefully using a paper towel. Allow the glue to dry thoroughly before using the stationery.
You can use a similar method to arrange and secure dried flowers to be framed. Using a toothpick or paintbrush dipped in glue, attach the flowers to handmade or unusual paper. When the flower or leaf is completely dry, you can frame the picture.
Dried flowers can also be secured between two pieces of Lucite or Plexiglas to form a sun catcher or paperweight. Using two pieces of plastic or glass, cut to match, position the flowers on the bottom piece and secure with a small amount of glue. Once the glue is dry, you can place the top piece of plastic or glass in position. For a sun catcher, bind the edges with copper tape and attach a copper wire and suction cup for hanging. To form a paperweight, drill two holes and use binding posts to secure.
To decorate a candle, apply glue to the back side of each flower and then press gently them onto the candle. If the dried flowers do not lay smooth, wrap firmly with waxed paper and hold in place with tape. Once the glue is dry, remove the paper and tape. Apply a second coat of glue to the candle and then use melted paraffin wax to seal the flowers.
To create a special shadow box, use moss, along with dried fruit and flowers, to create a desirable arrangement within the box. Because the glass will hold the contents in place, you do not need to use glue. To embellish the outside of the frame, glue some additional dried flowers or fruit and moss to the corners of the frame.
To decorate a lampshade, use slightly diluted glue to attach the dried flowers. Before the glue dries, place semi-transparent, handmade rice paper over the lampshade. Pat a layer of diluted glue over the paper; do not worry about being neat because creases will create texture.
For a quick flower arrangement, fasten dried flowers with a rubber band and wrap using brown craft paper secured with twine. This bouquet can hang from a door or become a centerpiece. To create a dried flower wreath, start with a wreath base of straw or hay and attach the flowers or leaves with glue or pins. You can also decorate a plain, purchased mask or straw hat in a similar way. Use ribbon to secure dried flowers on packages or glue them to gift tags for custom-wrapped gifts.
One thing that can be really useful is you want to make flower stationery is to use freeze dried flower petals rather than air dried flower petals.
In my experience they tend to do a little better with the glue, and they can sometimes last longer as well.
I've also found that if you run out of your own, many stores that sell silk and dried flowers will also sell you dried petals very cheaply, or even give them away, since you can't perfectly dry every flower, and they don't have that much of a use for loose petals.
However, you probably shouldn't use freeze dried flower petals for a wreath -- they can be a bit crumbly if exposed to air for too long.
I've just inherited a ton of purple and white dried flowers (my grandmother dried every flower she ever got, and lilies and coneflowers were her favorites). Most of them are too fragile to make a wreath of dried flowers with, so I've been hurting for ideas on what to do with them.
Thanks so much for your innovative ideas!
Thanks so much for this article -- I always like to dry flower bouquets that I get, but I never know what to do with them afterward!
I've never really been into wreaths of dried flowers, so I'm glad that you added some other ways to use dried flowers as art -- now I can finally have something to do with all those dried flowers from my wedding!
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