When you think about dried flowers and herbs, you likely envision a beautiful bouquet and a soothing cup of tea. But these glorious gifts from Mother Nature have many other practical uses you may not have considered.
Dried flowers and herbs can be used in crafting, cooking, decorating—even personal care. Check out the exciting possibilities:
1. Candles and soaps
Enhance the beauty of homemade soap and candles by sprinkling dried flowers, such as lavender buds, jasmine and rose petals, into your molds. You can also embellish plain, store-bought candles by melting wax over crushed dried flowers (be sure to place them on wax paper first!) and then rolling the candles in the flowers.
2. Cards and paper
Use dried flowers and herbs to make your own greeting cards, scrapbook pages and stationary. Simply apply the dried herbs and florals to heavy paper or cardstock with glue and a paintbrush. A set of tweezers may also come in handy when arranging them.
3. Gift wrap
Take your gift-wrapping skills to the next level by adding a sprig of herbs or dried flowers to the wrapping paper. You can also place some dried flower petals inside greeting cards for extra flare.
Dried flowers make beautiful centerpieces for dinner parties and celebrations. Be sure to choose colorful varieties that aren’t overly fragrant, such as hibiscus flowers, so they capture your guests’ attention without clashing with the aroma of the meal.
Combine dried flowers and herbs to make your own potpourri! Use lavender buds, rose hips, lemon verbena, cloves—whatever is seasonal and appeals to your senses. Add a few drops of essential oil for fragrance as well as orris root powder, which serves as a fixative and helps preserve the pleasant aroma.
Take small amounts of homemade potpourri (see above) and place them in tiny mesh or muslin bags. If the bags don’t have drawstrings, tie them closed with a bow and then place them in your drawers and closets.
Many dried flowers and herbs make excellent fabric dyes. You can also use them to color eggs for Easter. Safflower petals, for instance, produce a pale yellow color whereas dried hibiscus flowers create a lavender shade. Incorporating a mordant, such as cream or tartar, can help ensure longer lasting color.
Of course, herbs are common in cooking. But did you know that edible dried flowers also make a delicious addition to teas, savory dishes (think scallops, spring rolls and pasta) and deserts? You can even freeze them inside ice cubes!
Sprinkle dried flowers, such as chamomile, rosebuds, lavender and hops flowers, directly in your bathwater or place a couple tablespoons of each on a square of fabric, securing the ends with a string or rubber band. Allow the floral pouch to steep in the warm bath water and enjoy a relaxing, nourishing soak.
10. Skin care
From lip balms and face masks to body washes, scrubs and massage oils, dried flowers and herbs are front and center in a variety of skincare products. Make your own herbal body scrub by combining one cup of Epsom salts (or fine sea salt) with 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil or olive oil and adding one or two sprigs of finely chopped lavender (or another herb of your choosing) to the mix.
11. Hair care
Herbs can also help nourish your hair and scalp. Make your own herbal shampoo by combining 1/4 cup of castile soap with one cup of distilled water and 1/3 cup of dried flowers or herbs. Choose elder flowers for added shine, dandelion to bring out highlights and calendula or chamomile flowers to help relieve itchy scalp!
Start by boiling the water in a small saucepan. Next, remove the pan from the heat. Then add the flowers or herbs to a fine-mesh sieve and drop the sieve into the water. Let the herbs steep for approximately 30 minutes before removing them from the water. Finally, pour the water and the castile soap into a container or jar and stir.
Snag these supplies to get started today!
Vitacost Essential Oils 100% Pure Lavender
White Egret Personal Care Epsom Salt Unscented
Frontier Natural Products White Beeswax Beads