I have seen rose petal beads only once. The beads were on display in a museum, and the idea that such a lovely necklace could be made solely from rose petals has always intrigued me. I took the free copy of the instructions they had available… like most of the old crafts, the process of turning rose petals into beads takes time. It also requires access to a lot of strongly scented rose petals, which has always been a stopping point for me… I have the strongly scented wild roses, but only a few. Just in case someone has more, here are the instructions for making rose petal beads.

  • Start making the rose petal paste by gathering the petals in the morning on a dry day.
  • Crush the petals in the traditional way using a mortar and pestle, or puree them with a blender.
  • Add just enough water to cover the petals and simmer them in a cast iron skillet for about an hour. Let them cool completely, then simmer them for another hour. During this simmering time, the rose petals react with the iron and turn black, giving the beads their characteristic dark color and matte finish. This will not happen in another type of pan.
  • Every day after that for about fourteen more days, grind the petal mixture again. You will know it is ready when the petals have become a thick paste that is the consistency of clay.
  • The next step is to form the beads. The beads will shrink as they dry so make each bead about twice as large as you want the finished bead to be.
  • Make a hole with a large wire through the center of each bead. String the beads on another wire and hang them to dry. It is important to turn each bead on the wire at least once a day so the stringing hole stays open and the bead does not stick to the wire.
  • Let the beads dry for another two weeks before polishing and stringing them.

The beads were in a glass cabinet so it was impossible to know if they still retained their rose scent, but the sign said that they did, and that when rose beads are worn, body warmth makes them release their scent.

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Comments

Lisa

What a cool idea. I have LOTS of roses and I am going to try this. Perhaps as a gift?? I wonder if you could use the clay to form other shapes.

Kendra

I have been looking for these instructions. Thank-you for sharing. I really enjoy your blog and all the great posts.

Michele

Incredible! :) Thank you so much for sharing this.
We have a rose garden near us that has rose jewelry for sale in their gift shop, but it is a different kind. (Their beads have tiny, miniature roses preserved inside beads.)
Blessings,
Michele :)

DEB

Hello;

Has anyone taken a picture of the finished rose petal beads?

Shirley, what museum did you see the rose beads in? Were the beads shaped as if thet were pressed in some sort of mould(mold)?

Shirley (Choosing Voluntary Simplicity)

Deb, I can’t remember the name of the museum… this was several years ago, and it was just a tiny little museum we stopped at on a trip to Missouri. The beads were shaped by hand, the same as in the directions.

Andi

Whenever I see instructions like this, I want to know who would have thought to continue this process over several weeks in order to get the results they wanted.

Connie B.

My grandmother gave me a rose petal bead necklace when I was a young girl (sometime around 1946) which she had bought at a thrift shop. I wore it for years……it did keep its fragrance……and then, as kids do, I lost track of it. As an older adult, I have often wondered about this necklace and asked many friends if they had heard of this process. No luck. I am grateful for your recipe contribution. I am making some beads as I write this. Thank you so much.

cheryl

my grandmother made rose bead necklaces for all eight grandchildren during the depression she was taught how so she could make her own jewelry with little money. this art means alot and should be kept alive!Thank You for sharing this,my grandmother passed before anyone thought to get the ‘recipe’