Picture of How to Dry Roses Perfectly
Use this method with roses or any other flower--they last for years if you take care of them right!

You'll want to wait until your flowers *just* start to die.  Enjoy them while they're alive until they start looking a little sad.
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Step 1: Supplies

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You'll need string, scissors and your flowers.  You'll also need a place to hang them.

Step 2: Get rid of the ugly parts

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Trim Ugly 2.jpg
Pull off any petals that are already coming off, and trim off the leaves if you don't want them.  (I prefer to take all the leaves off)

You'll notice that at this point the rose is basically at a 90 degree angle to the stem.  Hanging it upside down will fix that right up.

Step 3: Cut your string

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Cut your string into as many lengths as you have flowers to hang.  I cut them around 10 inches or so.

Step 4: Tie string to flowers

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Tie your string to the flower.  Try to find a nub to tie it under so when you hang it upside down the string won't slip off.

Step 5: Hang

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Tie all the ends of your flowers' strings to something.  I happen to have an empty curtain rod to hang mine from.  You can also try tying a couple to several coat hangers, and then you can hang them anywhere.  When I was a teenager I would thumbtack them to my ceiling (it looked awesome!).  Pro Tip: tie a double knot.

It's very important that wherever you're hanging them is relatively dry.  Don't hang these in your bathroom to dry out.  Once they are dry, they will still need to stay somewhere kind of dry, so nowhere too humid.

Step 6: Ta Da!

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Wait a couple weeks and you have some lovely dried flowers to decorate with. 
eruger10 months ago

I understand that many annual flowers will drop their petals and go to seed if you dry them right? Rue for example. Does glycerine prevent this?

panj (author)  eruger10 months ago
I'm not sure--I've only ever dried flowers plain like this with roses.
akaStacy2 years ago
I have been drying flowers for years. For best results you need air circulation around each flower so you don't get one side that is flat or shaped funny. You can use hangers, just be sure to secure the flowers so they are not touching. You can also use string tied horizontally to hooks in the ceiling. Just be sure to tie knots every few inches to keep the flowers separate. Chain also works because the links separate the flowers. You can also use a drying rack if you plan on drying flowers often (I can tell you how to make one if you want, just contact me at contactanastasia (at) yahoo (dot) com. The very best way to dry flowers at home in my opinion is with silica gel because the petals don't turn out wrinkly, but it's much more complicated. I would be willing to explain if anyone wants to know.

I prefer to leave some of the leafs on when I dry flowers, but that is personal choice. Many types of greenery can also be dried. For most you can use the directions for flowers above. For ferns what you want to do is lay them flat between a few sheets of newspaper. This produced a pretty nice effect. You don't want to completely press them flat because that wouldn't look natural. Putting 3 or 4 sheets of newspaper over the top should keep them from curling in on themselves without making them completely flat. More sheets may be needed. Use your judgement. You want the paper to hold the leaves down, but not flatten them.

There is also a way to preserve greenery in glycerine. It can be bought at most craft stores. It is nice because whatever you preserve will not be totally dry and brittle. It is more of a slightly flexible waxy effect from what I have read. The downside is the foliage turns color, but it gives you autumn hues like browns, etc. I have seen some finished pieces and they were quite pretty. The instructions for use are on the bottle. You find it in the floral department of craft stores. From what I understand you can buy glycerine other places for a lot less money. You would just have to look up the instructions. I know you heat the glycerine and put your stems in. The foliage sucks up the glycerine. That's all I know off hand though.

It is also very important to give the flowers enough time to dry completely. If you turn them upright to soon the heavy flower heads will flop to one side. This is especially true for roses and other flowers with a heavy head.

I hope this help at least one person Feel free to message me with any questions. I have a lot of experience and numerous books on both drying and pressing flowers.
ANT25742 years ago
I spray mine with hairspray once they are dried to give them a slight shine.
KimberlyKS2 years ago
I use rubber bands on the stems of whatever flowers I'm preserving. Then attach the string or use paper clips slipped through the rubber band to hang. Rubber bands are good since as the flower dries, the stems shrink. The rubber band continues to hold the flower stem securly. Depending on the flower(s), I'll hand 3-4 together to dry. Hang in the darkest/driest part of basement or seldom used closet. Keep out of direct sunlight to lessen fading.
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Fantastic! I remember doing this. It's fun, and a great way to preserve memories.