How To: Make a Wild Frost dried flower chandelier
Formerly dismissed as fusty, they’re now trending everywhere from Instagram to bridal bouquets: dried flowers are officially back from the dead. Louise Sanderson of Wild Frost shows us how to make a simple yet striking hanging display
Words: Alice Ryan
“The beauty of dried flowers is that they’re both natural and everlasting,” says Louise Sanderson. “A lady came into the shop the other day and bought a dried flower wreath for a 21st birthday present, because ‘it’s something she can keep forever’. That’s a lovely thought.”
The founder of Wild Frost, the floristry business with branches in both Somersham and Ramsey, Louise admits dried flowers weren’t always so fashionable: rewind a couple of years and they conjured dusty 1980s fireplace displays.
“I think the comeback started with pampas grass: big, billowy grasses have been trending in gardens for a long time and that trend gradually made its way inside,” she says. “Even the Kardashians have got a big pot of pampas on their table!”
With their boho vibes and planet-friendly nature - though desiccated stems can be fragile, treated with care they last indefinitely; when they do finally fade, you can compost them in the same way as fresh; they need no florist’s foam, which can take forever to biodegrade, to be displayed - Louise says dried flowers “are very much of the moment”.
With crafting projects rising in popularity during the pandemic, the dried flower chandelier Louise demonstrates on these pages is designed to be “something anyone can do - you don’t need to be an experienced florist to get great results,” she says. “And to create a display yourself is just satisfying, isn’t it?”
Dried Flower Chandelier
What you need:
Wire wreath ring, either 10in or 12in
Reel florist’s wire, very fine gauge
4-5 stems eucalyptus, dried and dyed
Bunch dried flowers of your choice
Start by dressing your wreath frame with eucalyptus. Hold the end of your first stem to the outer edge of the ring and secure it with a small twist of wire. Wind the stem through the frame; if it’s a bit springy, use a second twist of wire to secure the other end too. Repeat the process with your remaining eucalyptus, working around the frame until you’ve created a complete circle of foliage. If you want a fuller effect, you can also cover the frame’s inner ring.
Next you’re going to make a series of flowered wires, to be suspended chandelier-style from the eucalyptus wreath. Snip the head off your first flower, leaving a short length of stem. Hold that stem to the free end of your reel wire and wind the wire around it a few times to secure. Leave a little gap of empty wire - an inch or two, depending on how dense you want your blooms to be - and choose another flower, snip it, wire it and work your way up until you’re happy with the length of your wire, then cut it free from the reel, leaving a couple of inches of blank wire at the end. When selecting flowers, try to vary colours, shapes and textures to give interest.
It’s a good idea to hang your eucalyptus ring at this stage, so you can add your strips as you complete them; the dried flowers and foliage are fragile, so it’s best to hang them individually rather than piling them up and doing all at once. Take three or four shorter lengths of wire, attach them to equidistant points around your frame and bring the free ends together to create a hook or loop. The chandelier will look lovely suspended in any free space, such as a ceiling hook or curtain rail. Once it’s in position, carefully lift up your first strip and use the free end of wire to twist it onto the ring.
Keep making flowered strips until your chandelier reaches the fullness you want to achieve; somewhere between 20 and 25 should do it. Your finished handiwork will last for as long as you want it to: as the flowers fade and gather dust over time, you can simply freshen the chandelier with new blooms.
You can buy all the materials you need from any floristry shop, but if you want to get the complete kit in one, Louise has created a dried flower chandelier DIY box. Containing everything you need, save for scissors - ring, wire, eucalyptus, selection of dried and dyed flowers - it’s available at wildfrost.co.uk now priced £33.95. You can also buy direct from Wild Frost’s shops on Great Whyte, Ramsey and High Street, Somersham (where you’ll also find Wild Frost cafes, so you can stop off for coffee and cake while you’re at it). Louise also sells handmade dried flower wreaths for doors, walls and table centres, priced from £35.
Read moreHomes and Gardens
More by this authorAlice Ryan