How to Create a DIY Flower Christmas Tree

December 4, 2020 (Last Updated: December 28, 2020)

A DIY flower Christmas tree is so elegant, so original and so much fun to create! All you need are a few dry flowers and string to bundle them together into beautiful bouquet ornaments! I’ll show you exactly how to create a floral tree that lasts all December, and fits your creative Christmas style.

A Christmas tree, decorated with flowers, orange slices and lights.

I decorate my tree with different flowers every year. I absolutely love a naturally decorated tree! No tinsel. No rubber. No plastic… except for Christmas lights. I also love to create dry citrus and painted acorn ornaments too! All together, they make the most colorful, feminine, delicious-looking tree!

At the end of the season, I just remove the lights and put the entire tree out on the curb, flowers and all! It’s so nice to look out my window and see passers-by taking bouquets as they walk by. It’s a fun way to give my neighbors Christmas presents!

A Christmas ornament made from an orange slice on a tree, beside flowers tucked into the boughs.

Some folks think decorating a floral tree is as simple as picking up a fresh bouquet, placing the flowers in the boughs and calling it a day. No, no, no! There’s a very important step that, if ignored, will result in a dead and dreary looking tree within 3 days:

You need to dry the flowers properly first, before placing them on the tree. Otherwise, they’ll droop, flatten and wilt. Sad Christmas.

But never fear! I’ve put together a nice list of flowers that dry beautifully, how to dry them properly and how to turn them into perfect Christmas flower ornaments! 

A hand placing a flower bouquet on a Christmas tree.

Which Flowers Dry the Prettiest?

So many flowers dry beautifully, but I have a few favorites. Here are the ones I love the most for a Christmas tree:

  • Roses
  • Cockscomb
  • Hydrangea
  • Baby’s breath
  • Gomphrena (pompom flowers)
  • Thistle
  • Lavender
  • Caspia

If you want to use Roses:

Dry purple roses in a vase on a table.

Roses (standard and spray) are so romantic and luxurious on a tree. Give them at least 2 weeks to dry upside-down in a dry place, away from sunlight which can bleach them. When you hang them, don’t hang them all together in one big bouquet, or the roses will dry squished between each other. It’s best to break a bouquet up into smaller bunches, or even better, hang the roses individually.

If you want to use spray roses, a nice tip is to gently open the petals about a week after they’ve been drying so they dry bigger and prettier.
Fingers opening the petals of a spray rose.

You may think they’re done after a week, but the stems will still be bendable. If you make a bouquet with them to put in your tree, they may droop, so make sure they’ve had a full 2 weeks to dry first.

To fill a 6 foot tree, pick up anywhere between 3-5 dozen rose bouquets.

If you want to use Cockscomb:

Bright Cockscomb flowers.

Cockscomb looks so regal on a tree, like velvet coral. It provides such a fascinating texture! Give this flower between 2-3 weeks to dry completely. Hang them upside down in a dry place, but keep in mind that tiny seeds (lots of them) will fall out as they dry, so you might want to put them somewhere easy to tidy later (as opposed to over your shoes in your closet like I did the first time.)

To fill a 6 foot tree, pick up at least 6-8 big cockscomb flowers with enough of the smaller, wispier flowers to create bouquets around them.

If you want to use Hydrangea:

Hydrangea flowers on a table.

Hydrangea is such an impressive, poofy flower to add to your tree, and they come in such pretty colors! It’s very important that the flowers are cut directly from the bush and dry on the stems in a vase of water for 2 weeks. If they’re put in a vase without water, they tend to brown, instead of retaining their color, I find.

Sadly, hydrangea bought in a store won’t dry as poofy. They’ve been off the bush too long and have already lost their firmness. However, if you can only find them in a store, you can try to dry them upside down in a dry place for 2 weeks (drying them in a vase will just wilt them). This is what they look like when dried upside down:

A Christmas tree with textural flower decorations and lights.

They’ll dry more lacy, frilly and smaller. To fill a 6 foot tree, use at least 10 big hydrangea flowers. Cut the stems to be about a foot, and simply place them in the tree.

If you want to use Baby’s Breath:

Baby's Breath flowers.

Baby’s Breath looks like pretty white snow on a tree! You can dry baby’s breath up-right in a vase with no water for about 1 week, but you can also dry it directly on the tree without it wilting. It will shrink a little, but still look very pretty.

However, if you want it to look its very prettiest, it really looks snowiest when it’s fresh. So if you’re having a Christmas party, place the baby’s breath on the tree the day of the party. It will continue to dry on the tree afterwards.

To fill a 6 foot tree with nothing but baby’s breath, use between 5-7 standard bunches. But if you’re combining with other flowers, you only need 2-3 bouquets to make your tree nice and snowy around them. Cut small bunches and distribute them throughout the tree.

If you want to use Gomphrena (pompom flowers):

Gomphrena flowers on a table.

Gomphrena add the prettiest, brightest pops of color to your tree! Pick lighter color flowers, as they stand out the most. Dry them upside down in a dry place for 2 weeks, but keep them upside down until you intend to start decorating with them. Even when they’re dry, the stems bend over and stay bent, making it a little tricky to make a perfect bouquet with other flowers.

To fill a 6 foot tree, you’ll need between 3-6 standard bunches of Gomphrena, but you may want to combine them with other flowers since they’re small, accent flowers. If so, you’ll only require about 2-3 standard bouquets.

If you want to use Thistle:

Thistle flowers in a vase.

Thistle is such a mysterious looking flower. It adds a hush of purple and pointy texture to bouquets! And good news, you don’t have to wait to dry thistle! You can place it fresh, right on your tree. It’s firm enough, and doesn’t bend or wilt, so feel free to combine it with other flowers right away.

You might not want to use it all on its own, however. Since it’s a dark green with a hint of purple, it tends to fade into the tree a little when it’s all by itself. But with other flowers like roses, lavender or cockscomb, it adds such a nice texture that stands out among them!

To fill a 6 foot tree, you’ll need about 3-6 standard bouquets of thistle, but again, I highly suggest combining it with other flowers in mini-bouquet ornaments. In which case, you’ll only require 2-3 standard bouquets.

If you want to use Lavender:

A bunch of dry lavender on a table beside roses.

Lavender will make your tree fragrant and so delightful! A perfect flower to pair with any other in a bouquet for your tree! Lavender is another flower that doesn’t need to be dried before going onto your tree, but if you prefer to dry them for any reason, simply hang them up-side-down, all in one bouquet, in a dry place for 1-2 weeks.

It would take a whole lot of lavender to fill a 6 foot tree, probably about 7-10 standard bouquets, so definitely use them as an accent flower with other bouquets. In which case, you’ll only require 3-4 standard bouquets.

If you want to use Caspia:

A bunch on Caspia flower on a black table.

Caspia will add a lovely, wispy, purple flair to your tree. It’s such a dainty flower to combine with other bouquets to add more excitement. Caspia doesn’t need to be dried before it goes on your tree. It dries exactly how it looks when fresh, so you can pop it right into the boughs straight away.

If you do prefer to dry them, though, they take just about 1-2 weeks to be completely dry, and don’t need to be hung upside down. You can dry them perfectly fine in a vase with no water.

Just like lavender, it would take a WHOLE lot of caspia to fill a 6 foot tree, it also wouldn’t look very interesting, so plan to combine it with other flowers. If you’re using other bouquets, you’ll just require 2-3 standard bouquets

How to Make Flower “Ornaments”

I highly suggest combining different flowers into bouquets, rather than using just one kind. Mixing them up really adds so much color and texture to the tree. Rather than just placing them between the boughs, however, you’ll want to tie them nicely together into bundle bouquets first. This makes sure they stay nicely in place. Make sure each bouquet fits nicely in one hand.

For a full how-to, check my post on how to create homemade Christmas flower ornaments. You just need string, scissors and your beautiful dry flowers!

A hand holding a small bouquet of flowers.

When you’re ready, simply distribute your pretty bouquets into your tree evenly around!

A Christmas tree with baby's breath and flower decorations, dry oranges and glass snowflakes..

I hope you have fun putting together your pretty flower tree, and I hope you have a wonderfully, colorful Christmas!

Help Yourself to More Christmas Inspiration!

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And for even more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

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