Drying some of your garden flowers is a great way to preserve your floral harvest. Wreaths can last for months if kept out of direct sunlight. Wreath making will be messy but fun so make it a get together with friends
a wreath base (wire, willow, grape vine or wood)
dried floral materials
cheap un- scented hairspray
optional: essential oil and alcohol
Drying Floral Material
When it comes to drying flowers choose ones that are fully open. Flowers can be placed into small groups and tied together with an elastic. As the flower stems dry and shrink the elastic keeps them together. Hang upside down in a warm dark location. A spot with some air movement is optimal.
We also dry plants on racks in the warming oven and hold warm setting of our oven. This gives us more room than a dehydrator but stays at approximately 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This method is quick, with most items drying within 20 minutes. Be sure flowers are completely dry before making a wreath. Partially dried is likely to mold on the wreath.
Good Candidates for Drying
- Gather all your materials
2. In layers build small bouquets. Place the leaves at the bottom and build up layers of flowers. Cut a 8-10 inch piece of floral wire and wrap one end around the bouquet. The trick is to get the wire wrapped tight enough to hold all the pieces together but not cut through the fragile material. Leave a long tail that is 6-8 inches long. Continue building bouquets. In this wreath I am using an 8 inch wire frame, so 8 bouquets will be made.
3. Once all the bouquets are built it’s time to prepare the wreath. Cut a piece of floral wire about 12 inches long. Leave a two inch tail then wrap the wire around three fingers 3 times leaving a tail at the opposite side. Twist the area that was wrapped on your fingers, then form a loop. Using the wire tails wrap onto the frame of the wreath. This will be used to hang the wreath.
4. Begin adding bouquets to the wreath. Using the tail of the wire, lay the bouquet onto to wreath and begin to tightly wire to the frame. Bouquets can be added straight or at a slight angle. The goal is to hide the frame.
5. With the bouquet wrapped in place, cut the end of the wire and hide into the back. Trim the stems so they do not extend over the wreath edge.
6. Continue to add bouquets. Overlap the bouquets to hide the stems. Once all the bouquets are added check the wreath for empty spaces. Smaller bouquets can be made to fill in gaps. Be sure to check the sides of the wreath. You want to see the floral material not the wire base.
7. Take the wreath outdoors and spray with cheap un-scented hairspray. Cheap hairspray typically has quite a bit of lacquer that helps hold and preserve the wreath.
8. Once the hairspray is dry a spritz of essential oil and alcohol can be added for fragrance. For this wreath an extra punch of lavender scent is great.