Dried flowers Dried flowers

Ten Uses for Dried Flowers

Dried flowers are full of subtle colors and myriad textures. What can you do with them besides arranging them in a lovely bouquet? Here are 10 of the many possibilities for using flowers in cooking, at home, and in body care.

1. Cooking

Edible dried flowers are delicious in cakes and other desserts, and many of them make wonderful teas. You might experiment with making your own tea blends, using green and black teas as well as herbs.

2. Cleaning

Dried flowers are great additions to DIY cleaning products. They partner nicely with citrusy scents and mints, too.

3. Sachets

Sew little aromatic sachets to include in dresser drawers and closets. You can even fashion no-sew varieties by tying little muslin or fine mesh bags.

4. Gifting

Sprigs of dried flowers look lovely atop a package, in the midst of a bow. You might also scatter dried petals in your gift card.

5. Celebrations

Make dried flowers the focal point of a centerpiece. A large, clear bowl of hibiscus flowers or a basket of lavender flowers will add color to a side table or dinner setting, for example. (Choose aromatic flowers for around the house but less fragrant ones for the dinner table, so they don't interfere with the aroma of the food.)

6. Potpourri

A collection of colors and textures can be combined to make a potpourri. Make the scent long lasting by including a fixative such as orris root, and enhance the scent with essential oils, if you like.

7. Candle making

If you make your own candles, you can easily incorporate dried flowers into your molds. But even if you're not a candlemaker, you can add dried flowers to the outside of your plain candles. Simply place crushed dried flowers on wax paper. Pour a little melted wax over the flowers, and then roll the candle in the flowers.

8. Papers

Dried flowers can also be incorporated into the process of making your own paper. Or, for handmade cards, simply apply dried flowers to good quality (fairly heavy) cardstock with a little glue and a paintbrush. (Tweezers are helpful for arranging the flowers.) Dried flowers can also be used to decorate scrapbooking pages.

9. Dyes

Some dried flowers make excellent dyes for cloth and for Easter eggs, too. Experiment with hibiscus flowers for a reddish blue/lavender result, and safflower petals for a pale yellow. A mordant (such as alum or cream of tartar) will help give your color staying power.

10. Bathing and other body care

The best herbal baths include dried flowers. Sprinkle them directly in your bathwater, or make an herbal infusion and pour it into your bath. In other body care, infusions of herbal flowers are also the basis of many lotions, toners, facial steams, masks, herbal hair rinses, and sprays.