I have been spending some of my newly found spare time re-decorating my room and in the process of sorting things out, I found several rather sad bunches of dried flowers. These of course went straight into the green bin, but it got me thinking what I could replace them with that might be a bit more long lasting. Trawling the internet, several gorgeously colourful bunches of dried foliage, painted and sprayed caught my eye, so I thought I’d give creating my own versions a bit of a go and share the process with you.
You will need | dried twigs & foliage | acrylic paint | a paintbrush | a vase
The process itself is relatively simple. The first thing you need to do is (whilst doing your daily exercise for an hour) is to collect some dried foliage. Where we live this was relatively easy, as we live rurally and the hedges are lined with dried out poppies, grasses and other plants. However, wherever there is greenery in a park or along a roadside you should be able to find some dried bits and bobs. I just took a tote bag on a couple of walks and collected as much as possible.
Once you have collected your foliage, lay it all out on the table and pick your favourite ones. I recommend picking the slightly chunkier pieces of grass etc. as the more delicate they are (no matter how beautiful they may look), the more difficult the next step will be – painting. I decided to use pastel colours for my ‘twigs’ but you can use whatever you want or have to hand. If you so want to make pastel colours though, just take a teaspoon of white paint and add a tiny plop of any colour to it to dilute the colour. Pastel fun galore!
When painting your foliage, place a bit of scrap paper or newspaper on the surface you are going to work on so you don’t get paint everywhere – this can be a pretty messy DIY!
Hold your piece of foliage by the stem and begin painting at the top of the foliage. By starting at the top of the foliage you will be able to hold the stem high up which will allow you to keep the end of your foliage steady without getting paint all over you. Move your hand down the stem as you paint down towards the bottom of your foliage, always keeping one step ahead of the painting The key thing is to make sure you move the foliage around and paint from angles, getting each tiny bump, before moving your painting on down the item.
Leave your freshly painted foliage to dry and check to see if it needs a second coat. When you’ve painted everything to a level you are happy with, take your vase and measure each stem depending on how high you want it to sit within the container. Then take some sharp scissors and use them to trim your stems to this desired length. As you can see (below) I knew my foliage was quite long so didn’t paint all the way down to the bottom anyway. I ended up chopping quite a lot off – don’t be scared to get scissor happy and keep popping the foliage into your vase to make sure the height is right.
The final step is to arrange your foliage to create your final display, you can use florist foam (oasis) to stick them into if you’d like to keep them extra secure but I just popped mine straight into the vase. And the best thing? No need to remember to water them!
I do love having fresh flowers around the place, but this is a nice way to keep colour round the house all year long, especially when many of us may be watching the pennies & not buying non-essentials (although I may argue a good bunch of flowers is always essential!)
Have you been doing many crafts during this time? Let me know what you’ve been up to!