New Ways with Dried Flowers
Hi, I’m Ruth and I have an online dried flower business. I am starting this blog because dried flower crafts are a hobby of mine. I have been doing “makes” for sometime for our shop email newsletter. I have accumulated various recipes and tips in the last few years which I look forward to passing on. Dried flowers these days are glorious, vibrant and true to life, much different from those crispy brown dusty arrangements found in every 1970s home! General perception isn’t always so up to date – on Twitter, for example, the term dried flowers is almost derogatory. But at the same time there are growing trends in the UK which are satisfied by dried flower crafts:
- Natural – a rebellion against plastic and synthetics
- Aromatherapy – natural therapies rather than chemicals
- Inexpensive – recession beating
- Handmade – personalisation and unique items are becoming more popular
- Retro / vintage – remembering happier times
One very good example is dried lavender bags. We sell tonnes of dried lavender every year to small crafts people all over the country. Lavender has a huge retro appeal, as nearly everyone has a granny or aunt that used to use it. It is inexpensive – even more so if you have a few of your own plants! Its aromatherapy properties are well known: it relaxes you and creates a clean, laundry-fresh scent, as well as deterring insects such as moths. Many of the crafters we are in touch with sew their own lavender bags to make into gifts, or sell them on at market stalls or online.
I am hoping to include various crafting recipes on a dried flower theme, such as: potpourri making using real dried flowers (not those horrible scented wood shavings you can get in the pound shop!) – Christmas crafts – garlands – hanging decorations – cooking with lavender – bath products and more.
There is a much more vibrant selection of dried flowers and petals now than even 5 or 10 years ago – primarily driven by the wedding industry. Freeze dried petals look almost exactly like their fresh alternative but can be stored and don’t wilt. Other drying techniques include air drying (the old fashioned way!), and preserving with glycerine. Dried flowers incorporate a whole range of natural products including fruits, spices, leaves, petals and whole flowers as well as bunches still on the stem. It’s not all just dried lavender!
For example I recently tried to recreate Rossetti’s painting Fair Rosamund in delphinium petals. I am not an artist but I had a lot of fun with it.