Somebody emailed to ask if I knew where to buy rose petal beads.  I researched and found you can buy them from The Rosary Shop.  But you could make your own!  Especially if you have a garden or are going to be designing jewelry for a bride and help make her a keepsake from her bouquet.  June is a time when many roses come into bloom so this post will help you take advantage of this wonderful resource!

Elynn MacInnis' bracelet made with white rose beads

Making rose petal beads is an old craft. The beads were traditionally used in rosaries - the scent was welcome especially in the days when diseases were thought to be caused by bad air.

However, be aware that if you follow an old recipe using cast iron cookware, the beads will be very dark or even black.

Read the instructions carefully by the following experienced real rose petal bead makers. They have many, many tips. Some experimentation will be necessary!

Astars Place's tutorial shows her deliberately adding a rusty nail into her cooking pot full of simmering rose petals on the way to becoming rose petal dough. This New Zealander wanted to ensure the beads were going to be dark. Note that she freezes petals taken from roses due for deadheading until she has enough.  You can also use dried roses.

 Elyn MacInnis' How to Make Rose Beads From Your Wedding Flowers goes over what color roses to use. She doesn't say what she added to make her white rose beads (see her bracelet above) look pink but I think she must have used a little dye otherwise they would have been a dull biege.

I like her suggestion of trying out other flowers such as sunflowers.

Like Astar, she uses rose oil to add scent to the beads if they do not have any. Mary Ann Kuta mentions in her article Make Scentsational Rose Beads, mentions that most modern rose hybrids are not very scentworthy.

You will also notice Elyn's rose petal beads are a lot smoother than Astar's because the former uses a blender. Sure beats the traditional mortar and pestle!

Making real rose petal beads is a time consuming process.  Drying time (the actual roses as well as the beads after forming) takes a long time  So I am wondering if crystal cat litter can speed up the drying time?  I use it to make real flower resin jewelry. I also use the microwave to press and dry fresh flowers. See links below.

All the rose petal beads described above are still organic and scented. But care must be taken because they must not get wet.  If you do not care about the scent, then by all means use a sealer such as a water based polyurethane one (see this post for what I use).

There are other ways to make the beads more durable. One way mentioned by The Rosary Shop is to mix dried powdered rose petals with ceramic clay. The beads will then be fired in a kiln.

An easier way for most of you who do not own a kiln is to mix crushed dried rose petals with polymer clay. Check out Kimberly Bowman's tutorial on how she created her beads made with the flowers from her mother's memorial service. As you can see the dark rose petals contrast well with the light colored polymer clay she used.

Cindy Lietz, a Canadian polymer clay instructor, covers some useful tips about using translucent clay and grinding up dried petals in the coffee grinder!!

Before You Go:

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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