How to Preserve Fresh Flowers: 4 Simple Ways

Try any or all of four simple ways to preserve your fresh flowers…the experts at FTD share their top tips in this guest post.

Not ready to let summer go? Hold onto the season by preserving the vibrant colors to use for your fall decor. Drying flowers allows you to savor your favorite bloom for longer than just one season, and we are here to show you four different ways including air drying, using silica sand to either microwave or air dry, and lastly, using a heavy book to dry your flowers.

To help you get started transitioning into fall crafts, FTD has 4 ways to dry flowers and some decor ideas to give you inspiration!

How to Preserve Fresh Flowers by Air-Drying

Dried flower bundles displayed in a vase and hanging from a stick hung on the wall.

Materials For air drying Fresh Flowers:

  • Flowers

  • String

  • Scissors

  • Stick or hanger

Stick, string, floral scissors, and bundle of fresh yellow roses.

Instructions for How to Air Dry Fresh Flowers:

Step 1: Prepare the flowers by removing any leaves. Feel free to leave some on the stem if you enjoy the look of greenery.

Bundles of fresh flowers with leaves removed.

Step 2: Group the flowers in a bunch and tie them together.

Bunch of fresh yellow roses flowers bundled and ties with string.

Step 3: Attach the flowers to a stick, piece of driftwood or hanger.

Bundle of fresh flowers tied with string and tied to stick to hang to air dry.

Step 4: Hang the flowers in a dark place to dry. Direct light will cause the colors to fade.

Two bundles of fresh flowers tied and hanging from a stick to dry.

Step 5: Leave hanging for three or four weeks and then display! Example below shows a bundle of yellow roses before and after air drying.

Before air drying and after air drying bundles of flowers.

How to Preserve Fresh Flowers by Pressing Using A Heavy Book

Materials For Pressing & drying Flowers With a Heavy Book:

  • Flowers

  • Heavy book (be sure you choose one that you don’t mind getting damaged, as the moisture may cause the pages to wrinkle)

  • Parchment paper or other absorbent papers such as coffee filters or thin cardboard

  • Weight (additional books stacked on top will work)

Instructions How to Press & Dry Fresh Flowers with a Heavy Book:

For a video demonstration, click the white triangle "play" button in the center of the image below.

Step 1: Prepare your flowers by removing unwanted leaves.

Step 2: Open the book and place absorbent paper on the books’ pages.

Step 3: Place the blooms facedown, and carefully close the book, making sure not to move the flowers.

Step 4: Stack more books or other weighty objects on top of the book. Keep in a place that isn’t likely to be in the way, bumped or knocked into!

Step 5: Let it sit for three to four weeks. They should have a papery feel when they are fully dry; change out the paper and let them dry longer if they aren’t quite ready. Once dry, remove and use for decor!

How to Preserve Fresh Flowers by Drying in the Microwave

Fresh flowers and a bowl of silica sand and cup of water.

Materials For Drying Fresh Flowers in the Microwave:

  • Flowers

  • Silica sand

  • Microwave-safe container

  • Cup of water

Instructions For Drying Fresh Flowers in the Microwave*:

Step 1: Remove the leaves and place a flower in the container on top of some silica sand.

Fresh flower in bowl of silica in preparation for preserving/drying in the microwave.

Step 2: Carefully pour silica sand over flower until it is completely covered with silica sand.

Step 3: Place bowl and cup of water in the microwave. Microwave the bowl in 30 second intervals, checking periodically to see if flower is dry.*

Fresh flower covered with silica sand in a bowl placed in a microwave with a cup of water.

Step 4: Once flower looks dry, leave it covered in sand in the container for 24 hours.

Fresh flower in bowl of silica sand after microwaving to dry.

Step 5: Remove from sand and display! Examples of a red rose before and after microwave drying show below.

Before and after photo of fresh rose after drying in silica sand in the microwave.

How to Preserve Fresh Flowers by Air-Drying in Silica Sand

Another option is air drying your flowers in silica sand without using the microwave. This will take longer but you can use a larger container that doesn’t need to fit in the microwave, so you can dry more at once, and you’ll be able to retain longer stems, if desired.

Materials For Drying Flowers in Silica Sand:

  • Flowers

  • Silica sand

  • Container

Instructions How To Air Dry Fresh Flowers in Silica SanD:

Step 1: Place flowers in container and cover with silica sand.

Step 2: Leave for 2 to 7 days, depending on the density of the flower.*

*When using silica sand to dry flowers using either the microwave-drying or air-drying techniques, the density of flowers can make a difference in how long they should be microwaved or air dried. Visit FTD’s blog post for handy reference charts of drying times for popular flowers, and find even more ideas for drying flowers, such as using a flower press, pressing flowers in a microwave (instead of using silica sand), pressing flowers with an iron, and a fun idea for creating a DIY botanical “print” with your pressed flowers!


Now that you know how to dry flowers, it’s time to get creative displaying them in your home decor. A special thanks to FTD for sharing this super reference and beautiful images! Visit FTD’s blog for additional inspiration, and share your favorite ideas in the comments below.

You might also like Fabulous Fall Wreath How To and How to Make A Bow with Wired Ribbon.

Photo how-to blog post showing four different simple ways to preserve fresh flowers.