We could spend our whole summer traipsing from wedding to wedding. And, some summers, we do. We get so much wedding design inspiration from the ladies of 100 Layer Cake, a blog soon-to-be brides everywhere rely on for chic ideas and endless inspiration.
Jillian, Kristina and Amanda, the ladies behind the blog, are sharing a series of summer projects with us – all using dried florals. See the first one here, enjoy the two below, and we’re saving the Chalkboard-iest of all for last. A project we’re already making in the office and can’t wait to share later this month!
Our love affair with dried flowers continues this summer, this time with two simple tutorials. Now you can add the loveliness of a dry flower arrangement to an upcoming fête, on a larger scale.
DIY straw flower wall hanging
Straw flowers are unique because they look exactly the same when they are fresh as they do when dried. Which means this summer when you see them at the farmer’s market, you can buy an armload and enjoy them for the rest of the season with very little effort. If you’re feeling crafty, just a few simple supplies can transform them into a focal point of your home for the months to come.
driftwood or large branch
3-4 bunches of straw flowers, in varying colors (fresh is great!)
corresponding needle (if you’re using thread, choose a thin needle; for string or something thicker, choose a larger craft needle)
tiny beads or invisible tape
It’s easiest to assemble this piece hanging so the threads don’t get tangled. You can always move it when you’re finished, but we recommend creating the piece in the vertical direction from the start.
To begin, secure your branch or wood to a wall. A simple piece of string tied to both ends of the branch and hung over a nail works just fine.
Break your strawflowers off of their stems so they’re ready to go. If you plan to hang them in color order, organize them into like piles too.
Thread your needle. In order to keep the flowers in place we came up with two options. 1) Tie a knot and then add a small bead to the string before you add each flower. The bead should be large enough to keep the flower in place. With just a teeny knot, the flowers tend to travel downward. Or, 2) wrap a tiny piece of invisible tape under each flower as you string them. This accomplishes the same thing and you can’t see the tape when you stand back to look at the piece. It’s also much quicker than threading beads. Just sayin’.
Add flowers to each thread, one at a time, making sure to secure them using your chosen method. There are probably other ways to ensure that your flowers stay put too, so if you think of something better, go for it!
Once you’ve added 6-8 flowers to a thread, tie it to the branch.
Repeat until you’re satisfied with the number of flowers on your wall hanging. The flowers will dry perfectly over the next few weeks while they hang in place.
DIY dried flower swag
We love wintery swags full of fragrant greenery during the holidays so much that we decided to try a more summery version using loads of different dried flowers. This project is a little free form and really depends on what flowers you’ve chosen or have available. We’ll outline some basic principles that should point you in the right direction.
large and small dried/preserved flowers, grasses, seed pods, and branches
Choose a variety of sizes, colors and shapes. We purchased some of our flowers from a craft store, others from the flower market (some vendors dry their unsold merchandise) and we even dried a few ourselves. (See above mention of straw flowers!)
Start with the largest pieces to form a framework for your swag. We had two large banksia that formed the shape of our piece. (These dry beautifully in place if you happen to have fresh ones!) Hold them in one hand and begin by adding pieces to the back of the swag to arrange the general shape. We used long palm-like grass, feathery pampas grass, dried seed pods and lavender (which also smells divine) to create our basic shape. We then added brighter, more special bits, like the dried roses and straw flowers to create a focal point. Finally we snuck in some baby’s breath and similar small-scale sprigs, as well as a few fresh bay leaf branches.
It’s totally fine to include fresh pieces that you know will dry easily over the next few weeks, if you don’t have dried versions handy.
Once your swag is arranged to your liking, tie it tightly with a sturdy piece of string. You can cover the string with a piece of ribbon if you like, or just leave it au natural.
After you hang it on the wall (using a teeny nail and thread), you may want to add a few more springs of this or that. Simply shove them into the arrangement where you like. As long as their stems make it into the main knot, they should stay just fine.