Japanese herbarium bottles are easy to create and make a wonderful decor statement in your home. These pretty dried flowers in oil specimens are also great for gift giving and a nice way to display your floral collection.
What are Japanese Herbarium Bottles?
Traditional herbariums are collected plant specimens pressed in books to aid in research.
However, as you can see in the image above Herbarium in Japan is the art of arranging dried flowers suspended in oil and displayed in clear glass bottles for beautiful home decor items.
You can use both dried flowers, branches, and other plant material or pressed flowers. Whatever you feel would look good with your home decor.
How to Create Herbarium - Dried Flowers in Oil
Start with a clear glass bottle in any shape with a lid or cork top. The clear glass helps to show off the plant's beauty.
Use a wooden skewer to move the flowers around to where you want them.
For sizing, simply hold up the plant to the bottle and trim accordingly. You can use pressed flowers for the herbarium but they are very fragile. Tweezers may come in handy with delicate pressed flowers.
Next, fill the bottle with oil. I used baby oil but mineral oil works well too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baby oil, mineral oil, or paraffin oil.
About a year. The flowers may fade some after spending time in the sunlight.
There is some chance that it could open if it falls over. You can seal the cork with candle wax or super glue.
Yes. Though the original concept is to preserve collected or special occasion dried flowers.
Before you finish take one last opportunity to use a skewer to nudge the plants into a pleasing display.
Now, you can set your beautiful herbarium bottles anywhere. But as you can see they look spectacular in a place such as a window where the light can shine through.
More Dried Flower Crafts
How to Make Japanese Herbarium Bottles
- Long wooden skewer
- Dried flowers
- Glass bottles
- Baby oil or mineral oil
- candle for sealing the cork optional
- Place your dried flowers into the glass bottle.
- Use a wooden skewer to move them into place.
- Add baby oil and fill the bottle.
- Use the wooden skewer again to move the plant material around.
- Cap or cork the bottle and set it in the window or anywhere you like in the home.
- If using a cork you may want to melt some candle wax around the top to seal the cork to the bottle.
I made one small glass bottle and put it on my windowsill. The sun shinning through it looks beautiful but the baby oil leaked out... now my window sill is covered in baby oil. Do I need to seal them?
I'm sorry. I did not have that issue. Make sure they are not filled so much that they leak when the cork is placed in. Also, you could try a little bit of super glue or hot glue around the edge before replacing the cork.
Hi Patti. I have been experimenting t he last few weeks using the different oils. I have been buying dried flowers with stems and the pressed ones also. The problem I am having is the oil becomes cloudy and the color of the flower bleeds. When using artificial flowers, the color fades. I have also used parrafin oil so that they can be used as a liquid candle. I can't find anything to spray on them to seal them. Any suggestions?
Also, do you know of anyone who makes the liquid candles that would be willing to share their tips, experiences with me?
Tina, I'm sorry that you are having trouble. I didn't notice any cloudiness with my dried flowers and I used baby oil. Many people seem to be using mineral oil. I'm not sure if it's the oil or the flowers. There are many Etsy shops selling herbariums. I wonder if one of them would be able to help?
Can I use fresh flowers for herbarium? Does the mineral oil help to preserve the colour of the fresh flowers?
Chelsea, I not sure but I would be worried about using fresh flowers as they contain water and may not hold up. Of course, it wouldn't hurt to experiment if you want to.
Hello Patti! I can't wait to try this project! My question is the recipe is full baby oil right? No part water or anything? I also did not see in the instructions the life span? I am thinking they last forever??? Thank you again for posting this beautiful project!
Dina, yes it's all baby oil. I'm not sure how long they will last. Possibly for a long time but that might depend on the flowers or the oil.
Hi there, which oil do you think is best for these?
Jade, these are new to me but I found that many people use mineral or baby oil. I used baby oil because it was easy to find and so far it has worked out well.
Talk about great timing! You've done it again Patti! Our son is deployed to the Middle East so I have been trying to come up with a great Mother's Day gift for our 4 and 6 year old Grandsons to make for their Mom. I found bottles like these out in the garage waiting to be used or garage sale destined and this is the perfect, safe, doable craft for little hands to master....and two more things gone from the garage! Win-Win! Have a great day and thank you for the wonderful project!
Kay that sounds like and fun and perfect Mother's Day craft for you to enjoy with the boys. I'm sure your daughter-in-law will love them. Thoughts and prayers for the safe return of your son.