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How to Press Rose Petals

By Lillian Downey ; Updated September 21, 2017

People press rose petals for a lot for reasons. Some want to preserve the memory of a romantic gesture, while others want to include roses in craft and home decor items. Pressing is one of the best ways to preserve the color of your rose petals. The process takes one to three weeks.

Gather your roses before midafternoon. Roses are their freshest in the morning. Choose roses that are fully open, with smooth, vibrant-looking petals.

Line your work surface with an old newspaper or a few sheets of stacked paper towels. Carefully remove each petal, starting at the outside row and working inward. Discard the stem and any undesirable petals.

Arrange the petals in a single, flat layer on top of your newspaper or paper towels. They should be close but not touching.

Place a second layer of paper towels or newspaper on top of your petals. You can add more layers of petals and papers if you have a lot of flowers to press. Then place a weight, such as a book, board or heavy box, on top of the paper. Leave the weight in place for at least one week. Two weeks is usually best, but the process can take up to four depending on the flower and your home's humidity.

Remove the weight and top layer of paper. Check the petals to make sure all excess moisture has been removed and that they are pressed and dry. If your petals are not completely dried, replace the top layer of paper and replace the weights. Consider adding heavier weights or move the petals to a less humid environment. Check again after one week.


Things You Will Need

  • Newspaper or paper towels
  • Book or other weight


  • Consider using the pages of a large, heavy book for petal pressing. This will ruin the pages, so be sure to choose a book you do not value. Add a weight on top of the book to speed the process.


  • Always be careful of thorns.

About the Author


A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.