“Flowers get a different personality when they dry, and they almost turn into a whole new type of flower,” he says. “Right now the summer flowers are drying best and they are so abundant. I have a local florist who has just brought me extras every week because he knows I will dry them out; I will make wreaths with them in the fall.”
Nesbit especially loves to dry out roses and buttercups. “There are lots of echinacea out there right now, the pods on them are actually drying phenomenally and you can press a little bit on the flowers,” he says. “The cosmos dries really well. There are yarrows, even summer hydrangeas can dry extremely well.” While picking your flowers, he recommends that you avoid water-filled flowers such as tulips, orchids and peonies. “They tend to rot rather than dry,” he says.
In addition to prolonging the life of your bouquets, playing with flowers can have a huge impact on your mood and mental health, explains Aimee Daramus, PsyD, authorized clinical psychologist. “It’s a way to calm your body, thoughts or emotions by shifting your attention away from them to something more comfortable,” she has previously told Well + good. “Flower arrangement is a full sensory experience that can fill your mind and leave less room for anxiety.”
If you can, Nesbit encourages you to pick up your flowers from local farmers. By doing so, “you will get really beautiful things,” he says. Below you will find his tips on how to dry fresh flowers.
How to dry fresh flowers
1. Choose your flowers
Sometimes Nesbit will buy a bouquet with the intention of drying it out immediately. Other times, he will pull stems out of arrangements as they begin to age beyond their prime.
“You don’t want to leave anything that starts to mold or die in the vase,” he says. “But sometimes the flowers can still be beautiful, and to me it’s an excellent candidate. You can pull it out and put it aside.”
2. Prepare your stems
Wipe the stems to ensure that there is no excess moisture.
3. Select a dark spot
“When drying your flowers, try to keep them away from sunlight,” says Nesbit. “It just fades the colors – they will fade just by already drying them out, but sunlight will really trigger a lot of that liveliness from them even more.”
4. Set them to dry
“If I can get a big, beautiful bunch directly from the florist or even just directly from the grocery store, and I know I have to dry it,” Nesbit says, “I would usually just tie a ribbon or string on it and hang it. it looked upside down in a really dark room. “
But if he uses flowers from previous events that are already a bit withered, Nesbit places them on a flat, breathable surface. “I want to place the petals I want the way I want it to look, and then I just want to leave it there for about a week, two weeks, and let it dry naturally on the board,” he says. “It gives it a flat back, you lose a little bit of dimension that way, but it’s still a great way to preserve flowers that you can’t do the hanging method with.”
Any flat surface can work. Nesbit uses a concrete panel slab that is left over from an old renovation of the home. “I think the concrete might work well because it dissipates moisture,” he says. “But I also made where you can string a very thin layer of chicken net ($ 14) and then just rest your flowers on that chicken net and let them dry out on it where [the wire] is perhaps suspended only an inch above [a flat surface]. “
5. Preserve your flowers
Nesbit says you should place them somewhere you know they will not be bumped into because they will be crazy. To take preservation a step further, you have the option of applying a preservative like Krylon Ultra UV Floral Protectant ($ 15) to your dried flowers. “It’s just a thin coating that you can spray on that helps hold the petals together and just prevent things from falling apart,” he says.
6. Show your flowers
Whether you want to display your dried flowers in a vase or turn them into a wreath ($ 13), Nesbit says they are a great way to keep color in your home year-round. Other options? “People go back to the shadow boxes ($ 27),” Nesbit says. “I’ve been playing with little cloches ($ 38), then little glass domes of dried flowers and stuff like that,” he says.
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