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How To Use Dried Flowers In Creative Side Hustles

Lots of dried flowers being worked with by two pairs of hands

Kate Blott |

What to do With Dried Flowers

Side hustle, small business, or hobby, you can do lots of different things with dried flowers that could make you a little money, or give you a creative outlet. We have put a few ideas together to inspire your creativity!

  1. Floral Candles
  2. Cake Decorating
  3. Soap Making
  4. Embroidery Hoops
  5. Potpourri

Contents

Floral Candles

It seems there is no shortage of love for candles. They come in such a wide variety of colours and styles, and can be made from a number of different kinds of natural or synthetic wax. Scented candles may not be to everyone's taste, however, as they can be irritating to eyes and noses, and sometimes the aromas don't smell that nice. A alternative to these are decorative candles that use dried flowers for a pretty, natural look. Whether you use a glass vessel or a decorative teacup, these candles look lovely around the home, and they also make a lovely gifts. Whether you intend to sell at craft fairs or online, these gorgeous items are bound to popular.

Making candles with dried flowers
Photo by Yan Krukau

You will need to be cautious when using dried flowers in candle making as they are flammable. Keep them far away from the flame (i.e. the burning wick) to prevent fires. We have found a tutorial on YouTube that could help you make a pillar candle using dried, pressed flowers. The internet is a wonderful resource for learning how to make wonderful things but always proceed with caution and make sure you are being safe, especially if you are intending to sell products. Check that you are not breaking any rules and that you assess potential liability. Your local trading standards authority will be a good place to get advice when selling products to the public.

Wildflours - Love to Bake? Do it With Flowers!

Contemporary cake design makes use of some beautiful icing techniques, and often includes dried flowers. Whether the products used are in natural colours, or have been coloured to match an icing palette, these blooms are truly a sight to behold. There are some edible flowers that could be included within the bakes or the icing but make sure you double check it's safe before you put any flower or plant into food. If you are interested in using edible flowers in your baking, why not check out Thursd. It's a fantastic resource, and there are some great tips on what flowers you can use and how to use them.

A beautiful cake, decorated with colourful icing and dried flowers
Image credit: Fresablooms

Going to town all over the cake or just a small 'topper' are just two ways to embellish your culinary delights with dried flowers. A good way to combine your floristry skills with your baking business, or vice versa!

Above: Lagurus, Oats, Eucalyptus, Palm Spear, Broom Bloom, Sword Fern

Below: Palm Spear, Ruscus, Lagurus, Eucalyptus

A dried flower cake topper including palm spear, lagurus, and ruscus/
Image credit Adamapple

Below: Ruscus, Lagurus, Chardon Thistle, Flax, Gypsophila

Cake topper with dried flowers
Image credit Luna & Wild

What's Safe and What's Not?

When using florals in cake design, it's important not to bring them into close contact with the edible parts of the cake. Take care to provide a barrier between the stems if inserting them into the cake, and if you are laying them on top or against it, ensure they are completely edible, with nothing toxic or potentially dangerous able to leach into the icing.

Familiarise yourself with these terms to assist in your decision making with florals:

  • Edible – Items are safe to eat and your body will digest them just as it would any other food.
  • Non-edible – Items are not fit for consumption. The body cannot break them down or digest them.
  • Toxic – Items are poisonous and will be harmful/deadly if ingested.
  • Non-toxic – Items are not poisonous, but may not be safe to eat.

Below are some examples for toxic and edible:

TOXIC PLANTS
EDIBLE PLANTS
  • Daffodils
  • Poppies
  • Bluebells
  • Foxglove
  • Oleander
  • Clematis
  • Rhododendron
  • Hydrangea
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Hibiscus
  • Pansies
  • Lilac
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Calendula
  • Dahlia
  • Violas
  • Borage

Soap Making

Soap making is a fun craft that can be turned into a side hustle. There are several different methods to make soap, and all of these can use dried flowers, either as decoration at the end of the process, or mixed into the batch, although a hot process will often help retain the colour of flowers. With the cold process, the caustic lye can cause the florals to lose, or change their colour. Why not give flower-infused, milk soap a try? We sell some gorgeous natural dried petals that would work beautifully here! Berries and Cherries look almost good enough to eat - but don't!

Confetti Petals - Berries & Cherries, 5L
Berries & Cherries - Atlas Flowers

Beautiful lavender soap, with its heady aroma and soporific effects, is a favourite among many. To help prevent those lavender grains from going brown when mixed into the soap, use a hot process.

Handmade, dried lavender soap bars
Image credit Alabama Mud Soap Co

Embroidery Hoop Art

When it comes to getting creative and making something that others are likely to want to purchase, it can be hard to be original. Often, those looking to purchase gifts want something unique, and unless they have a huge budget, this isn't always so easy to provide. A relatively simple, and beautiful way to personalise dried flowers is to create an initialled embroidery hoop. These hoops come in a wide range of sizes and can be made using lots of different kinds of dried flowers. Perfect for nurseries or children's bedroom doors, these mini works of art will make a wonderful gift.

An embroidery hoop decorated with dried flowers in the shape of a letter A
Image credit Laura from From Britain with Love

Inspiration from Pinterest!

Dried Flower Embroidery Hoop Tutorial - By Olga Prinku

Not sure where to start with dried flower embroidery hoops? Expert Olga Prinku has produced an amazing tutorial on YouTube that will help guide you to creative success.

Potpourri

Love it or loathe it, potpourri is still a popular way to decorate and scent the home. Rather than opting for artificial-smelling, shop-bought mixes, why not create your own and wow your customers? Whether your harvest your own florals and botanicals to dry and make potpourri with, or buy them from a wholesaler like us, the method to add scent is much the same. Creating the perfect blend of blooms, seed pods and herbs can be created to make the most of natural scent or a colour palette. To make these blends unique for the paying public is the art that could differentiate your side hustle from the next.

A bowl pf dried, pink rose heads
Image credit David Domoney

There are so many beautiful blooms that would look good in a potpourri blend. Why not experiment with helichrysum heads, delphiniums, gomphrena, palm cups, dried poppy heads, scabious, rose heads, and sunflowers to name just a few?

Let's Make Some Potpourri!

Ready to have a go? Our basic guide will set you on the way to make some of your own potpourri for yourself or your family - or even to sell.

Flowers:

Choose your flowers and other botanicals, and ensure they are clean, dry, trimmed, and ready to mix. If you are only using petals, carefully remove them from flower heads.

Why not choose from a few of our most popular products?

a bunch of dried, light pink roses with cream tints, against a white background
Spray Roses, Dried, Natural Light Pink
Fixatives:

To ensure the scent you choose adheres to the flower blend, a fixative is required. These are natural or synthetic substances that help reduce the evaporation of the essential oils used for perfume.

  • Orris root (ground rhizomes of certain Iris plants)
  • Vanilla beans
  • Epsom salts
  • Oakmoss
  • Angelica root
  • Benzoin gum
Essential Oil:

Essential oils are intensely fragrant and great care should be taken to ensure you add too much. A cupped handful of mix may take up to 10 drops of oil but this can be applied to preference. There are so many oils available from pure scents like rose or lavender to more complex blends like coconut and vanilla, or even fruits. Synthetic scents are also available for more unusual-smelling potpourri, such as bubblegum.

Mix:

When using Epsom salts, apply the oil directly to this and blend thoroughly. You can even add coloured mica powder to this to add an extra colour pop to your final mix. It’s wise to allow this blend to dry out overnight so the crystals are drier when adding them to your florals.

If using a different fixative, mix the dried flowers, additional natural botanicals or materials, the fixative, and essential oil in a bowl.

Stir all the ingredients carefully and seal in a Kilner-style jar for the mix to mature. After about 4 weeks, the potpourri will be perfectly ready to use.

Display:

It’s always best to avoid using metal containers for potpourri as there can be reactions between the essential oils and the metal. Non-reactive containers like baskets, glass jars, and bowls are ideal. If you are concerned that your pets or small children may try to eat the potpourri ingredients, it is always best to use containers that have perforated lids, which allow the fragrance to emanate but prevent touching!

Here are a few of our products that could work for your beautiful blends:

a grey, stone effect venus head vase
Venus Head - Atlas Flowers
Sachets and bags:

You may remember making lavender bags as a child, or perhaps you recall your grandmother using them to scent clothes drawers. Sachets and bags are a great way to utilise your potpourri creation and make great gifts or products for your small business.

Potpourri sachet bags
Potpourri Sachet Bags

Have you got a creative side hustle? Do you want to share your projects?

We would love to see the gorgous dried, preserved or faux creations you have made with our products - why not share them on social. Tag us and we can feature you! SHOP NOW

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