Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Make Beads With Fragrant Rose Petals

Seeing as the roses are so prolific this year, I thought I would share the directions for making beads out of the petals! Years ago, rosaries were made out of these fragrant little nuggets and necklaces of rose beads were often given to brides to wear on their wedding day. Legend has it that the fragrance will last a hundred years! I'm not sure how accurate that is, but I know the first beads I made over 10 years ago still smell wonderful!
Start by collecting a grocery bag full of fragrant rose petals. Rugosas are perfect for this project, but any fragrant rose will do. Petals that have fallen to the ground are fine also. Just make sure they are clean and dry. Mid morning is a good time to gather.
Next, grind the petals until fine using a food proc
essor that you never want to use for anything else. (Your processor is going to get stained black) Place your petals in a cast iron pan and cover with a lid. Each day for the next 14 days, regrind the petals in the food processor. They are going to turn a lovely deep black color. They are ready to roll when the rose paste is the consistancy of Play Doh.
Roll small bits of the paste into balls about twice the size you want your beads to be. (They will shrink during drying) Stick a good sized straight pin through the center to form the hole for stringing and poke into a piece of cardboard or florists foam and let dry for a week or so until nice and hard.
Finally, string your beads on their own or combine them with other beads like I did in the final photo. As you wear them they will aquire
a subtle sheen and grow more beautiful with time and use!

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