We first shared the idea for transforming clear ornaments with dried flowers in 2013 in our DIY ornament series on YouTube. But with botanicals becoming so popular again, we thought it’d be fitting to share our “Dried-Flower Christmas Ornament” tutorial here. Of course, we think you should know dried flower ornaments are not just for the Christmas tree, so we’re also sharing a few ideas for how to display nature’s beauty in your home year-round, too!
For a post like this, we wanted to hear from an expert! So we reached out to Cass Street Decor proprietor and floral designer, Tracie Kuck, who has been in the floral industry for over 25 years!
Meet Floral Expert, Tracie Kuck!
Tracie’s wealth of knowledge and experience inspired us with so many ideas, we couldn’t even share them all in ONE post! (So you’ll want to keep an eye out for our next post where she shares her tips for working with fresh flowers, her list of best larger flowers for drying, and even more dried- flower decorating inspiration!)
Best Florals For Dried-Flower Ornaments
For projects like our dried-flower ornaments, which require smaller blooms in order to fit through the narrow ornament neck, Tracie recommends trying florals like
- Spray Roses
- Chamelaucium (also known as wax flower)
- Baby’s breath
- Dianthus (carnation family)
- Herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, etc.)
When Choosing Flowers To Dry, Consider …
Tracie shares that flowers with a more dense petal count are best for drying because they are better at holding their shape when dried. Consideration should also be given to color, as the pigment of flowers naturally changes over time, especially in the drying process. Blooms often trade their vibrant shades for more muted tones. For that reason, it’s best to choose flowers with a darker or brighter pigmentation. You’ll often find, for example, that white flowers will brown. And we learned that to be especially true in our first trials of working with fresh flowers to create these ornaments, but more on that later!
DIY Dried-Flower Ornaments
With so much color and texture, Bronner’s clear-glass ornaments make the perfect blank canvas to show off small dried florals! Here’s how to create the look:
The GLASS vs. PLASTIC debate:
Why are glass ornaments better than plastic? Tracie shares that glass ornaments will showcase your florals with more brilliance than plastic, which may also scratch.
Fresh Florals Work, Too!*
Of course, working from fully dried flowers is best. But if you’re looking to use a few flowers that are slightly larger, like small rosebuds, for example, we recommend adding them to the ornament while the flower is fresh. The petals of live flowers are a little more pliable and forgiving for fitting into the neck of the ornament than dried florals, which can become brittle and break. A wooden skewer is great for guiding flowers (both live and dried) into the ornament and in place.
Flower selection is important since not all fresh flowers will yield desired results once dried, as Tracie notes above. Additionally, there are a few points of caution when using fresh flowers in the ornament to avoid molding!
Fresh flowers naturally hold quite a bit of moisture, however. Because the florals are inside of glass, the traditional drying process of hanging them upside down and letting the air gradually wick away moisture is compromised. So here are a few important notes on using fresh flowers to create these ornaments.
- Use fresh flowers sparingly in each bulb! Over-packing the ornament with moisture-rich flowers will yield moldy results. We recommend using no more than just 2 or 3 buds in our larger, 3¼” clear glass ornaments (1104515).
- Leave the ornament open in a warm, dark place.
- Check on the flowers periodically and give the ornament a gentle shake from time to time so they may shift inside to dry properly. Once the flowers are dry, you can use long neck tweezers to rearrange them.
- You may add additional dried flowers to fill the ornament after the fresh buds have fully dried. Adding the dried filler in prematurely can result in mold. (The dried flowers become a host for the moisture of the fresh flowers as it evaporates.)
- Allow flowers to dry completely before replacing the topper to avoid locking in any moisture.
Once your blooms have fully dried, you can add a ring of hot glue around the ornament neck and replace the cap to secure the ornament.
Memorial Flower Ornament Keepsake Idea
Without a doubt, jewel-box ornaments are also a great option for keeping dried flowers! Bronner’s silver jewel-box ornament (1196230), for example, is a great way to save larger dried flowers from special bouquets or floral arrangements like those from a wedding or funeral.
Our “Heaven Angel” memorial keepsake (1214491) reads
“Because someone we LOVE is in HEAVEN, there is a little bit of HEAVEN in our HOME.”
Wedded BLISS-ful Keepsake
Alternative to flowers, consider Bronner’s exclusive Mr. & Mrs. ornament for saving a scrap of fabric from a wedding dress alteration or a garter. Or adding paper curls from a wedding invitation or program!
Dried-Flower Ornament Decorating Ideas
Now that you have these amazing ornaments and dried flowers to decorate with, what can you do with them outside of your Christmas tree?! We’re glad you asked. Here are a few of our favorite dried-flower ornament decorating ideas!
Boho Wall Hanging
Complimenting 2021’s natural décor trend, this Manzanita branch hanging from a wall or ceiling looks especially lovely with dried flower ornaments. Imagine the beauty of it hanging in the sunlight of a window!
Likewise, driftwood, birch or any foraged branch would also make a lovely option!
In contrast, you could suspend dried flowers from your branch along with ornaments in complementary colors. Ribbon made from cut linen or garland is sure to add a lovely touch, too!
Dried-Flower Ornament Mobile
Another option? A metal hoop paired with DIY tassels, sparkling “crystal-cut” garland (1216483) and these dried-flower ornaments along with a spun glass hummingbird make for a beautiful mobile!
Get the look by following our dried flower mobile tutorial here!
Our Garden Is Full of Dried-flower Decorating Ideas
While we focus primarily on decorating with our dried-flower ornaments in this post, we promise you won’t want to miss other great dried-flower decorating ideas in our next post of the series!
Tracie will show you how to take an ornament stand to the next level, get a little more life out of your bridal bouquet with a DIY wedding keepsake as well as loads of of professional tips!
We hope you’ll consider subscribing to keep up with this series and even more great ideas and tips to help you create a life of JOY you love!
Meet Tracie Kuck Of Cass Street Decor
“I love what I do! I’ve been in the floral industry for over 25 years and doing interior design consulting for 15. I love a project – dissecting it, molding it and breathing life into it. I love being able to transform a room and create an atmosphere that perfectly fits my client. The perfect lamp, art, mirror or accent piece. I love fresh flowers! Ranunculus, sunflowers, peonies, tulips, sea holly, hydrangeas, carnations … yep, I admit it – I love the variety of colors they have, and banked or grouped together in an arrangement, pretty fabulous. I love permanent botanicals! I’m a bit of a flower snob; if it’s artificial, it must look real! I love to create any type of floral piece, for a table, a funeral, weddings, just because, any and all of it.”