Colouring Dried Flowers

The October subscription box is a dried flower wreath, and it looks stunning. The wreath is all earthy tones so it can match any decor.

But what if you want to add a little colour? I did a bit of research, some trials and quite a few errors, and have found 3 ways to colour your dried flowers carefully. These will give you a subtle colour. The process for these is the same, it is just the ingredients that change slightly.

For each of these I used 4 drops of food colouring and a tablespoon of other liquid - vodka, methylated spirits or white vinegar. The methylated spirits mix only had 2 drops of food colouring hence looking a lot lighter.

First I tried using a small paint brush and painting on the mixture. Once dried, this gave a lovely finish, but was very time consuming.

Then I tried simply immersing the dried flower into the mix. This was a lot easier. I simply dipped and removed. I did not let the dried flowers soak as I was not sure if they would break down in the liquid. A dunking was all that was needed. I used a peg to hold the end of the plant (and also for colour coding during this experiment).

I gave each branch a slight shake in the sink to remove any excess liquid, then left them to dry. As they were drying, each branch became spotted and a little bit ugly, so I thought the experiment was a failure. The spots with the Vodka mix were not as pronounced at this stage.

I walked away and let them dry.

The next morning I was surprised to see that the colour was even on all the leaves in each experiment, and each one has kept it's colour for more than 2 weeks now. The colour did change during the drying process, so let them dry overnight before determining the amount of food colouring you will use for your project.

A quick breakdown for each experiment:


This one gave a lovely colour and dried very evenly. Drying time was slightly longer than the metho, but I liked the end result more.

Methylated Spirits.

The Methylated spirits dried a lot quicker than the other 2, and did not leave any smell. The colouring was a little uneven, I think this was due to the shorter drying time.

I liked the more subtle colouring with less drops of food colouring. If you are going to colour your creation, definitely experiment with the amounts on a few leaves first.

White Vinegar.

Not my favourite, but if you don't have vodka or methylated spirits this will give you a satisfactory result. This one took twice as long to dry as the vodka, and definitely left a vinegar scent. But the scent dispersed after a few days.

I tried to use ingredients that you would have in the cupboard or shed, and the results were surprising. You can do the same process with rubbing alcohol, but not everyone has this casually sitting in their cupboards.


The Dried Flower Wreath will be available in October as a subscription box. Click the button below for more information.

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