We are now a few days past Valentine's day. Perhaps the stars have left your eyes, you are no longer dreaming in pinks and reds, and your beautiful flowers have sadly started to wilt. But fear not, we can create something beautiful from these fading buds!
We've chatted with our shop florist Corinna Fielden (@seefielden) to bring you all the deets so you can DIY your own dried floral bouquet.
A bit about Corinna
Corinna Fielden is the talent behind the small business, Fielden. She is Greenpoint based decorative artist and she graciously supplies our artful florals and luxurious hand dyed silk scarves. Find and follower her on Instagram @seefielden!
Behind the Process
Q: First things first, what draws you to this art form?
A: I find creating dried floral arrangements akin to creating a sculpture. I love the permanence of the elements and that they stay exactly as they were arranged and that you get to enjoy them…forever! There is definitely more flexibility when working with dried materials as well - like you don’t have to worry about stems reaching the bottom of the vase and being able to drink water so they can tuck in wherever even if they are shorter.
Q: When starting on a new arrangement, where do you begin, and how do you build it? How do you know when it is complete?
A: It’s all about combining and contrasting textures, elements of different shapes and sizes, 3-5 is a good number of elements. Adding a delicate filler, maybe a large palm leaf and then a medium size feature element. And then I can’t resist a special accent element in a little cluster, like crespidia or bunny tails. I love combining different textures like a prickly thistle with a fuzzy bunnytail grass.
I start with whatever inspires my in my inventory - then go from there. When constructing an arrangement I like to start with the element with the most width and add in around it, tucking in elements from largest to smallest. It’s done when there are no holes and it feels full and balanced.
Q: Which types of dried florals are your favorite to work with and which do you find most difficult?
A: I love protea, pods, bunny tails and palms!
Tips before you begin
Q: When beginning the arrangement, what are some of the key differences of working with dried vs. fresh? Any advice for first time dried flower arrangers?
A: Switching to dried materials was challenging at first. While the technique is the same, you're dealing with such different materials in dried arrangements. It’s been fun seeing the progression as I understand the materials that I enjoy working with. Especially since I’ve been doing flowers for so long that I can get stuck on the flowers and materials I really enjoy working with, so its been cool to learn and experience these new options. I really love it, it’s like creating a sculpture! I still love fresh flowers more than anything, there’s a beauty in how they change each day and their transience is so special.
It’s definitely more expensive to create a large dried arrangement, but worth it because you’re buying art that will last for years.
Before you begin, decide where you want to put the arrangement, will it be one sided (against a wall on a desk, bookshelf, entry table) or 360 (dining room table, coffee table)? This will dictate the shape and focus point of the arrangement.
For arranging, make sure you trim any weird bits that might make it hard to add a stem in, and just be gentile, dried flowers are more delicate in many ways.
Q: For first timers, which would be the best to start with, and which would be the best to steer clear of?
A: It’s hard to work with items that are all flat or all bushy, it’s important to use a variety that can structurally fit together. For a beginner, I think a mix of palms, or pampas and bunnytails are easy to play with.
Rules to live by
Q: How do you keep your arrangements looking so natural and uncontrived?
A: I really like asymmetry in an arrangement, and I think it’s important to keep elements at varying heights and in clusters. It’s like mimicking a garden - plants grow in groups and some are taller than others. Elements shouldn’t be evenly dispersed and all the same height because things don’t grow like that in nature.
Q: What are some tips for caring for a dried arrangement so it lasts forever?
A: They will last longest when out of direct sunlight and in a dry room.
Q: People like to use fresh flowers as a way to change their spaces, what are some of the ways you can change up dried bouquets to keep them feeling updated through the years?
A: You can always switch out or add elements, like starting with two palm leaves then adding in other dried elements the next month to create a fuller arrangement. Then maybe splitting it into two the next month and adding something new to one of them or changing up the vase or placement in your home.
Partnering in Sustainability
Q: One of the many reasons we love working with you is our mutual appreciation towards sustainability! What are some of your own No Waste Practices as a business?
A: I really try to utilize all flowers on the stem, bits that break off get used to decorate my scarf boxes or packages. Similar to Sarah, I keep almost every bit of bubble wrap, padded envelopes, cardboard boxes, air padding. I can’t allow the packaging to only have one life! This doesn’t always make for the most cohesive or immaculate packaging for my products, but it helps me contribute to creating less waste where I can. Another fave are the sleeves my scarf blanks come in - I use them to cover my scarf and card boxes in case the package gets wet, sealing them with a sticker saying that the plastic sleeve is being reused. This both quells my insecurities about a customer thinking I’m using new plastic to protect my product, as well as potentially inspiring others to reuse packaging.
Grab those sheers, a bit of twine and let the creativity flow! Here are some easy steps for drying your bouquets:
- Do not wait too long to dry your flowers, fully mature blooms are likely to loos petals during the drying process.
- Remove any unwanted foliage
- Choose to either hang flowers upside-down individually or rubber-band stems together to hang as a bouquet.
- Hang upside-down in a dark, dry area with good circulation for up to 2-3 weeks or until fully dry.
- Remove flowers from hanging and spray with non scented hair spray for protection.
- Arrange away!
We wanted to share a few parting tips to help you along the way:
- Be Gentle! Dried flowers are delicate, but forgiving.
- You have all the time you want. These flowers won't start to wilt if you leave them out and ponder your next move.
- Have fun with it!
A stunning arrangement shines even brighter with a pretty vase. Shop our shop picks:
We cannot wait to see what you create! Tag us @lovetheclutter, and Corinna @seefielden