Repurposing Old Flowers
There's nothing quite like a bouquet of fresh flowers to brighten your home. It's a wonderful way to bring the outdoors inside, and flowers feel like an indulgence precisely because they don't last forever. Part of their appeal is that their beauty is fleeting.
As English poet Robert Herrick wrote, "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may."
However, you don't have to simply sigh and toss out your wilting nosegays once a few of the blooms drop their petals. Dried and preserved flowers are lovely in their own right, and you can use them in a variety of decorative ways to keep your home filled with floral color and charm for much longer than you might have thought possible. Here's how to repurpose old flowers for some new projects.
If you have a regular flower subscription service — like one from Scotts Flowers NYC — you're likely to find yourself in the position of receiving fresh bouquets before the old one is completely past its prime. There's no rule that you have to throw away your old flowers to make room for the new! Instead, pull out any blooms that are still fresh and discard the rest. You can place single stems of still-thriving flowers into bud vases, or rearrange a few blossoms into cute teacup bouquets. To do this, arrange the flowers in your hand to form a low mound. Once you like what you see, hold them in place while trimming the stems to teacup-height with your other hand.
Some flowers dry beautifully and can continue to bring joy to your home for months. The faded look of dried flowers is perfect for Victorian, country and eclectic decor. Many flowers can be dried by hanging them upside-down in a dim, dry area until they feel crisp. Then you can arrange them as you would fresh flowers — without having to worry about watering them. You can remove dried petals of fragrant blooms such as roses and lavender to make a dish of potpourri or make sweet sachets for your dresser drawers.
Flowers with a flat face — think daisies and pansies — or thin petals are good candidates for pressing. To do this, trim the stems and place flowers flat between two pieces of newspaper or paper towels. Place several heavy books and a weight like a brick over the newspaper to press flowers flat and force the water out of them. Allow them to be pressed for several days. Once your flowers have been pressed, you can use them for a variety of craft projects: Add them to homemade soaps or candles, mount and frame them behind glass, or place them between sheets of clear contact paper and cut out bookmarks for gifts.
Don't just toss your next bouquet when it begins to droop or when a new one arrives. With a little creativity, your flowers will continue to provide joy and beauty to your home — even when they're past their prime.