Drying some flowers from the garden was a quick DIY project that gave the shelves in the guest apartment a little more pizazz. I had already bought a ladder shelf, painted some vases faux terracotta, painted some porcelain birds shades of green and collected thrift store books for the shelves. Some of the vases needed some love though in the form of flowers. Dave has fresh flowers in his garden for a lot of the year, but the thought of constantly filling up all those vases in the Airbnb felt like a lot, besides the fact that it would be a ladder full of potential messes. So, I decided to go with dried flowers.

The process was actually insanely easy. If you Google drying flower bouquets, there are a ton of ways to do it, a lot more professional than what I did. I went the old fashioned way. I made little bundles and hung them separately upside-down to dry for three weeks. To be fair, I probably could have taken them down sooner, but I wanted to be good and sure they were perfectly dry. And that's it! I have a few thoughts on this project though, which is really the point here and I'd do some things differently.

  1. Not all flowers are created equal, meaning some flowers dry prettier or more easily than others. I should have done more research before starting this, but I've never been the 'ask for directions' type. Of all the flowers, I thought the lavender dried the best, which I suppose is obvious because dried lavender bouquets are really common. On the other hand, I didn't love the bee balm aside from the long piece with lots of blooms and that's only because it looks so quirky. The petals looked a bit sad in the end.

2. I needed LOTS more. I filled my vases the best I could, but making these requires volume. They shrink as they dry, so I would basically dry twice what you think you need. Now I can't be bothered doing it a second time, so it is what it is. Maybe I'll eventually buy some more!

3. The colors of the petals aren't necessarily going to be the same color when they're dried as they were alive. A lot of them fade significantly. There are different processes professionals use to avoid this, like the microwave drying technique.

All in all, I think the process was a great learning experience. Like I said, I would do a lot differently the second go round. That being said, if I had the money, I think I would just buy some bouquets. I would love to have a bit more variety in options that dry well, and while Dave has a lovely garden, it's not full of flowers that dry easily.

I hope this helped anyone thinking about drying your own flowers.