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How to Dry Hydrangeas for Fall Decor

6 steps for the easiest way to dry hydrangeas for free fall decor right in your own backyard.

Buckle up for the EASIEST tutorial in the history of this blog.

Honestly, this probably doesn’t even constitute a post except that I’m over here like, “Look at my pretty dried hydrangeas that I get to decorate with for FREE this fall?!”

Anywho, I had no idea how easy it would be to snip hydrangeas out of my own backyard to use for years in the future. Our hydrangeas absolutely exploded this year, and they were way too pretty to go to waste once the cold set in.

How to Dry Hydrangeas the Simple Way

1. Wait until late August – early October when blooms start to become less vibrant in color. The petals will start to feel “crunchy” and not as soft as summer blooms.

Too early to cut:

summer hydrangea

Ready to cut:

fall hydrangea ready to be dried

2. Cut your stems at 12-18 inches long.

3. Remove all of the leaves from the stems.

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4. Place the flowers in a vase with about 1 inch of water.

dried hydrangeas in a vase on a kitchen counter

5. Put the vase in a cool spot indoors out of direct sunlight and wait 1-2 weeks.

6. The water should evaporate and naturally dry your hydrangeas.

There are other methods like hanging them upside down in a dark, cool spot (like a closet) or using glycerin. But this method was just the easiest, hands-off approach.

dried hydrangeas in a basket for fall decor

Arrange your dried hydrangeas in vases, bowls, baskets, make wreaths, whatever you’d like to add a little texture and muted color for natural (and FREE) fall decor.

dried pressed fall leaves for fall decor

I pressed these leaves in books too (sort of like how I did with pressed flowers in summers’ past). I have big plans for all of the dried “yard garb” for fall decor soon, but I’ll share more about that later this week.

Can’t believe this so-not-outdoorsy girl is saying this but nature is so dang cool.

Have you ever dried hydrangeas or pressed leaves for decor? It’d be the perfect backyard scavenger hunt and biology lesson for staying home with kiddos this school year.

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  1. Been doing this for years…. I find a vase that I will use or give someone flowers. Cut Hydrangeas to length for a vase usually 6-8 depends on their flower size. Cut and place in vase and let naturally dry….NO WATER just flowers arranged in a vase. Let dry naturally. It’s a no brainer!

    1. I was wondering that, too. I heard of using hair spray on them to preserve, but wasn’t sure. Would love to hear if anyone has a preservative spray to use.

  2. Hi Lauren,

    I just love this idea of pressed leaves. My question is, what did you use as the background in these frames? I like the look but cannot tell what it is.

    Thank you so much for all your inspiration!

    F. Fontana