Summer ending doesn’t mean your summer flowers have to go with it! Dried flowers are a popular material for crafts, and you can use crafting techniques to keep them lasting through any season.
Dried flower wreaths aren’t just for Christmas, either. While many people think of poinsettias and evergreen when the word “wreath” comes up, wreaths have been used to decorate for every season and with every type of flower conceivable (check out this tropical flower wreath). Seasonal flowers make beautiful wreaths that can last year round.
Summer Flowers to Use
It is important to know exactly which flowers you are going to be drying for your wreath. Some flowers can be dried more easily than others, so knowing which flowers you want to use will help you research what techniques you are going to need in order to dry them for preservation. Here are some summer flowers that are really great for drying for crafts:
Gomphrena: this round flower offers a variety of colors, from reds and yellows to lavender and white. What a wide variety of colors to use for your wreath!
Celosia: there are a lot of different types of celosia, and a lot of different colors to choose from. Whether the more floral appearance of Cockcomb celosia or the more wispy look of Flamingo Feathered celosia, there is definitely a look that will give your wreath flare!
Statice/German statice: this floral bud comes in many bright colors, and the German bloom looks like lace!
Artemisia annua: this plant is more of a garnish than a flower, but can be easily used to compliment the flowers on your wreath!
Victoria blue salvia: these tiny flowers grow in a spike and really are blue, adding a flash of unique color to your wreath!
Drying the Flowers
No matter what kind of flower you are trying to prepare for your wreath, it will take time and planning ahead to do so. Drying flowers in the bulk required to make a wreath takes time! Hardier flowers can be dried using simpler methods, but the more fragile the flower, the more complicated the process can get. If you are willing to take the time for these more easily broken flowers, they can be used to make beautiful wreaths!
Some flowers can simply be bundled and air-dried; this is best done by hanging them from an overhead rafter or some kind of rack. The flowers need to hang freely, and the room should be well vented to prevent mold and dust from gathering on them as they dry.
Other flowers are more delicate and require more intricate techniques.
Sand can be poured around flowers laid bloom-down in a container
Desiccants, such as silica gel or cornmeal, can also be used on more delicate flowers to keep them from being damaged.
Glycerine absorbed through the stem can dry and preserve the flower from the inside.
Cat litter is absorbent and used for more than just the kitties. Mechanics use cat litter in their shops to clean up oil spills, and it can also be used to help dry your flowers one at a time in the microwave!
What will you use for a frame? Many craft stores sell plain pre-made wreaths for decorating, which can be used as a base. Some people get creative with their base, either making it themselves or using a base of an untraditional shape, such as a picture frame.
Time is important to consider. Even if you get your dried flowers from elsewhere, actually assembling a wreath might take a couple of hours. Depending on your flowers or other materials, it could take longer or need to be finished in one sitting.
Other materials might include a glue gun and sticks for it, decorative items such as glitter, tinsel, and non-floral garnishes (toys, ornaments, or even key fobs), and your imagination!
Tying the Wreath
The most common method of making a wreath is by tying the flowers onto a frame. This is accomplished by affixing them with yarn, twine, or wire, but the technique varies based on what sort of frame and flowers you choose.
Some frames are made with wire, while others are made from hay, styrofoam, and even other plants. This video suggests using a hay one, which takes up a lot of the space that would otherwise be used by flower stems; the advantage of this is that you don’t need as many flowers. In contrast, here is a video that uses wire frames, which is great if your stems are thick or you have a lot of flowers.
As you can see from both videos, tying the flowers onto the wreath is done in small bunches, one bouquet at a time. Yarn makes a very good material to tie flowers with because it is soft and won’t damage the flowers. Whether you use one long piece and wrap it around the wreath incrementally in the first video, or use separate pieces for each bunch like in the second, this method takes a lot of time and patience. It pays off, though, with a beautiful floral wreath!
With some flowers or frames, you may want to consider glueing rather than tying. This is especially true for larger flowers that are harder to tie on, or have stems that don’t dry well. Flat flowers like daisies and odd-shaped flowers like dahlias may need this treatment to stay on the wreath, and flowers dried using the glycerine technique may also need glueing due to their weight. The frame should be smooth enough for glue to say, and all you need is a hot glue gun.
Garnishes for the Wreath
Garnishes might also be tied or glued on, but consider the flowers you are garnishing in this decision. Some flowers might get damaged by the glue, while others might get damaged from heavy items being tied on.
During Christmas, we see ornaments on wreaths, but seasonal wreaths might have berries, autumn leaves, nuts, little toys, candies (or faux candies) or anything else you want. Fourth of July wreaths might have little flags on them while a dried flower wreath for a classroom might have pencils, school busses, and other back-to-school items. Whatever the theme of the wreath, be as selective of how you affix any ornaments as you were of how you secured the flowers.
Making your very own dried flower wreath is really easy! It’s a great craft to do with kids, with friends, or by yourself, and it gives you another use for all those beautiful flowers.
Got more flowers than you need? Dried flower wreaths can also make a thoughtful gift or a great decoration for a party or gathering. Making it yourself gives it that personal touch that makes us all feel great!