How to Dry Flowers in 5 Easy Steps

4 Materials
30 Minutes

Looking for ways to preserve a special bouquet or flowers from your garden? Learn how to dry flowers in 5 easy steps.

My cottage garden leading to front door.

I love flowers. Flowers make me happy. Because I love flowers so much, I started growing them.

It started with one small garden, then progressed to so many more.

For years, I didn't cut flowers from the garden because I thought they looked prettier in the borders. I didn't want to ruin the beds by snipping some to take inside.

Cutting garden

But I've been trying to change that mentality. Because flowers are meant to be enjoyed both outside and inside our homes.

So I'm so glad I started a new cutting garden this year. Designating one of the beds as a cutting garden made it easier to grow flowers to bring inside.

With the gardening season coming to a close, I want to preserve some of my colorful blooms to use indoors.

Lately, I've been drying hydrangeas and tucking them in some vintage crates around my house. I love the pretty vintage blues and purple it adds to my home decor.

And now, I want to preserve this gorgeous bouquet of orange roses to use in some vintage crocks.

Plus I have these gorgeous dahlias that I'd love to keep around.

Truth be told, I've never dried dahlias so I have no idea if it will work or not. But I'm willing to try.

Whether it's a beautiful wedding bouquet, corsage or flowers from the garden, there are a few ways to dry flowers.

Dried flowers can last a long time and can be used to decorate your home in so many ways.

If you've never done it before, it's fairly easy.

Step 1 - Gather Suppleies

Air Dry Flowers Method

Since I prefer to do things the easy way, air drying flowers is the simplest, most budget-friendly way to dry flowers.

Supplies Needed to Air Dry Flowers

  • Flowers
  • Scissors
  • Twine
  • Stick, hanger or drying rack
  • Unscented hairspray

How to Air Dry Flowers

  • Remove all of the leaves from the stems
  • Group flowers together and tie them in small bunches
  • Attach to a stick, hanger or drying rack
  • Then hang to dry in a spot with minimal light for 3-4 weeks
  • Spray with unscented hairspray to help them last

Step 2 - Remove leaves from Stems
Step 3 - Group flowers together in bunches and tie together

How do you dry flowers and keep their color?

If you want to keep the best color, cut flowers before they fully open. Tie and hang them upside down in a dry, but warm, dark spot. The more light it gets, the lighter the color retention.

I am going to hang these in my finished basement.

Do dried flowers last forever?

While we can do our best to make them last, they don't last forever. You can do your best to extend their life, but I recommend replacing them when they don't look as good.


When I got married, I kept my wedding bouquet for several years. They looked really good for a long time, but over time they started looking shabby.

How long do dried flowers last?

In general, dried flowers roughly last about 1-3 years. For best results, handle with the most care.

And try to keep them out of direct sunlight, wind and humidity.

What are the best flowers to dry?

There's a pretty big list, but I have successfully dried

  • roses
  • globe thistle
  • hydrangeas
  • strawflower
  • yarrow
  • sedum
  • herbs
  • celosia
  • lavender
  • ageratum
  • russian sage
  • salvia

I've never tried to dry dahlias, so I'll let you know how they do.

For the record, I don't dry hydrangeas like I do most flowers. If you want to dry hydrangeas, this is the easiest way to do it.

What are dried flowers good for?

There are lots of great ways to use dried flowers in your home. Here are a few ideas:

  • wreaths
  • centerpieces
  • arrangements
  • potpourri
  • candle-making projects
  • gifts
  • sachets
  • baths
  • cooking (some are edible in desserts or teas)
  • home-made cleaning products

Should you spray dried flowers with hairspray?

To keep dried flowers in the best condition, hairspray can be applied to delicate dried flowers. I recommend using it on wedding bouquets or corsages that have sentimental value to help them last longer. Also, hairspray helps retain the shape better when moved around and prevents color fade over time.

Want more DIY garden tips, tricks and inspiration? CLICK HERE

Suggested materials:
  • Flowers   (garden)
  • Scissors   (home)
  • Twine   (nursery)
See all materials
Stacy Ling | Bricks 'n Blooms
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  2 questions
  • Lea Lea on Oct 12, 2020

    Can I dry herbs this way

  • Liz49738937 Liz49738937 on Nov 01, 2020

    WHEN do you spray the flowers with hairspray?

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