The process of creating stunning strawflower baubles is so simple, but the effect is magical. I often liken the appearance of dried strawflowers to jewels - for their shiny petals and rich depth of color. When mindfully brought together to create these baubles, they will elevate your Christmas decorating ideas to a whole new level.
I have grown and dried strawflowers, also known as xerochrysum, for use in my floral designs for years, and especially around the holiday season. The stems of these flowers when dried can become brittle and weak, and oftentimes the heads would break off whilst I was designing with them. Rather than rendering them unusable, I always saved them for use in festive crafting projects, and this one is my absolute favorite.
The process of making strawflower baubles can be quite meditative, so settle down with a mulled wine and your choice of festive music for a few hours of calm Christmas crafting.
How to make strawflower baubles in five simple steps
Once you get into the rhythm of attaching your strawflowers, you will want to make many more of these beautiful decorations.
You will need:
- A selection of plain, round baubles (these don’t have to be huge, as they will appear a lot bigger once you have finished)
- A small glue gun, such as this one from Walmart, and extra glue sticks
- Dried strawflower heads - approximately 50 heads per bauble. You can source dried strawflowers from retailers such as Etsy or Amazon.
- Velvet ribbon
Before you begin, make sure you protect the surface you’re working on with a cloth or some magazine pages - we don’t want hot glue damaging your surfaces.
Step 1: Switch on your glue gun to allow it enough time to warm up. Your glue needs to be really hot in order to work effectively, so give your glue gun sufficient time to heat up before you start this project. Meanwhile, take your selection of strawflower heads and lay them out in front of you. This way you can work on your color palettes for each individual bauble, and look at which shades go together. Do you want a monochromatic scheme, or maybe you’d prefer to create a lovely ombre effect?
Step 2: Once you’ve laid out your dried flower heads, turn them over and snip off any remaining stem to create a flat back. This will make it much easier to glue them onto the bauble. All dried flower heads are delicate and can be brittle, so try to handle them carefully to avoid crushing any of the petals.
Step 3: Place a ring of hot glue on the back of your first strawflower head, then gently press it onto the bauble and hold it in place for five seconds. You should be able to press gently in the center of the larger strawflower heads to secure them. The smaller ones will fix easily once the glue makes contact with the bauble. Start at the top and work your way around it. Once you have created a line of dried flower heads at the top, begin to work down the bauble.
Step 4: Continue gluing on the heads, teaming larger, more dominant flower heads next to smaller, delicate ones to add interest and variations in shape and texture. It is easier to hold the bauble if you work down it evenly. When you get to the bottom of the bauble, gently hold it from the top and glue on your last remaining flower heads. You might find it easier to hang your bauble from the neck of a bottle or a hook whilst you are making it.
Step 5: The final step is to cut off the original hanging ribbon from the bauble, and replace it with a 60cm length of velvet ribbon. Tie a knot at the top, hang from your tree and watch it sparkle and shine among the fairy lights.
How many flower heads do I need to make strawflower baubles?
You will need approximately 50 dried strawflower heads per bauble, but of course this will depend on the size of baubles you are using and the different sizes of strawflower heads - some are enormous, while the buds are much smaller.
Which flowers work best for dried flower baubles?
Anything fairly small with a distinctive flower head could be used to create a dried flower bauble. Strawflowers are ideal, but you could also use dried hydrangea, craspedia, spray roses, poppy seed pods or bunny tail grasses.
You can make these baubles with different kinds of dried flowers - small florets of dried hydrangea heads or dried spray roses would work just as well. Experiment with what you have and see what you can create.
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Rachel is a gardening writer, flower grower and floral designer. Her journalism career began on Country Living magazine, sparking a love of container gardening and wild planting. After more than a decade writing for and editing a range of consumer, business and special interest titles, Rachel became editor of floral art magazine The Flower Arranger. She then trained and worked as a floral designer and stylist in London for six years, before moving to York and joining the Homes & Gardens team. Her love of gardening has endured throughout, and she now grows an abundance of vegetables and flowers on her rambling Yorkshire plot.
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