In today’s post: Learn how to preserve a dandelion puff in a jar! This is a fun, easy craft you can do with your kids in under half an hour.
Today’s project is so much fun! Everyone loves the look of a full white dandelion puff, but as soon as you pick one the delicate seeds starts to blow away. But there’s a way to preserve a dandelion puff in a jar, and it’s super easy! You’ll start with a dandelion that has bloomed yellow and closed back up, then turned white at the end:
Pick it, bring it home and follow the directions below to get it set up in a jar. Then you get to watch it open back up!
After about 24 hours you’ll have a beautiful open dandelion puff preserved in a jar.
How to Make a Dandelion wish jar
I made these dandelion wish jars a few weeks ago and everyone who has come into my home has commented on how cool they are. It’s like having an everlasting wish at your disposal. My jars are only a couple weeks old, but I’ve read online that they should last for years. Keep reading to learn how to make one of your own.
Here’s what you’ll need to make a dandelion wish jar:
- Dandelions that have already bloomed yellow, closed back up, and turned white – but have not opened back up yet. The head will be closed but you’ll be able to see some puffy white at the very end of it.
- Floral or craft wire. You want wire that is thick enough to hold a shape but thin enough that you can easily cut it with scissors or the snip portion of pliers. I used a cheap roll of wire I found in the jewelry section at Walmart.
- A couple small stones or smooth rocks
- A jar or other glass container, such as a glass cloche. If you use a jar, make sure it is clear and smooth all the way around. Avoid mason jars that have the brand name on one side. Pint size or larger works best. I started with a mason jar but realized it had the brand name on it, so I ordered these pretty glass dome cloches to use instead.
- Large glue dots or other adhesive like sticky tack.
Where to Find Dandelions
Dandelions generally bloom starting in late spring and continuing all summer. If you don’t have any dandelions in your own yard, take a walk around your neighborhood, especially near schools, parks or other grassy public areas. Keep a sharp eye out for dandelion plants and remember you are looking for dandelion heads that are closed with a white puff at the end. Don’t try this craft with already open dandelion puffs – they are too delicate.
Wrap the Stone with Wire
Because dandelion stems are so delicate, you’ll run wire up the stem to support the dandelion. Start with about 18 inches of floral or jewelry wire and wrap it around a small stone three or four times.
Wire the Dandelion Stem
Next, trim the wire to whatever height you’d like it to be. Make sure the stone and wire fit inside your glass jar or dome with room for a dandelion flower on top of it. Then trim the dandelion stem to the same length as the wire. Gently slide the hollow dandelion stem onto the wire, pulling the stem all the way down to the stone.
Assemble the Dandelion Jar
The finished jar is going to be upside down with the dandelion inside it. Place a large glue dot on the bottom of the stone and press the stone down into the lid of the jar.
The dandelion will now stand up on its own on top of the lid. Gently place the jar over the lid. Do not screw it shut yet.
Watch the Dandelion Bloom
Now you wait for the magic to happen! Your dandelion will open back up into a pretty white puff ball. This may happen within a couple of hours, or it may take a day or two. It’s fun to check back in every couple of hours and see the progress. (Remember, at this point I switched from using a jar to using a glass cloche, but the process is the same.)
Optional: Seal the Dandelion
If left inside the jar, the dandelion puffs should stay attached to the stem indefinitely because there is not air movement to disturb them. However, they may fall if the jar gets bumped. Additionally, if you live in a humid climate you may see some condensation on the inside of the jar (if you do, carefully lift the lid and wipe it out). You can help prevent these issues by sealing the dandelion puff with hairspray. This helps preserve the puffs so they will last for years. It also dries the flower out a bit so there will be less moisture inside the jar and should lead to less condensation.
To seal and preserve the dandelion, gently take the jar off the lid. Hold the dandelion over a sink and *gently* spray aerosol hairspray. You can actually spray the hairspray a little above the dandelion and allow it to fall down onto the flower. If you spray directly at the dandelion you may disturb some of the seeds. Spray a few times, then let the flower dry for 5 minutes. Then spray it again a few times. Let it dry in a place it will be undisturbed for about 30 minutes, then replace the jar. At this point you can screw the jar shut and your everlasting wish is ready to display.
Preserving Puffed Dandelions
Hairspray can also be used to seal and preserve dandelions that are already opened! If you take hairspray with you, you can gently spray dandelions that are already open before picking them. Spray them, let them dry for a minute, spray them again, and then you should be able to pick them without losing the puffs. This can be really fun for kids! Just be aware that it’s harder to transport the flowers home if they are already puffed, and you’ll need to handle them very carefully. If you want to make dandelion jars, it’s easier to follow the instruction above using flowers that have not opened back up yet.
You can use the same process to make a jar with two or even three dandelions in it. You’ll need a taller jar and more wire. Wrap the stone with two or three pieces of wire, cutting them at different heights. Bend the wires so they aren’t too close to each other – remember you need room for an open dandelion puff at the end of each one and you do not want them to touch. Then slide the dandelion stems on as directed above and wait for them to open back up.
Idea source: Mud and Bloom, modifications include using a cloche and sealing the dandelions with hairspray.
- Dandelions that are closed with white puff at the end
- Floral or Jewelry Wire
- Glass Jar or Dome (Cloche) clear and smooth with no writing
- Large Glue Dots
Want more project ideas? Sign up to get my favorite easy crafts and recipes straight to your inbox!
- Start with about 18 inches of floral or jewelry wire and wrap it around a small stone three or four times.
- Next, trim the wire and dandelion stem to the same height. Make sure the stone and wire fits inside your glass jar or dome with room for a dandelion flower on top of it. Gently slide the hollow dandelion stem onto the wire, pulling the stem all the way down to the stone.
- Place a large glue dot on the bottom of the stone and press the stone down into the lid of the jar.
- The dandelion will now stand up on its own on top of the lid. Gently place the jar over the lid. Do not screw it shut yet.
- Watch it bloom! The dandelion will open back up into a pretty puffball. This can take anywhere from 4-36 hours.
- If desired, seal and preserve the puffed dandelion with hairspray. Gently remove the jar and hold the dandelion over the sink. Using aerosol hairspray, gently spray the hairspray above the flower and allow it to fall onto the dandelion. Spray a couple of times then let it dry for a few minutes. Repeat. Allow it to dry for about half an hour before placing the jar back on top of it.