At least keep the petals!
Perhaps, like me, you recently received some roses.
And perhaps, like mine, they now look more like this:
Then again, perhaps not. I mean, I’ve never had roses dry out like that before, certainly not after one week while they were still in water! (Crazy!)
Anyway, the floral fun doesn’t have to end just because the roses are biting the dust. There are a lot of things you can do with your bouquet besides toss it in the trash.
If you’d like flattened petals, pull them off the roses carefully while they are still soft and pliable. Even on my roses, the interior petals are still soft. Then, take two layers of tissues (some people use paper towels, but I find that regular tissues do a great job absorbing the moisture and don’t imprint their texture on the petals) and place the rose petals between them. Don’t let your petals overlap, don’t try to layer them. Just one tissue, one layer of rose petals, then another tissue. Then put your rose petal sandwich in between the pages of a large, thick book. If you don’t have anything like a dictionary you can use a regular hard-backed book and just squeeze it in between some other books on the shelf or stack other books on top of it to press the pages firmly together. In a week or two, your rose petals will be flat, fragrant, and fragile. I’ve been drying petals like this for years and it works beautifully.
If you’d like your petals three-dimensional and you don’t live in an insanely dry climate where they’ll dehydrate still on the rose in a week, you can gently remove your petals from the roses and place them on a paper towel on a flat surface. Place them where they will get air circulation (so, not in a cupboard) but won’t get blown around by breezes. Again, depending on humidity I’d expect this to take a week or so.
If you’re in more of a hurry, this site describes a method of microwaving your rose petals so they dry out in minutes! (Disclaimer: I have not tried this, don’t set your microwave on fire please!)
Then you could always dry an entire rose by hanging it in a dry, dark place for about two weeks. I’ve never tried this either, as I much prefer just having the petals.
One more idea: someday, I’m going to try making some rose petal beads, but it looks like more work than I have time for right now.
Me? I just pulled the exterior petals of my roses that were already completely dried (I’m talking dead-leaf dry, here) and placed them in an old candle jar.
It’s a seriously simple way to keep old flowers around, or preserve roses from a special day. (I still have the petals of the roses Greg bought me when Max was born, for instance.)