How to Air-Dry Flowers and More for Holiday Decorating

Air-dry flowers, herbs, and grasses for homemade Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations. Air-drying is the cheapest, most reliable method of preserving botanicals for holiday decorations. Other drying methods that call for corn meal and borax or freeze-drying are effective, but air-drying provides the most consistent results.

If you have a rubber band and a ceiling, you can air-dry botanicals for your holiday decorating. It’s easy! You need:

  • Rubber bands, twine, or wire

  • Scissors and/or clipping shears

  • Hammer and nail (or a cup hook)

  • Clothespins

To dry flowers individually: Hammer a nail into a wall, hold the flower upside down, and use the clothespin to clip the stem to the nail.

To dry bunches of herbs, leaves, or flowers: Remove the leaves from the flower stems, divide them into small (less than a handful) bunches, and then tie the stems with twine, wire, or rubber bands. Hang the bunches upside down on nails or cup hooks that you screw into the ceiling. Most flowers will dry within a week.

Here are more tips for you to try:

  • Hang the bunches in a cool, dry, dark area, such as a closet, pantry, or cellar.

  • Feel free to use a good floral tint, such as Design Master Color Tool Just For Flowers aerosol spray (available in the floral or spray paint section in most craft stores), to bring a bit of color back to your dried flowers. The floral tint not only gives a nice natural tint of color, it also keeps the dried flowers from deteriorating too quickly.

  • For the best results, dry similar types of flowers at the same time so that the drying times will be close together.

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