I love hydrangeas! I enjoy preserving them so I can enjoy them inside during the winter. Dried hydrangeas are great to use for various crafts. A few years ago I discovered how easy it is to spray paint hydrangeas in various different colors.
There are so many fun colors to spray paint these flowers. I share many ideas with examples below.
Red, white and blue patriotic flowers
This is my red, white, and blue-themed pitcher that gets placed on my blue entry cabinet during patriotic holidays. I still have a collection of white pitchers to display florals in. Here is how I made my own faux ironstone pitchers.
When to cut for drying
Mother Nature takes care of most of the drying. In the late summer or sometimes early fall, hydrangea flowers start looking and feeling dry. This is the time to cut some pretty stems to finish drying.
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How to preserve hydrangeas for the winter
Cut the stems once the flowers start looking and feeling dry (early fall), strip off the leaves, place them in a vase, and leave them alone for a few days. Notice that I did NOT say you should place water in the vase. Some people do, but I find there is no benefit to putting water in the vase when you are trying to dry hydrangea flowers. Sometimes I leave a couple of leaves near the top (like in the vase above)
These flowers dry beautifully in their natural state, and I use them as such sometimes. The wreath below is being made with hydrangeas that are starting to dry.
Tip for making wreaths
When making a wreath, use hydrangeas that are not completely dry. That way, the stems are more pliable, and the flowers don't crumble as much when handled.
Here is a post where I wrote about my hydrangea adventures when I moved into my house and things I've used hydrangeas for - including this wreath.
What hydrangea shrubs look like
If you don't have any growing in your yard, don't be shy about asking friends or neighbors if they are able to share. Many traditional hydrangeas, like Annabelle hydrangeas, get cut down in many parts of the country.
This is what the hydrangea shrubs look like. (I know some of you aren't gardeners!). These are earlier in the summer. As we get closer to fall, they start getting a little green as the flowers get drier.
Below is how the flowers start turning light green.
I love dried hydrangea and have some naturally dried ones too. But here is how I sprayed mine (really, it's super simple!). First, I cut down a whole bunch. Take more than you need!
Spray painting silver for Christmas
These flowers look so pretty painted silver for Christmas! All you need to use is a metallic silver spray paint.
Below is a closeup of what the silver-painted hydrangeas look like. Aren't they beautiful?
They actually spray paint very well. And look all silvery and sparkly. Make sure to pick up the flower by the stem and spray the underside of the flower. The silver-painted flowers look beautiful when you get paint coverage on both sides of the flower petals.
I haven't spray painted these flowers gold, but I'm sure they would be beautiful!!
Red and green Christmas theme
I couldn't help myself, and one year I did Christmas colors. Some pretty red (more burgundy) and a lime green worked perfectly. It was a little more vivid than the natural hydrangea colors, but that was what I was going for.
I didn't spray the red and green ones as thoroughly. I think some of the natural color looking through keeps them looking a little more real.
Here is the spray paint I used for the red and the green.
Honestly, these turned out way better than I expected. I totally LOVE them!
Here is the bunch of silver ones.
Blue painted hydrangeas
Last year, I painted some of my hydrangeas blue! They look gorgeous as an accent in my living room. I have tons of hydrangeas but no blue ones. So I made myself some!
I also wrote a post showing how I painted hydrangeas blue, keeping them more natural.
Yes, you can. I use leftover cans of spray paint from other projects all the time.
I used to. The theory behind the hairspray is it will stop the hydrangea flower petals from falling. I don't really find it helpful, and to me, it's just another step.
TIP - If you do want to use hairspray on the flowers before spray painting, buy unscented hair spray! Cheap-scented hairspray has a really strong smell.
I've had some that I've kept and used for 3 years (the silver ones!). After a while, they get dusty, and it's just time for a new batch.
Many people do spray paint their dead mums in the fall. I haven't yet, but I'm sure it works, and I probably will this fall!
Ideas for using dried hydrangeas
Pin this idea to your Pinterest board!
**Originally published Aug. 19, 2014.