2024 Botanical Couture Look Two: Designing with Dried Flowers

Hannah Muller, Full Belly Farm for American Flowers Week
Hannah Muller, Full Belly Farm for American Flowers Week (c) Elliot Schoenig

In her new book, “Designing with Dried Flowers” (Clarkson Potter, 2024), farmer florist Hannah Muller of Wreath Room and Full Belly Farm shares unique methods to naturally dry flowers that hold their color and delicacy. Her book teaches readers how to design small arrangements for every day, wreaths for all seasons, and celebration showstoppers that will look gorgeous in the moment and for months to come.

Hannah calls one of her favorite projects in the book “Billy Button Strands,” which elevates the spherical Craspedia globosa, a tender perennial from Australia that produces one-inch-sized “flowers” that resemble tiny gumdrops. This flower offers the ideal jumping-off point for home décor. Yes, these flowers can be used in vase arrangements, but when the stems are removed, they can be threaded onto strands for garlands and strands, she said.

“Their spherical shape and cheerful yellow color make them modern and perfect for small, simple designs.”

Designing with Dried Flowers by Hannah Muller
Designing with Dried Flowers, by Hannah Muller (c) Molly DeCoudreaux

In the book, Hannah demonstrates using a needle with clear fishing line to make craspedia strands. For her garment, she opted to use gold bullion wire as “thread.” She explained, “That’s how I got a little bit more shape to the design, because the wire helps to keep the bodice pieces in place.”

Turning festive strands of flower heads into a wearable garment took some creative engineering. Designed, fabricated, and modeled by Hannah, the golden dress takes its inspiration from an extravagant Schiaparelli gown made from strands of 50,000 pearls, which celebrity Kim Kardashian wore to the 2023 Met Gala.

“Instead of dressing up in strands of pearls, I created the floral version of her look with strands of Billy buttons,” Hannah laughed.

Strands of Gold, by Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm
Strands of Gold, by Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm

Threaded lengths of craspedia drape around Hannah’s neck and shoulders; they encircle her waist and cascade from her hips; and as spirals, they form dramatic bust detailing. Hannah wore a strapless bra and a mini-skirt in natural-muslin fabric as the base layer against her skin.

“I just loved the idea of taking something dried and making it wearable,” she continued. “This flower is so small, you might not consider it a great option for a botanical outfit, but I really love the intricacy of their size in this design.”

A gradation of yellow hues adds interest to Hannah’s garment. Varying shades can occur in craspedia blooms, depending on harvest stage and whether they have begun to dry, she noted, adding that it’s easier to thread a needle when working with fresh product.

Hannah tapped her husband Elliot Schoenig, a botanist who often photographs nature subjects, to capture the finished look on camera. Her styling adds just the right amount of whimsy, with the addition of ranunculus “lashes” on her face, cheeky sunglasses—and an image of her blowing a huge bubble from yellow chewing gum.

DESIGN + CONCEPT: Hannah Muller, Full Belly Farm, @wreathroom, @farmerhands
PHOTOGRAPHY: Elliot Schoenig
FLOWER SOURCES: Full Belly Farm, @full_belly_farm
MODEL: Hannah Muller
VENUE: Full Belly Farm, Guinda, California

Share! #americanflowersweek

Strands of Gold, by Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm (Portrait )
Strands of Gold, by Hannah Muller of Full Belly Farm

Right-click above or download all of our American Flowers Week graphics featuring this beautiful look!