How to Preserve Flowers with Hairspray

Using hairspray is an effective and easy way to preserve flowers. Select fresh, blooming flowers, and tie them to a hanger so they can dry. Leave them in a well-ventilated, dark room for 2-3 weeks. When the flowers are completely dry, spray 3 even layers of aerosol hairspray over all of the flowers. Then, create an attractive, timeless floral display.


[Edit]Choosing Your Flowers

  1. Cut blooming flowers in your garden during the summer. Choose flowers in full bloom so you can preserve the rich color of the petals or blossoms. For best results, pick your flowers in the morning, and move the fresh-cut flowers from the sunlight as quickly as possible.[1]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 1.jpg
    • In particular, hairspray works well with flowers with robust blooms such as roses. It also works great with flowers with smaller blooms like lavender.
    • You can also use flowers that bloom in the winter, such as Hellebore, Winter Jasmine, and Algerian Iris.
  2. Select healthy flowers that are free of insects and disease. Avoid choosing flowers with brown spots or uneven sections. These flowers are less-than-ideal, and they won’t look as nice once they are dried and preserved. Instead, choose flowers will full blooms rather than budding blossoms.
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 2.jpg
    • These flowers will likely turn brown and rot rather than staying true to their colors after preservation.
    • Exposure to sunlight can cause the flowers to turn brown or start to wilt.
  3. Use flowers from a sentimental bouquet to preserve your memories. If you aren't using flowers from your garden, you can also use cut flowers from your favorite bouquet. This is a good idea if you want to keep your Valentine's Day or Graduation flowers for long-term display.
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 3.jpg
  4. Cut the stem so it is at least and remove extra foliage. Using pruning shears, make a cut at a 45-degree angle along the main stem of your flower. Then, use your fingers to pick off some of the extra leaves and greenery. You can leave 2-4 leaves to add some color to your bouquet.[2]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 4.jpg
    • If you cut your flower stem less than long, it may be too small to display in a vase.
    • You can use 1 single flower or many flowers, based on your desired look.

[Edit]Drying Your Flowers

  1. Tie a piece of dental floss to the ends of each flower or bouquet. Cut a piece of dental floss about long. Secure the piece of dental floss to the stem of an individual flower. Additionally, you can wrap a rubber band around a small bouquet of 3-6 flowers, and then tie the dental floss to the ends of the bouquet.[3]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 5.jpg
    • If you don’t have dental floss, you can use twine instead.
    • Make 2-3 knots so the floss stays in place.
  2. Hang up your flowers by tying the dental floss to a hanger. Once your floss is tied around your flower or bouquet, tie the other end around the bottom, vertical bar of the hanger. Tie 2-3 basic knots so the dental floss stays put. Hang each of your flowers along the bottom of the same hanger until you run out of space.[4]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 6.jpg
    • For instance, secure 3 bouquets of 4 flowers to the bottom of 1 hanger.
  3. Hang your flowers on a door hook in your basement for 2-3 weeks. Put the hanger on a hook hanging from your door so they can dry completely. You can store your flowers in any clean, dry, well-ventilated space that gets particularly dark. If your flowers are exposed to sunlight, they will not dry entirely.
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 7.jpg
  4. Remove the dried flowers when they feel hard and crispy. After several weeks, your flowers will dry up completely, which is necessary when preserving with hairspray. They will lose pigment and shrink up a little once they're dry. The petals will be crispy and break off easily, so handle them carefully![5]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 8.jpg

[Edit]Applying the Hairspray

  1. Use a can of any ordinary aerosol hairspray. Any type of hairspray will work fine to preserve your flowers. It is helpful to shake up your hairspray for 20 seconds or so before you use it.[6]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 9.jpg
    • You can use a cheap can found at your local drug store, for instance.
  2. Spray an even coat of hairspray over the entirety of your flowers. Hold the hanger upwards in 1 hand and spray the hairspray with your dominant hand. Position the can about away from the flowers, and press down on the spray nozzle. Slowly move the can around the entirety of your flowers. Cover the blossoms, leaves, and stem.[7]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 10.jpg
    • You can also place a piece of newspaper behind your flowers and let the hanger stay on the hook as you spray them.
  3. Let the flowers dry upside down for about 10 minutes. After you apply your a coat of hairspray, set the hanger back onto a door hook. Set a timer for about 10 minutes, and then you can apply the next coat. You want each coat to completely dry in order to properly preserve the flowers.[8]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 11.jpg
    • To check if the flowers are dry, touch 1 of your fingertips to the end of the stem.
  4. Apply another 2 even coats of hairspray to cover your flowers. One coat of hairspray is likely not enough to fully preserve the flowers. After the first coat dries, spray another complete, even layer across the blossoms, leaves, and stems. Then, let each coat dry for 10 minutes.
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 12.jpg
  5. Display your preserved flowers in a decorative vase. You can use your preserved flowers to make a decorative display. Cut the flowers off of the hanger, and remove the dental floss from the ends. Put a bouquet of preserved flowers into a decorative vase, and place the vase on a tabletop to make an attractive centerpiece.[9]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 13.jpg
    • You can do this to make seasonal decorations, for instance.
    • Tie a ribbon to the outside of the vase for extra embellishment. You can secure the ribbon by using a small dab of hot glue.
  6. Touch up your flowers once every 3-7 days to keep them preserved. About 1-2 times a week, you can spray another 1-2 coat on your flowers to keep them hard and intact. Do this if the flower buds start to look droopy or if you notice any petals start to fall off. Continue doing this as needed to preserve your flowers long-term.[10]
    Preserve Flowers with Hairspray Step 14.jpg
    • If applying multiple coats, wait about 10 minutes in between each one.
    • You can take out the flowers and lay them on newspaper, then spray a light even layer on each side. In addition, you can spray a light layer over the blooms and stems while the flowers are still in the vase.

[Edit]Things You’ll Need

  • Fresh flowers
  • Pruning shears
  • Hanger(s)
  • Dental floss
  • Rubber bands (optional)
  • Dark, warm, well-ventilated area
  • Aerosol hairspray
  • Vase


  • To create an interesting bouquet, use several different flowers in a variety of colors. This adds texture and color to your preserved flower display.
  • You can preserve single flowers or a full display. Consider preserving your wedding bouquet with this method, for example.


  • Once your flowers are preserved, keep them out of sunny spots. The sunlight can eat away at the hairspray and cause the flowers to wilt.


[Edit]Quick Summary