Preserving real flowers

There appear to be 101 ways to preserve real flowers. Those little powdered packets from the florist or write ups promise an aspirin in the water will cure all. However, I’ve never had great luck with any of those methods.

When I receive real flowers and wish to hang on to their memory for a long time to come, this is the way I do it.

1. Take action on first wilt

At the first sign of a flower wilting in the bunch, this is the time to take immediate action or you’ll loose the effect. Remove the flowers from their water source and place onto a flat surface.

2. Arrange

Take note at this time how you’ll be displaying them. Mine will be displayed from up above hanging upside down, so I nudged the top flowers to be higher, and the bottom flowers lower. Bind together.

3. Hang

My plan is to leave them here, however you could separate the bunch and do whatever you wish although they are extremely fragile once dry. I’ve found the best method is to dry them in the arrangement of your choice. If you wanted to display the roses separately, I’d hang each rose upside down without having them touch each other.

Dress them up with raffia, twine, ribbon, whatever you have on hand. My secret stash of raffia has disappeared so tangled ribbon found in a box was my quick chosen method this round. (I am so going to build a craft area!)

The outcome will be a very dry, slightly time worn weathered appearance. And they are as beautiful dry as alive, just in a different sense.

The above method works with other real dried flowers as well.


Here’s a real cheat sheet method of drying! The hydrangeas in the above picture were left on the bush since last fall, and I picked them in spring. I loved the sepia tone to them for this picture. Pick the wilted flowers on a dry day and they’ll stay like this forever.

Another fab tip for hydrangeas is, pick them when in full bloom when they are the colour you desire the most, then display them how you wish them to stay. They will slowly move and dry in the perfect position.



The above picture is an example of what I prefer NOT to do with status. I like to pick status fresh, arrange how it will stay, and it will naturally dry in the exact shape you desire. If I had done that to the above arrangement, you would not see any green stems, just glorious flowers curving around their container.

However you don’t always know in the months ahead what you require. So, this works in a pinch. 🙂 

Baby’s Breath

And the exact same holds true for baby’s breath. Pick a massive bunch, and place them in an old crate and let them dry. They will dry perfectly in place and look like that for as long as you don’t rearrange them!

Keeping the dried flowers out of direct sun will prolong their colour moreso as well. And they do get dusty so I just blow on them from time to time. 🙂

Do you have any special methods of drying flowers that have worked well for you? Please share! 

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26 thoughts on “Preserving real flowers

  1. You know I have always wanted to do this. Someone said that you had to dry flowers with preservatives, blah blah, blah…. So I gave up. Now I think that I am going to try this again. Thanks for the info!

  2. I dry mine the same, although i was told to dry them in a dark place, so I do, don’t know why :). I often save just the petals, especially from roses and after they are dried, put them in pretty jars. My hubby used to rarely give me flowers, because he is Mr. practical, but has improved a bit over the past 5 years or so. Let’s face it, sometimes I’d rather have a new tool than flowers anyway, but it depends on my mood and he is expected to read that correctly. Poor guy, doesn’t stand a chance!

  3. My fav way to preserve roses is to snip them off the stems at the bud and fill a bowl with them. They dry beautifully and are perfect for potpourri.

  4. There is a way to dry them maintaining the flowers natural vibrant color. I don’t know what it is called. I’ll ask my friend Ginger.

    Some times I prefer the faded look. But this way apparently slightly preserves the flower too! I’ll get back to you with that info. This is one realm that I have not entered yet. Dried flowers.

    Is there a realm that you have NOT entered, Miss Donna? xoxo ~Kolein

  5. Kolein, yes. Drying flowers while preserving their natural vibrant colour of course! 🙂

    I’d know how to make a flower rusty though. I have special paint for that. Think it would fly?!?

    FJ Donna

  6. This is my first time popping in to say hi..but I do lurk around in here a few times a week! Just wanted to tell you that I just love your blog and all of your posts! I’ve tried drying flowers many times through the years but honestly, they all just look well…dry…kind of like a possible fire hazard. I’ll have to try some of these tips. Thanks for all your inspirational posts! Your in my bookmarks!

  7. Thats how I dry ALL my flowers. The key though is not to move them, or they will break off. I just ended up throwing away my wedding flowers bc they got messed with to much and looked a pretty sad- my 3 year old found them and played with them. Although, I don’t fault her for playing with them, they were… in the day… very pretty dried. My thing is, why pay money when you can do it for FREE and they turn out the same or even better.

  8. Meowllo!

    I have just stumbled into your blog and love it!!! And wow do you know how to dry flowers or what?!! I will share this with “her” and she is always trying to figure out the best way to do this depending on the flower of course.

    Wishing you beautiful memories today of your Mom.

    Hugs and purrs.

    Romeo and “her”

  9. I need to dry some of my hydrangeas this year. I never have in the past because they can make cats really sick. One of my cats would munch on any plant in this house, but now that they are gone, I’m free to use them!

  10. Oh, Donna, I’ve just clicked over here and read that you lost your mom. I’m SO sorry to hear that & I hope that things are getting better for you. I just can’t even imagine what it must feel like, I still have both my parents. Hugs to you!

  11. You just reminded me of all the plants and bushes I need to plant this spring so that I can have beautiful dreid flowers this fall. Thanks for tips they are great and will hopefully helpful if I can some of these to bloom this year!

  12. I love your blog…gives me great ideas on redoing rooms in my house…I dry my flowers the same way, with one final step…after they have dried hanging upside down (before I arrange them ) I give the petals a light spritz of hair spray to keep the petals from falling off when they’ve dried…it works..I spray them while they’re upside down…that way there’s not a significant shift when they’re right side up…doesn’t effect the color or leave any trace…

    Look forward to the next great idea…


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