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Think Beyond the Bouquet to Give Your Fresh Flowers a New Life!

Is there anything more cheerful than fresh flowers? We wish they could last forever, but part of their beauty is in their impermanence. 

The obvious place for fresh-cut flowers is a vase. But we’ve come up with some alternative uses for your pretty blooms, whether they’ve just been cut or are starting to wilt. Try one of these creative ways of giving your petals a new life! 

PS. For tips on keeping your stems alive longer, read The BHF Guide to Keeping Your Cut Flowers Fresh.

Make a Flower Crown

Turn your bouquet into a fun, wearable accessory that will make you look like a springtime goddess. Make them with the kids for a fun Mother’s Day activity!

How to Make a Flower Crown:

  1. Create a halo of wire large enough to sit comfortably on your head. Double up the wire to make it more sturdy and support the weight of the flowers. Secure the ends with floral tape.
  2. Prepare your flowers. Trim each bloom, leaving about 3″ of stem so you have something to connect to the wire.
  3. Wrap each stem with green floral tape to add sturdiness. You can also make “mini bouquets” by grouping 2-3 small flowers together and wrapping the stems in one bundle. 
  4. Tape flowers to the crown by attaching the stems to the wire loop. Keep the blooms facing the same direction as you attach them.
  5. Keep the crown in the refrigerator to keep it fresh until you’re ready to wear it!

Turn Them Into a Smudge Stick

Add fragrant herbs to your flowers to make a fresh-scented smudge stick. Bundle your flowers and herbs together and wrap tightly with cotton string. Let the stick dry for about three weeks before burning to clear out negative energy and freshen up your home. 

Save them in a Shadow Box or Frame

Dried flowers can make a lovely keepsake, especially if they are souvenirs from a special occasion! Hang your stems upside down to dry for a few weeks and then arrange them in a pretty pattern in the box. You can also press your flowers flat and put them in a glass frame. 

Hang the frame or shadow box on the wall for affordable DIY art.

Make Your Own Floral Bath Salts

Bath Salts and Dried Flowers

Upgrade your self-care with some homemade floral bath salts! Combine two cups of Epsom salt with a few tablespoons of olive oil. Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil, and some shredded, dried flower petals for color. 

If that sounds like too much fuss, you can just sprinkle rose petals right into the bath water for a spa-like soak. We’re looking at you, moms! A floral soak sounds like a pretty nice Mother’s Day treat. 😉

Make Pretty Paper Products

Bookmarks, greeting cards, place cards, and more can all be spruced up with dried flowers. Press them flat between the pages of a book with a weight on top to make sure they get nice and thin. 

Then you can add them to card stock by gently painting them with liquid glue and pressing onto the card. You could also cover them with sticky contact paper to keep the petals in place.

Turn Old Flowers into Organic Confetti

For a bohemian take on eco-friendly confetti, why not use flower petals? This will take some time, as you’ll need a lot of old petals to repurpose. But if you have an event coming up in a year or so, take advantage of the wait by saving blooms from your garden and your bouquets. 

Pull the petals off each fresh flower, and lay them flat to dry. Once they are well-dried, store them in a cool, dry place in an airtight container until it’s time to toss them.

Make Fragrant Rose Water

If you’re awash in roses, make some refreshing rose water! This floral spray can be used to add scent to linens, or to spritz your face on a warm day.

Pull the petals from the plants and simmer them in just enough water to cover. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer, covered, until petals have lost most of their color—about 15-20 minutes. Let the liquid cool completely. Then strain out the rose petals and save your refreshing elixir in an airtight container. Keep it in the fridge for up to a month, and give yourself a light spray when you need cooling.


If you don’t have time for a project but you hate the thought of throwing your old flowers away, give them a new life in the compost bin! Any plant material like flowers, grass clippings, and fruit or veggie scraps will add necessary nitrogen to your mix. 

Then you can add it to your garden soil to help next year’s flowers bloom better than ever.

Pick Your Own Bouquet at Barton Hill Farms’ Austin Spring Festival

The U-Pick Flower Fields at the Austin Spring Festival are rich in color and vibrance. 

Pick a bouquet of cheerful zinnias, cosmos, and sunflowers this Mother’s Day or any weekend through May 31st to brighten up your home!

Celebrate spring on the farm!