I saw a dried flower Christmas tree on Pinterest about a month ago and immediately fell in love.
It wasn’t bright and flashy, but was natural and organic and had such a pretty nostalgic quality to it from the dried flowers. I knew that’s what I wanted to do for my tree this year so I immediately started planning.
My whole idea around Christmas this year has been “Subtle Christmas”. I’m not a huge fan of all the red and green and sparkly shiny things in my own home because they just don’t really work with my decor. I wanted whatever I did to use the same colours that I already had around my apartment so that the tree would complement the apartment instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.
There isn’t really a hard and fast process to how to DIY a dried flower & fruit tree, but here’s what I did so that you can get an idea, followed by some tips & tricks to help you create your own dried flower & fruit Christmas tree:
Start by drying your flowers. I know this post is a bit late in the 2020 Christmas season, but it is 2020 so what else would you expect in a year like this? All joking aside if you’ve just decided that you want to do a dried flower Christmas tree, I found that you can actually put the fresh flowers on the tree and have them dry there on their own. They may not look as perfect as if you were to dry them in a cool dark place upside down (allow 3 weeks before decorating if you’re going to do this) but they’ll still give you the same look with the gorgeous more muted tones. When all your flowers are dry, you’re going to want to cut the stems so that they’re only about 2 inches long.
For my flowers, I chose dusty pink, cream, and deep pink-brown roses, white English roses, white mini roses, a lot of baby’s breath, yarrow, eucalyptus and some dried greens. Some of the various roses and greenery came in a bouquet a friend gave me from a wedding, so I highly recommend buying one bouquet of various things so that you’ve got a lot of different flowers on your tree and not just a few varieties.
After putting all the flowers on, I realized that the tree still looked a bit bare. In order to remedy this, I did something I’d always dreamed of doing for Christmas and I made some dried citrus slices to include on the tree. I had only seen people dry oranges, but I knew they would be a bit big for my tree that’s only about 4 feet tall. I conveniently had a box of clementines lying around, so I thinly sliced 3 of those and dried them in the oven as well. When I went searching for more citrus I found that the grocery store had pink lemons which I had never seen before! They’re the perfect shade of pale pink on the inside and went perfectly with my decor. So, into the oven those went as well to be dried. To hang the citrus slices on the tree I used a needle to string deep olive green thread through each slice and tied it into a loop so that it would hang from the branches.
Now that I had all my decorations ready, it was time to put them on the tree!
I was able to go get a tree with friends this year and since my friend held his tree overhead in triumph after cutting it, I was expected to do the same!
Back in my apartment, I got the tree situated in a pot and put the lights on. Full disclosure – I wish the lights were a warmer white, but I’m working with what I have this year, so this will have to do.
Once all the lights were on I added the flowers starting with the bigger ones and trying to space them evenly throughout the tree. Then go in with your smaller flowers. I ended up adding the greenery just to fill in any gaps where there weren’t a lot of tree branches. The best part about using flowers to decorate your tree is that the needles of the tree hold everything really well and make it super easy to prop the flowers between them. When I had added all the flowers I then went and added all of my citrus slices and couldn’t help smiling at how pretty it was when the light shone through the slices and made them look like stained glass.
To top it all off I used a crochet star that one of my best friends made me.
Overall, I absolutely LOVE this idea for a Christmas tree. It’s still fun and festive but it goes with my decor and satisfies my love of muted tones and flowers. Honestly, I think it partially reminds me of one of my favourite Christmas movies as a kid which was called The Bears Who Saved Christmas. These two bears decorate a cabin for the kids in the middle of the night and decorate it with all kinds of natural decorations and I think that’s why I love my tree so much – it’s hitting me right in the feels.
Anyways, hope this inspires you to try a dried flower tree of your own, be it this year or next!
- to save some money, try to find flowers that are slightly past their prime and are on sale. You’re going to be drying them anyway so you don’t need them to look their best.
- some of the best flowers for drying are roses, baby’s breath, lavender, carnations, statice and hydrangeas. Eucalyptus and olive leaves are great greenery to use as well!
- I air dried the first batch of roses that I got, but let the rest of the flowers dry right on the tree! Those roses came out a little flatter in some instances, but they still look gorgeous! The baby’s breath worked perfectly letting it dry on the tree.
- I also initially bought these absolutely gorgeous pink hypericum berries for the tree. They looked Christmassy, but perfectly matched my apartment and I was easily the most excited about them. However, I found that berries like this didn’t dry well and ended up turning into sad black blobs so don’t waste your money on those – keep them for fresh arrangements!
- go themed or go completely random! A themed tree in all one or only a few colours is gorgeous, but buying a couple of bouquets with various flowers in them would be super fun too – just depends on your aesthetic.
- buy more flowers than you think you’ll need (only by 1 or 2 bunches). The flowers shrink as they dry so you’ll need a larger number to make your tree look fuller.
- Supplement your more expensive flowers with fruit! Dried citrus of any kind makes a gorgeous addition and there are a ton of different options this time of year. For a small to medium tree try pink lemons, limes, clementines, lemons or kumquats. For a larger tree try oranges, blood oranges, grapefruit and maybe even pomelos would be a great choice.
- I tried to distribute the different types of flowers and colours evenly throughout the tree but arranged them so that there were small bunches of flowers together instead of always placing a single flower on its own. Vary the bunches to group 3 or 5 flowers together.
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