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Jessica is the NH.com Editor and Producer. She has a BA in Creative Writing from Chester College of NE, and a M.Ed. specializing in Adult Education from Plymouth State University. She is happily married and a proud mama of two perfect little boys and is motivated to alert New Hampshirites to the hottest goings-on in the state. Her interests include cracking the spine of a good book, writing, painting and cuddling with her babies on the sofa while some terrible reality TV hums in the background.

What To Do With Old Valentine’s Day Flowers

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

So, your sweetie surprised you with a dozen long-stemmed roses; the bouquet was beautiful and vibrant with sprigs of baby's breath! How romantic! They make you smile every time you walk past your kitchen table, where they sit in a tall crystal vase. A week or so later, however, their beauty is fleeting, they are dimming, and wilting, and you dread the day you'll have to throw them away. So, don't!

There are plenty of easy at-home crafts you can do to reuse or preserve this year's romantic gesture! Perhaps even embrace the dried-flower appeal. Natural-approach enthusiast, Angela DiMare-Messier says, "For flowers that can handle it, I hang them upside down to dry in my kitchen and leave them there. They look pretty, vintage, and smell nice and fresh. If I don't think the bouquet will hold up well, I toss it in the garden to become mulch for this spring." Here are some other fun ideas--feel free to share your own flower-recycling crafts in the comments section below!

Step 1 for all crafts below: Dry your flowers
Once your flowers begin to wilt at all, tie them upside down or press them in a book for a few days to dry them well and preserve color.

New candles from old candle or crayon wax
This is a fun, and really thrifty craft! You will need to buy candlewicks from the craft store. Collect old candle wax scraps, burnt-out taper stubs, or even crayons, and break them up into bits. Sort your wax (by color or scent if you like) into a small microwave-safe container (small milk carton works well and can be recycled after!) then gently heat it in small bursts until it's melted. Choose a shot glass, coffee mug, or other glass object to mold and shape your candle. Prep your mold with cooking spray. Pour melted wax into your mold while adding flower petal bits occasionally. Once the mold is full, add the wick quickly and hold still for a few moments until the wax supports it. Let the candle harden well before trying to free it from the mold.

Flower soap
Collect the ends of several bars of soap and grate them or break them into small pieces. Sort your soap (by color or scent if you like) into a small microwave-safe container (again, small milk carton works well and can be recycled after!) then gently heat them in small bursts until they're just malleable. Press in some dried flower petals then form your new soap bar by hand or by mold and allow to set.

Decorated photos, frames, greeting cards
You can use dried, pressed, flower petals to decorate photos, picture frames and handmade greeting cards! Simply hot-glue the petals in an aesthetically pleasing arrangement, or press over a photo under the frame glass--this gives and especially dramatic look to framed black & white photos!

Mix your flower petals with spices (clove, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks) in a seal-able canister or jar. Add any other ingredients you wish (pinecones, dried berries, glitter, pretty stones). Also add dried lavender, either whole or ground, which will act as a fixative and help maintain the floral aroma. Once you have all of your ingredients added together, seal the jar and allow the mixture to "ferment" in a dark, dry area for a few weeks. When you are ready to use it, you may want to add a few drops of unscented alcohol (brandy, etc) to help release the fragrances.

If you try any of these crafts or some of your own, share your thoughts in the comments section below, or post photos to our Facebook page, and we'll include them in this feature!


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