A DIY Guide to Making Good Use Out of Old Bouquets

Unlike actual mothers, Mother’s Day flowers are only good for a short period of time before they become a useless eyesore. For all you moms out there that are SURE to get at least one bouquet of flowers, I hope this post will help you to make your floral arrangement last a little longer or maybe even give you some inspiration to make those flowers an ongoing feature in your home.

flowers and sugar

Longevity – If you’re just looking to squeeze a little more life out of those floral favors, here are a couple easy tricks you can use:
• Putting a little sugar (3 tablespoons per quart) in the water will make the blossoms last longer. You can even pour a quarter cup of clear soda into the water. The sugar in the soda will have the same effect.
• Adding apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (2 tablespoons per quart) to the sugar solution when you first put the flowers in the vase will also add to your flowers’ longevity. The vinegar helps to minimize the growth of bacteria in the water. Adding a couple drops of vodka (or any other clear spirit) will have a similar effect. Changing the water solution every other day is also critical in making those flowers last as long as possible.
• Cutting the stems at steep angles every few days will help the flower to absorb more water through a freshly cut stem.


hanging flowers

Crafty – If you want to turn that thoughtful (maybe not always useful) gift into an easy craft project, here are a few ideas:
(Before you get cracking on these cool craft ideas, you will need to dry your flowers. When your flowers start showing the first signs of wilting, take them out of the vase and hang them upside down or press them in a book. Removing the moisture this way will preserve the color better than allowing the flowers to wilt and dye in a vase which will result in a heap of brown petals.)


flower candle decor

Make a candle
• All you need are some candlewicks from your craft store and some old candle wax scraps. If you don’t have candle scraps you can pick up wax blocks at the craft store as well. (They come in all kinds of great scents)
• Find a mold for your candle. You can use a shot glass for small candles, a coffee mug for medium, and a small cooking pot for larger multi-wick candles. Be sure to prep the mold with cooking spray for easy removal.
• Melt the wax: This can be done a couple different ways. 1)Break the wax up into chunks and microwave the wax in a microwave-safe container in short bursts until it is fully melted. 2)Place the wax in small metal mixing bowl and place that in a pot of boiling water. Make sure no water gets into your wax.
• Once the wax is completely melted, pour it into your treated mold and add bit of the dried flowers petals as you pour.
• Before the wax solidifies, slowly add the wick to the center of the candle. Be sure to hold onto the wick until the wax is solid enough to support it. (So it doesn’t fall in.)
• Allow the wax to completely harden before removing it from the mold and voila! A beautiful, custom candle!


homemade potpourri

• All you need for this project is your dried flowers, a sealable jar, and whatever else you care to add to your potpourri.(There are many great things to add like spices, other vegetation, and even scented oils)
• Separate the dried petals from the blossoms. You can also leave some blossoms whole for decorative purposes but you will want to separate a few petals to release the floral aromas.
• Mix the petals with spices such as clove, nutmeg, and/or cinnamon sticks in the jar. Feel free to get creative and add other ingredients like pinecones, dried berries, glitter, stones, etc. The goal is to have something that smells nice but is also pleasing to the eye.
• It is recommended to add dried lavender (whole or ground). Lavender acts as a fixative and will help maintain the floral aroma from the petals.
• Once you have added all the desired ingredients, seal the jar and keep it in a dark area for a few weeks. This will allow the aromas to marry with one another, creating a complex but homogeneous smell character.
• Once you are ready to crack open the jar for use, adding a few drops of unscented alcohol (brandy, vodka, etc.) will help to release the fragrances so that the gift you were lovingly given can spread through your home.



Framed Pressed Flowers
• Rather than hanging the flowers to dry, this project requires the wilting flowers to dry between the pages of a book. You can place some additional books on top to add more pressure.
• Once the flowers are dried and flattened, you can press them between two panes of glass for framing. You can add a dab of glue on an inconspicuous segment of the flower to hold it in the perfect place.
• This is an super-simple project that can be implemented in a number of different ways, will look great, and make that mother’s day gift last for a long time.  You can also do this with your kids! Have them assist you in designing the arrangement.



Dried Flower Centerpiece
• Possibly the simplest way to make use of those old flowers is to take your hanging dried flowers and put them right back in a dry vase.
• This will give your flowers a second life and if they’ve been dried properly, they will still have some vibrant colors left in their petals.


Instead of just throwing out your bouquet of vibrant flowers at the first sign of wilting,  you can now put them to good use and make sure the thought keeps counting. If you know any other moms out there that would benefit from these DIY tips, be sure to share this post with them on Facebook and Google+ or tweet about it with this Twitter-ready link: http://blog.plushrugs.com/?p=665

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