I have a confession to make. Ready for it? I’m really not that into flowers. Don’t get me wrong – I think they’re pretty and they smell good. However, I kill plants and therefore no longer bother trying to grow them. And whenever I try to use (non-toxic) flowers as decor in my house, my cats eat them and then vomit on my carpet. Plus, flowers can get pricey! Hence my search for non-floral centerpieces.
First things first – my supplies.
You will note that I did not use a paper piecer and mouse pad. Instead, I attempted to pierce the coffee filters with the pointy end of the skewer and/or the floral wire. Do not do this, as you will end up with holes that are too big and flowers that fall apart. Also, you will increase the odds of stabbing yourself in the hand.
After tearing several filters with my deficient piercing methods, I tried just using a straight needle. This worked a bit better, but this project would have overall been easier had I used a better method to punch holes in the filters.
After soldiering on for about an hour, I had an entire vase full of flowers!
I think it looks nice enough on my initial inspection. However, I’m weirdly anal-retentive and can’t help but notice the little saggy bits on the bottom of the flowers. If I were sitting at a table at an event and staring at this bad boy, this would drive me insane. On the flip side, though, I could also spin this as the flower just “opening up” a little.
Also, the vase has to be really full, so that the flowers can basically support each other, or it just looks sad.
After my initial mostly successful attempt, I forged onward and dyed them! Since I’m a fan of purple, I went for it. Initially, I used 3 drops of blue and 3 drops of red in a spray bottle, but that wasn’t quite saturated enough, so I went up to 4 and 4. I also failed to adjust my spray bottle to “mist” on my first spray. Don’t do this, as a powerful jet of water doesn’t mix well with coffee filters. I did not take pictures of this step because I was too lazy use a covered work surface. Instead, I just took the flowers outside and held them in one hand while spraying with the other, and I didn’t have a third hand for a camera.
And now come the drying methods. For my first strategy, I put two of them in a vase and let them dry standing up. I think this worked fairly well, but it made the saggy bits problem worse. These guys took about an hour or so to dry.
For my second strategy, I put them in my oven at 200F for 5 minutes, then did my vase method above. I probably could have left them in the oven longer, but I’m a giant chicken and didn’t want to risk something like the floral tape melting or catching on fire or some other totally unlikely scenario. This seemed to reduce the saggy bits issue, and they only took about 15 minutes to dry.
For my third strategy, I just left them flat to dry on a piece of aluminum foil on my kitchen counter. These guys stayed wet for long enough that I finally gave up and left them overnight.
See a problem? Remember my flower destroying cats? Who are not allowed on my kitchen counters?! Yeah. They went up onto the counter, dragged the flowers onto the floor, and destroyed the coffee filter part while my dog ate the skewers.
Overall, if you don’t have devious and disobedient pets, I think I’d use either drying method 2 or 3. If your pets are jerks, then I’d stick with method 2. To cap things off, here’s my mixture of white and purple flowers, which I think turned out pretty good. Even with the saggy bits, I’d still be happy using these as a non-floral centerpiece. Plus, while my cats might eat them eventually, they’ll never die on their own.