How to dry and use hydrangea blooms for decorating

Fast growing and producing huge white, pink or blue blooms, it is no wonder the hydrangea shrub is a craft person’s delight. The mophead variety of hydrangea blooms is preferred for drying because of its almost spherical blooms that can reach widths as much as 8 inches. 

How to dry hydrangea blooms

If you will be using the dried hydrangea blooms in a vase, use the height of the vase as a gauge for how long the stems need to be. If you will be using the dried hydrangea blooms for crafts, the length of the stem does not matter. Cut the hydrangea bloom stem at a 45-degree angle. Clip or pinch off the leaves.  

Although hydrangea blooms can be hung upside-down to dry, the easiest way to dry them is to stand them in a container like vase or empty coffee can. Place the blooms away from direct sunlight. Drying time will take about a week. If some of the hydrangea blooms ended up too short to stand in a container, then cut the stem even shorter and place the blooms on a flat surface to dry. A board or a cookie sheet can be used.

Uses for dried hydrangea blooms

Dried hydrangea with sparkles
Aside from the obvious of using the dried blooms in a vase, you can also arrange the hydrangea blooms in a basket, vintage pitcher or old-fashioned ash bucket. Stand an individual bloom in a bud vase or an empty votive candle holder. Add sparkle to dried hydrangea blooms by first spraying them with adhesive (like spray Elmer’s glue) and then sprinkle glitter over the blooms. Perform this task over newspaper for easier cleanup.

Hot glue pieces or entire hydrangea blooms to a straw wreath or grapevine wreath. Small silver or gold color glass Christmas ornaments can add a final touch to the wreath.

Tuck hydrangea blooms between branches of a Christmas tree. Loop inexpensive white or pearl colored plastic beads over the branches. Add a few ornaments or vintage-looking Christmas cards to create a Victorian-themed tree. Groups of odd numbered hydrangea blooms can be placed on pine boughs crossing the top of the fireplace mantel. Add a string of clear twinkle lights.

TIP: Easy way to get pink hydrangea. Take cuttings from a blue hydrangea and plant them in a pot filled with packaged potting soil. The pink blooming hydrangea can remain in a pot indefinitely though a larger pot is required as the shrub grows.