We're obsessed with this way to preserve memories – and there's not a photo in sight

We're all for subtle sentimentality over anything

Flower cuttings on white kitchen counter, white cabinets
(Image credit: Future PLC/Julia Currie)

If you're anything like me and are a sucker for holding onto anything remotely sentimental, then you're probably familiar with the sight of boxes and boxes filled with birthday cards, letters, and photographs – and I mean loads of them (you can only imagine what my clutter says about me).

While I'm partial to using photographs as a budget decorating idea that is every bit sweet and sentimental, I can't help but get major flashbacks to that huge, infamous picture wall everyone would put up in their bedrooms at university. While it's a cute memory to look back on, now that I'm older, I'd rather opt for alternative and more subtle ways to look back on life's moments.

So while it's not revolutionary by any means, one of my favourite approaches to looking back at memories is to preserve flowers that remind me of special occasions.

Flowers in vase on kitchen island, hanging lights, dark kitchen cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC)

How to preserve flowers – 4 methods for forever flowers

'If you've received a bouquet of flowers or maybe even had flower arrangements created for a special event, you might be wondering how you can remember the occasion. Preserving the flowers is a great idea and the petals can also be used to create beautiful wreaths and table settings throughout the year,' says Igor Podyablonskiy, founder of My Flowers.

'The most popular way to preserve flowers, and one of the oldest techniques, is to simply pluck the petals and leave them to dry in a well-ventilated area. However, there are also a few inventive methods.'

Maryam Ghani at Haute Florist adds, 'As well as being nice to have around the house, drying flowers out and reusing them is a greener alternative to them going into landfill. If cared for properly, dried flowers can last for years.'

Flowers in vase on white dining table, rattan placemats, wall art

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

1. Press them

'It's really easy to press flowers and you don't need any specialist equipment. Simply get a heavy book, open it to the middle, and place a piece of parchment paper on the page,' says Maryam.

'Then get your flower, put it on top and cover it with another piece of parchment paper. Close the book and wait for ten days to two weeks.'

Once the flowers are dry, you can pop them into your favourite frame and display them in your home as an addition to your living room wall decor. And the best part about it is yours will be completely unique.

Flower cuttings on white kitchen counter, white cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

2. Preserve them in silica gel

'Think about when you get a new handbag, you usually find a small sachet of silica gel balls inside. This is to absorb any moisture. Most people bin these sachets, but you could keep them and then empty the silica gel balls into a container, bury your flowers in it, seal tightly and wait for the petals to dry,' explains Igor.

Pink flowers in white vase on table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

3. Preserve them in resin

This method is one we've been seeing float around more, especially on social media platforms like TikTok. It's especially gained traction as a way to preserve wedding flowers, in particular, as you can then display them in your home.

Wooden desk and chair, vase of dried flowers, wall art

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

'To do this, you need to have dried your flowers using the pressing method mentioned above. Then, you need to prepare your resin mix as stated on the back of the packet. Grab a mould and pour your resin into it and carefully arrange your dried flowers into this,' explains Igor.

'Once done, pour more resin on top and make sure there are no air pockets. To finish, you need to cure your resin which can be done in a dust-free area and can take up to a few days. Once dry, trim off any excess resin and you'll have a beautiful memento.'

This is a great way to make ornaments and coasters. Alternatively, if you're not the crafty, DIY type, there are many people who can do it for you, such as small businesses on Etsy.

Wedding Flower Preservation Coasters | From £32.00 at Etsy

Wedding Flower Preservation Coasters | From £32.00 at Etsy

These coasters use flower petals from your wedding bouquet so you can preserve the memories of your special day for years to come.

4. Go faux

Alternatively, if you really want 'forever flowers', there are services you can go to that will mirror your much-loved bouquets with faux flowers so you can keep the magic from the special occasion alive for longer.

What we're finding really interesting is the growing trend for brides and grooms to opt for faux in place of fresh flowers for their wedding day. Not only is this a more sustainable choice, but it's also a sentimental one,' says Elle King, co-founder and design director at Ett Hem London.

'A wedding bouquet made from faux flowers, for example, can be enjoyed long after the festivities, either as a statement bouquet or as individual stems styled in a myriad of ways; a constant reminder of a day that, hopefully, was full of wonderful memories.'

Bouquet of faux flowers in white vase

(Image credit: Ett Hem London)

Another fun way to go faux is to go LEGO (yes, really). The LEGO flowers trend is one that I personally adore and upkeep in my own little London flat, and believe me, those are also definitely forever flowers.

The bouquet also carries the same sentimental value to them as traditional flowers would, given that I built them with my partner. I'm trying to grow a collection as we speak!

LEGO wildflowers collection in clear vases on windowsill

(Image credit: LEGO)
LEGO 10280 Flower Bouquet |was £54.99now £39.99 at Amazon

LEGO 10280 Flower Bouquet | was £54.99 now £39.99 at Amazon

This is LEGO's first-ever artificial bouquet, featuring a mix of flower and leaf varieties, from roses, snapdragons, poppies, asters, and daisies, so you can keep all your favourite flowers forever.

All in all, flower preservation is something we love and will continue to vouch for as an alternative method to keeping photos everywhere.

If you're after a way to display life's best moments without the fear of it clashing with any new home decor trends you're trying to incorporate into your living space, it does just the job. They're timeless, really – and that's what we love about them.

Flowers in white curved vase on wooden bedside table

(Image credit: Future PLC)

We're all for subtle sentimentality. After all, isn't it the smallest displays that tend to make the biggest impact?

Jullia Joson
Junior Writer

Jullia Joson is a Junior Writer at Ideal Home. She's always loved all things homes and interiors, graduating with a bachelor's degree in Architectural Studies from the University of Nottingham where her love for journalism blossomed following her internship at ArchDaily. Now focused on home tech, Jullia works on writing features and explainers to help people make the most of their home appliance investments. When she isn't writing, she loves exploring the city, coffee shop hopping, and losing hours to a cosy game.