Roses serve as symbols of love, friendship, sympathy and appreciation. Each Valentine's Day, Christmas and Mother's Day, thousands of roses change hands. Unfortunately, these expressions of love and friendship only last a few days before they begin to wilt. Dried and pressed roses last much longer than fresh, especially if cared for properly. They also make lovely additions to Victorian, traditional, rustic and even modern decors.
Remove roses from their vase, or clip them at the peak of their bloom. Blooms still tightly curled in on themselves but almost fully open yield dried flowers that keep their shape and remain beautiful.
Dry off the stem of each rose, and remove greenery and baby's breath from around the roses. You may dry the baby's breath if you like, but fern greens will only turn yellow.
Tape the roses by the stems upside down to a wall in a dry, dim space. Make sure the tape is taut so the rose doesn't slide out from under it.
Let the roses dry for about three weeks. When the petals are dry and brittle, gently remove the tape from the stems, and display as desired.
Allow your roses to bloom until the petals spread out and become loose on the flowers. You should be able to pull them off the flower easily. Trying to press a full rose only squashes the bloom, but individual petals flatten and press easily.
Open a heavy, hardback book to around the middle. Place parchment paper on the pages to protect them. Rose petals bleed; the parchment paper will absorb the moisture.
Space the petals on the parchment paper so they do not touch. Close the book, and leave them there for about a month.
Press many rose petals by placing one set of petals every 50 pages or so in your book. This provides enough pressure to all the petals and allows them to dry evenly.
Place the dried roses in a glass jar with a lid, or arrange them in a terra-cotta pot. Add pressed rose petals to potpourri, or use them as part of an elegant centrepiece.