How to Make Rose-Petal Beads

Create a necklace from rose petals and enjoy the long-lasting fragrance.

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Rose beads were first made in ancient Rome. By the Middle Ages, the rose had become a symbol of faith for the early European Christians. Their first string of prayer-counting beads, the rosary, named for this symbol of their faith, was very likely made of roses as well. Recipes for creating rose-petal beads vary widely. Some require cooking, while others don't. Some recipes include flour. Some suggest cooking the rose petals in an iron skillet to make dark black beads. The only common ingredient: rose petals.

Materials and Tools:

rose petals — 4 cups or more
chopping knife
saucepan or skillet for simmering petals (cast iron for black beads)
water
spoon
rose oil
pins or needles to create holes
nylon beading thread

Steps:

1. Chop the rose petals into small pieces. Put the pieces into a saucepan or skillet and cover them with water. Simmer for about an hour.

2. Add a bit of rose oil to the pot and simmer an hour a day for four or five days until the petal mixture begins to look like clay.

3. Squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the mixture and save the rose liquid in a small covered container.

4. Form small beads with the rose mixture. Keep in mind that the beads will shrink as they dry. Poke a hole in each bead and set them aside to dry.

5. Check the beads each day. When they are fully dry, rub some of the reserved rose liquid onto each bead. Do this for several days to harden the bead surface.

6. String the beads on beading thread and enjoy.

Photo by Charles Brooks

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