Dried flowers are an understated, yet elegant decoration used in homes, event settings and artistic installations. Preserved petals and stems bring with them a softer colour palette, textured layers and permanent decor. We love to use them as a part of our visual merchandising in-store, dotting cotton stems and native flowers all around.
Read on to discover how you can make your own dried flower arrangement and handmade vase using household items and our gorgeous Decorative Paper range.
- Roll of twine
- Large mixing bowl
- Cardboard ‘toilet paper’ roll
- One cup of plain flour
- Whisk or electric mixer
- Bouquet of fresh flowers (picked or purchased)
- Large paper cup (similar to those used at cinemas)
- Glass bottle with a solid, cylindrical base
- Clothes-drying rack
- Liquid craft glue (ensure it dries clear)
- Decoupage sealer (such as Mod Podge)
- Paint (optional)
- White paper (optional)
- Your favourite Zetta Florence Decorative Paper! Pro tip: we have used one sheet of our Handmade Decorative Papers made from the Lokta bush in Nepal. The paper is malleable and lightly textured with stem and leaves encapsulated within the paper’s grain.
To begin, prepare your materials so that they’re ready when it comes time to get hands-on and papier-mache. Tear up sheets of newspaper into strips around the size of a $5 note. Then blow up your balloon. This will determine the size of your vase, but err on the side of caution so your balloon doesn’t pop!
Prepare your papier-mache (PM) glue by placing one cup of flour and four cups of water into a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is a runny, crepe-like batter consistency. We’ve used an electric mixer, but a regular whisk will do the trick too. Add extra flour or water if need be.
Begin the papier-mache process by dipping newspaper strips into the PM glue. Place each strip onto the balloon’s surface, leaving a small opening where the balloon is tied. Create a thin, even layer of newspaper over the balloon to reduce drying time.
Cut the toilet paper roll in half, vertically then horizontally. Curl these two cardboard strips around the bottom of a bottle and use craft glue to stick their edges together. This will form a wider cylinder for the opening of your vase. Leave it to dry.
Slide your cardboard cylinder off the bottle and ensure that it has dried as one new piece. Use craft glue to adhere your vase’s opening to the area you had previously reserved where the balloon is tied. Leave it to dry.
Add two more layers of papier-mache and let them dry completely between each round. Make sure that you place strips in and around the vase’s opening to ensure that it becomes bonded to the body of the vase.
From the bottom of the paper cup, measure the height you’d like your vase’s base to be. Cut across the cup so that you’re left with a cardboard base and use craft glue to adhere it to the body of your vase.
Complete another layer of papier-mache to connect the cardboard base to the vase. Now you’ll have a vase to decorate! We chose to use plain white paper for this step in order to create a clean backdrop for our final layer with our handmade Zetta Florence Decorative Paper.
Choose your favourite Zetta Florence Decorative Paper and tear it into strips (around the size of a $5 note again) ready to adorn your vase. We went with little daisies!
Apply strips with the craft glue to your vase. Then leave the vase until it’s dry. We added some detailing with white paint, but any extra touches are entirely optional.
Apply a decoupage sealer, such as Mod Podge, as a glaze over the outer surface of your vase and leave it to dry. The sealer should create a clear finish once it sets.
Pick and hang individual flowers you’ve collected upside-down with twine from a drying rack so that they retain most of their shape once their water has dried out over two—three weeks. These flowers will be well worth the wait since they’ll be preserved forever! Alternatively, support your local florist by purchasing dried flowers of your choosing to be housed in your lovely new handmade vase!