Hydrangea, while finicky in the summer with the heat, do quite well being dried and do so with little fuss too. It’s best to leave them on the bush to dry before snipping to maintain fullness.

The flowers are still in bloom and our sunscreen is still within an arm’s reach, but the cozy of fall and the craziness of holidays is right around the corner.
Make this the year that you take the time to dry flowers from your garden (or some snipped from someone else’s) to carry their beauty past their normal growing season.
By planning now, dried flowers can be worked into your table decor, wreaths and other arrangements, not to mention a slew of fun DIY gifts for your loved ones.
Before you have flashbacks to outdated decor, know that like everything else, dried flower styles have also been revamped to include flowers of more vibrant color and bold shapes.
And, if you snip from your own garden, it will already be blooms you love.
First, which flowers to snip depend not only on the project, but also for the drying method you’ll be using.
For air drying, where you would bundle the flowers and then hang them upside down for two to three weeks, look for smaller blossoms that retain less moisture.
If you attempt to use the microwave or oven, larger and more densely petaled flowers do best (think tulips, sunflowers or roses).
And for flattening either in a stack of books between wax paper or with an official flower press, a smaller flower with only a row or two of petals gives the best results.
For a project you hope to last longer or if you want to keep vibrant color, experiment with silica gel, which isn’t particularly hard but does take more hands-on time.
For any of the methods, flowers should be about three-quarters of the way to a full bloom but not quite there yet and you’ll want to strip the leaves and other foliage.
Aesthetically, Baby’s breath, yarrow or cress make great dainty white tuck-ins for most any arrangement, while euclyptus and Dusty Miller can provide green foliage.
The vibrant yellow domes of craspedia or “Billy Balls’’ will still make a sunny statement into the fall as do goldenrod or Black-eyed Susans.
Another add in for color is larkspur, also good for some height or any globe varieties which add some fun shape and texture.
Hydrangea, while finicky in the summer with the heat, do quite well being dried and do so with little fuss too.
It’s best to leave them on the bush to dry before snipping to maintain fullness. If you’d prefer to keep their summer color rather than the more muted tone as they turn into fall, you may have to experiment with preserving with silica.
For an earthy tone, try your hand at gleaning some wheat as well, as it dries easily and adds height and texture to your bouquets as well as a fall feel.
Pampas grass which remains a super trendy, year-round stand out will also give you that feel as well as volume, height and definition to just about any project you pursue.
Spritz it with a bit of hair spray so its shedding doesn’t make its own statement all over your house.
Rules aside, the good news is that when you are snipping around your yard, it’s low risk. It doesn’t hurt to try to snip something as the worst that can happen is maybe you lose a few minutes and you don’t get to enjoy the flower in your yard quite as long. It is always worth a shot. Sometimes a flower you don’t think is ideal will surprise you and work out beautifully.
If you have specific projects in mind, pick an abundance as you’ll probably have a few that might not work out and if you go way overboard, well, there is always potpourri.
When you are done drying, store your delicate flowers in a dark place but also one that is not moist until ready to use.
Dried flowers make a stunning, albeit different, arrangement just as fresh flowers do.
When creating one, it works best to put chunks of the same flower in rather than one stem at a time.
As they are daintier and not as full as their summer counterparts, the flowers need a bit of teamwork to make the same statement.
Without the water to help hold them in, you may have to trim them slightly shorter. If using a clear glass, you could tie a pretty ribbon around the stems to help maintain shape, or try an opaque white milk glass for a nice look.
Another play on a dried arrangement is a trendy “Flower bar.” While it requires some basic shop class skills, the idea is fairly simple.
Take a 2-by-4-inch or similar thickness board drilled about 3/4 to an inch with multiple spaced-out holes.
After you create it, it makes the perfect home for dried stems, stuck in whether a variety of colors or a variety of textures or both.
It can then go on your table, a not-too-sunny windowsill, mantle or other feature spot.
Plus, it can be reused season after season to change up looks.
And of course, nothing says the holidays like wreaths.
Almost any dried plant looks great in a grapevine wreath, plus grapevines are easy to tuck into.
And when your arrangement starts to show age, you can simply pluck the dried flowers out and refresh your wreath.
You can also add in other nature inspired items like pinecones or feathers to help add bulk.
Dried orange slices, eucalyptus and apple slices also make a holiday wreath pop.
Besides holiday decor, dried flowers also make a variety of holiday gifts, some of which are great for little hands to help assemble.
With pressed flowers, combine with paper art to create cards and bookmarks.
Flowers look stunning Mod Podged to textured or watercolor paper, or you could let their beauty stand out all by itself using a laminator.
Have painted rock fans? Your flattened flowers are great to Mod Podge to the tops of smooth rocks.
Another sweet gift idea is to start thrifting for some clear teacups, small votives or glass jars to hodgepodge pressed dried flowers to and then pouring in the wax.
You could also skip the wax pouring and add the flowers to create a simple votive accompanied with some small tea candles.
Create a pretty paperweight with a silicone mold layered with flowers and resin.
Grab some clear Christmas balls and gently fill with petite flowers or petals — bonus if they are from a sentimental event like a wedding!
A clear glass frame, which are at times called a pressed flower frame, are pretty to not only add flowers in but a favorite photo as well for an even more personal touch.
While dried flowers do extend the life of a flower, all good things do come to an end.
You can anticipate them lasting about a year when used for an arrangement or wreath but quite a bit longer when turned into a craft using Mod Podge, laminators, etc.
And in that time, you’ll have a whole new garden’s worth of flowers to work with all over again.