Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rose Petal Beads

Beads made out of rose petals have been around for centuries; they have been used in meditation, in rosaries, and in jewlery. I have always found them fascinating and am in love with the idea of a bead simply made out of roses.

What you need:
3-8 cups of dark and fragrant rose petals (garden variety or florist shop); we used pink and yellow since that's what we had available
Pan (cast iron pans are great because they create a really dark bead)
Mortar and pestle or blender
Chopstick, knitting needle or pin

Method:Put the rose petals in a pan and cover them with water; simmer for an hour. Do not let the water boil, this will kill the fragrance. After 1 hour take the petals off the heat and let cool. After the petals completely cool, simmer again for another hour. This is what our petals looked like after 2 simmerings. The petal pulp should be soft enough to create a paste.

Use a mortar and pestle, or a blender, to break down the petal fibers into a paste.
Strain out enough water until you are able to form a ball out of the paste.

Take a large piece of dough and make it into a ball, the beads will shrink about 30% when finished drying, so keep this in mind. Use a pin or chopstick to poke a hole through the beads, depending on how you plan to use your beads when dry.

Methods of Drying
1. Air Dry: place the beads on pins and air dry for a few days, be sure they have plenty of air circulation or they will mold.
2. Food Dehydrator: I would guess that this method would take 3-6 hours.
3. Oven Dry (this is how we dried ours): turn the oven to 150 degrees and cook for an hour, turning them every 20 minutes. They weren't completely dry after an hour so we let them air dry overnight.

Wow, the beads really darkened during the drying process and they are as hard as rocks! Our pink and yellow petals didn't make the most attractive beads, but they smell good and a lot of science was involved in making them.

I think we will try this again but with different flower petals, perhaps peonies; green leaves won't work because chylorphyll is too slimy. Staphanie and her cutie-pie kids at Ordinary Life Magic, are in the process of making rose petal beads also; be sure to keep visiting them to see their method.

A Little Rose Lore
While researching roses we found these great tales from The E-CBD Flower Store-

Greek mythology tells us that it was Aphrodite who gave the rose its name, but it was the goddess of flowers, Chloris, who created it. One day while Chloris was cleaning in the forest she found the lifeless body of a beautiful nymph. To right this wrong Chloris enlisted the help of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, who gave her beauty; then called upon Dionysus, the god of wine, who added nectar to give her a sweet scent. When it was their turn the three Graces gave Chloris charm, brightness and joy. Then Zephyr, the West Wind, blew away the clouds so that Apollo, the sun god, could shine and make the flower bloom. And so the Rose was...

In another story, an ancient Hindu legend, Brahma (the creator of the world) and Vishnu (the protector of the world) argued over whether the lotus was more beautiful than the rose. Vishnu backed the rose, while Brahma supported the lotus. But Brahma had never seen a rose before and when he did he immediately recanted. As a reward Brahma created a bride for Vishnu and called her Lakshmi — she was created from 108 large and 1008 small rose petals

So what did we do with the beads when they were dry? Nope, we didn't string them and make them into jewlery, we made our own little Lakshmi and a band of flower fairies. I will have a post about these cuties later in the week.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet. — William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 scene 2


Stephanie said...

I was thinking peonies, too, because ours are dark red! 'Course, they fade to pink, so...

I'm also trying to find a recipe that uses herbs. Even though we cant use the leaves, I saw mention of someone using herbs.... I would love to use lavender petals, too. :)
Fun stuff!
Thanks for the link, friend, and I'll of course link back when we get ours done.

ps - never have I seen pretty ones - the only ones that are are buffed and polished to a shine - that would be pointless, as you wuuldn't be able to smell them!


Anonymous said...

LOVE the flower fairies :-)

The Magic Onions said...

Those pretty little flower fairies must smell as sweet as they look.

kyndale said...

I never thought of this..what fun. I like the idea of putting herbs in the mix also.

Maria said...

This is awesome! I will have to try this with all my marigolds too!

Annie said...

I was talking about this with someone yesterday. Those must smell so nice. I have the same orange pot. I've been trying to find rose petals to make the rose water with them. I really want to try that.

Sorry my comments are so all over the place!

kristen said...

Oh! Neat! I love the little mud creatures from yesterday, too. :)

Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

Wow, I want to try this myself! Thanks for sharing, I'll be linking.

Sara said...

Very neat idea. I'm going to try this. And thanks for all the added info, I definitely learned something today. :)

Anonymous said...

My grandmother has a rosary made with th roses from her mother's funeral...I've alwas been fascinated by the very idea.... how fun to be able to try this at home! I have a climbing rose and will be waiting to harvest some of the petals! Thanks for the awesome idea!

Unknown said...

i love it. i forgot where i stumbled upon the idea of rose petal beads. i think i would love a little bracelet or necklace with those beads. imagine!

Tan Family said...

Easy and fun! I've never seen rose beads before. Thank you for the instructions and the bit of lore about roses. Wonderful!

Joy said...

I've never seen rose petal beads before either. Fascinating!

affectioknit said...

Scout and I did that ages ago - we used the beads to make a Rosary...

Tammie Lee said...

I so enjoyed these rose stories, I never heard that Lakshmi was made out of roses. Ummmm yum.
I remember making rose beads, so long ago. They smelled divine~ forever.
You do such wonderful things with your children.

dawn klinge said...

This sounds like a fun project! Thanks for showing us how to do this. I enjoyed reading the Greek and India stories about the rose as well.

Shady Lady said...


gardenmama said...

Hello! : )
I am new to your blog, it is fabulous here!
I have been following Stephanie's rose bead adventure!
What a lovely idea with beautiful pictures too!

Unknown said...

lisa, a few things..
one, i love the new banner
two, i was wondering if i could link this post to believing nature
three, did you still want to do a trade?
email me when you have a chance, kay (hellosparrow at gmail dot com)
thanks and have a beautiful day!!!

Bleeding Heart said...

You offer an amazing information within your blog. This blog is so inspirational and wonderful, I am in awe everytime I visit!

Unknown said...

Hi again Lisa-

I'm just all over your blog these days. First slugs, now this. I love these beads and your little fairy friends! I hope you don't mind that I used your photo for my (mostly) Handmade Holiday post on rose petal beads. I provided a link back to your site and photo credit. Thanks for the great project!

!rebekah! said...

White & pink roses produce the beads to turn a cream-ish brown color.
Very pretty!