Everlasting dried flowers are having a glow up. Because the secret’s out — this “grandma craft” is grandma chic!

A dried flower arrangement can be classy with whimsical soft pastels or energetically bursting with vibrant tones. And they have so many uses! Decorate your home or special event with bouquets and wreaths, zhuzh up your tea and desserts with pressed edible flowers, or get next-level creative with natural materials for your wall art or phone case.

It’s easy to get started. Harvest flowers on a dry morning, after the dew is gone. Choose blooms that are close but not fully mature. Mature, pollinated flowers will soon drop their petals to make seeds. Cut the stem long to keep your options open, then remove the foliage.

You can experiment with different methods, but air drying is a perfect place to start. The technique is simple and effective for most flowers. You need a well-ventilated and dry environment to wick away moisture quickly and inhibit mould growth. Darkness helps the colour stay as vibrant as possible. That said, with direct sunlight you can achieve an attractive and natural “sun-bleached” effect instead.

Hang most flowers upside down to keep the stems straight. But for some flowers, drying them upright is ideal. Consider whether you have cascading flowers like amaranth that you want dried in a particular shape or if you need to keep seed pods from spilling their seeds. Regardless, only dry your flowers in small bundles as large ones won’t get enough air flow.

As they dry, your flowers will continue to mature slightly and shrink (due to water loss). Leave them for several weeks, checking periodically for mould. Once they are fully dry, it’s time for arranging! Be gentle — dried flowers are brittle and can break with little pressure. But no worries if a flower snaps, just use it for a different project.

There are many more methods of drying flowers, including pressing, silica gel and, believe it or not, the microwave. It will likely take trial and error to find what works for each plant, and for you, but enjoy the process.

As you make your flower garden plans this season, consider not only which flowers you will enjoy fresh, but also which ones you might dry. Many of the same flowers, ornamental grasses, and seed pods you would use in a fresh bouquet also make excellent everlasting flowers.

Some great plants for air drying:

  • Statice
  • Marigold
  • Celosia
  • Strawflower
  • Lavender
  • Rudbeckia
  • Roses
  • Sea holly
  • Amaranth
  • Cornflower
  • Poppy seed pods
  • Eucalyptus
  • Broom corn
  • Pampas grass
  • Quaking grass
  • Bunny tails