What to Do With Dead Flowers: 17 Ways to Repurpose a Bouquet

illustration of woman holding a bouquet of flowers

Bouquets are a beautiful gift to receive from others, or even a nice treat to ourselves, but they don’t last forever. Instead of throwing away your bouquet, try repurposing it. You might not know what to do with dead flowers, but we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to keep the magic of a bouquet alive, even after the flowers aren’t.

To help get you inspired, we’ve put together 17 of our favorite ways to repurpose a bouquet. From making a wreath to creating your own floral surface cleaner, these dried flower crafts are a great way to keep enjoying a bouquet after the flowers have died. 

1. Make Potpourri

illustration of potpourri on a table

For a simple and inexpensive craft, try using your dead flowers to make some DIY potpourri. It’s best to use flowers that retain their shape and color well after drying out, such as roses, lavender and peonies, but you can use any flowers for this project. 

All you’ll need to do is dry your flowers out for a few days, mix them up with 3-5 drops of essential oils (lavender or rose oil are good choices), then bake your mixture for a few hours. Download this easy potpourri recipe below, and soon your house will be smelling fresh!

2. Frame Them 

If you like the look of dried flowers, consider placing them in a picture frame or shadow box to display in your home. Framed pressed flowers make for excellent home decor, and it’s an easy craft to complete. You can press flowers by placing them between the pages of a book, then placing more books on top of that one. In about two weeks, your flowers will have dried out and flattened. 

This is a great option if you’re looking to preserve your wedding bouquet, boutonniere or another meaningful floral gift. You may also want to include other keepsakes from your special event with the pressed flowers, such as ticket stubs or small photos. You can hang the frame up or place it on a desk or table, and you can admire your bouquet for years to come.

3. Make Candles 

Candles add a touch of luxury and coziness to any space, so why not try making your own with a special twist? For a little extra fun, place some dried flowers into your wax. They won’t add any scent (you’ll need fragrance oils for that), but they will make for a gorgeous, homemade candle.

There are a lot of easy ways to dry flowers, but if you’re short on time you may want to microwave them in a bowl filled with silica sand. Make sure the flowers are completely covered by the sand, then place the bowl in the microwave along with a small cup of water. Microwave them in 30-second intervals until the flowers look dry.

4. Create Wall Art

Get in touch with your artsy side and create some unique, one-of-a-kind wall art with any dead flowers you have. You’ll first need to press them, then you can arrange them in a frame or on a canvas, or you can even attach the flowers directly to your wall with an adhesive.

You can arrange the flowers to make a picture or landscape, or you can create a collage. The possibilities are endless!

5. Make Bath Products

illustration of a pink rose on a counter

Do you love soaking in a bath? Are you unsure of what to do with dead flowers from a bouquet? Try using those old flowers to make bath bombs or bath salts! Both products are relatively easy to make and you can find recipes online. In just a couple of minutes, and with a few ingredients, you can have a relaxing, floral bath.

To make floral bath salts, try our recipe below:

  • Combine 1 cup Epsom salt, 1 cup Dead Sea salt and ½ cup baking soda in a bowl or jar. Mix well.
  • Add flower petals or buds to the salt mixture and combine.
  • Add your favorite essential oils to the mixture and combine.

6. Create Flower Petal Beads

If you love jewelry, consider using your leftover flower petals to make beads. Through a process of cooking the petals in a saucepan with water (likely over the course of a few days), you’ll end up with a flower petal “clay” that can be shaped and molded into beads. You can make wearable keepsakes out of any bouquet you have — and these could even make for a meaningful thank you gift for bridesmaids!

7. Make “Stained Glass”

Mimic the beauty of stained glass by making your own suncatcher with flowers from your bouquet. Suncatchers are small ornaments that are hung in windows, and their colorful, reflective appearance makes for a dazzling light show in your home.

Arrange your flowers however you like, then encase them between two pieces of glass or plastic. Seal the edges with metallic tape and make sure to press firmly so your suncatcher is secure. Then, you can hang your “stained glass” in a window and admire it as the sun shines through.

8. Make a Floral Surface Cleaner

illustration of a plant on a shelf

For those who like a clean home and aren’t sure of what to do with dead flowers, you may consider making an amazing surface cleaner that will make your home smell great. Depending on how many flowers you have, you can use extras for another project or make one huge batch of cleaner. This is a great DIY project that is easy on your pockets, and one that’ll make your next cleaning day a bit more fun!

To make your own DIY floral surface cleaner:

  • Mix ½ cup water with ½ cup distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well to mix.
  • Add roughly 15-20 drops of your favorite essential oil(s). Shake again to mix in oils.
  • Add in 2-3 dried flowers or a few petals for decoration.

To help you clean and organize the rest of your home, use these printable storage labels!

9. Make a Wreath 

For another fun home decor project, try making a floral wreath. All you’ll need is a grapevine wreath or a wire hoop (both of which you can find at the craft store), floral wire and some dried flowers. Create small bundles of flowers in a pattern or arrangement you like and attach them to your grapevine wreath or wire hoop with the floral wire. Add any extra embellishments you want and hang it on your wall or door — they’re perfect to welcome spring or to decorate for a garden party!

10. Use Them in Your Journal

Spruce up your journal by adding flowers from your bouquet to it! This is a fun way to preserve your bouquet and write about any memories associated with it. You can leave the flowers loose between the pages or keep them in place with a little glue or tape.

11. Make a Room Spray

Using alcohol, essential oils and a few other ingredients, you can make your own natural room spray. This is a quick and easy project, and there are endless options for different scents and formulas. Add dried flowers to the bottle for an easy way to make the room spray look more appealing.

To make a DIY floral room spray:

  • Fill a spray bottle with distilled water and witch hazel in a 1-to-1 ratio.
  • Add 15-30 drops of your favorite essential oil(s) to the spray bottle. Shake to mix.
  • Add a few dried flowers or petals to the bottle for decoration.

12. Make Flower Petal Confetti

If you’ve got a special occasion coming up, such as a wedding or birthday party, or just want to have some fun, use your leftover dried flower petals to make some beautiful confetti. All you need to do is remove the petals from the flowers and mix them up — it’s that simple! This is a great, eco-friendly alternative to paper or plastic confetti.

13. Add Them to Your Phone Case

Make your phone boho chic by making a DIY pressed flower phone case. You’ll just need a clear phone case, then you can arrange the pressed flowers any way you like. You can leave them loose or use a clear adhesive to secure them to the case (let it dry overnight to be safe). Once the glue is completely dry you can snap your phone right into place.

14. Use the Flowers for Gift Wrapping

illustration of a mini bouquet

Using dried flowers in gift wrapping adds a rustic elegance to whatever gift you’re giving. You can affix the flowers to the gift by taping them or securing them under some ribbon or twine. You can also place them inside of a wrapped gift to spruce up tissue paper or a care package to add a special touch. 

This craft is sure to make the recipient feel special and take your gift wrapping skills to the next level. For another thoughtful touch, download one of these cards, either with a fun floral quote or blank,  to give with your beautifully wrapped gift.

15. Make Coasters

Sip your favorite drink in style by creating your own coasters. With some epoxy resin, pressed flowers and time, you can make gorgeous floral coasters for yourself or to gift to someone else. While this project may look daunting, it’s actually very easy, and you can find tutorials to help you out online. You can use any flowers or greenery from your bouquet, and soon you’ll have coasters that seamlessly blend form and function.

16. Compost Them

For a very simple way to use dead flowers, use them in your compost bin or garden. Just toss them wherever you keep your compost, but be sure they’re free of any harsh fertilizers. This is a great, environmentally-conscious way to use your old flowers to help the soil, and maybe even grow your own flowers if you include the seeds!

17. Leave Them As Is

Dead flowers have their own beauty, so maybe you’d prefer to continue admiring them as they are. You can leave them in their vase for a while, or you can hang them up in your home. Bundles of dried flowers make for some effortlessly chic (and inexpensive) wall decor!
If you’re stumped about what to do with dead flowers, try one of these ideas to keep enjoying your bouquet instead of throwing it in the garbage. If you don’t have a bouquet right now, you can always try these ideas out after your next floral gift dries out. Just remember that even dead flowers are beautiful and can be repurposed!