Rose Petal Bead Tutorial
a simple tutorial on how to create beads from rose petals

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I am so glad that Whipup decided to extend their Whiplash deadline to the 20th. I had planned to get this project finished sooner but with college exams and then the flurry of Chinese New Year...I didn't have the time! 

Anyway, let's begin!

February is officially RECYCLED CRAFTS month.

Make something that utilises pre-used/pre-loved/trash/junk/waste items an interesting creative challenge to get your crafting juices flowing.

Category 1: Creative use of normal/household waste

For Valentine's Day, Vinh lovingly surprised me with a dozen red roses. How romantic, right? But what to do with the roses? Stick them in a vase and then throw the sentiment of love out when they wilt in a week or two? Hm...perhaps. But I wanted something a little less jinxy on my relationship and it's durability to last, so I went to where all perplexed people go in their time of need: Google.

Behold. Rose petal beads.

Now, I found many, many tutorials on how to make rose petal beads. This craft dates back to the middle ages and some sites purport that rose petal beads are the beginnings of the rosary prayer chain. Most of the tutorials I found lacked either photos or a thorough explanation of the craft, so I sorta combined a bunch of information together and carried on.

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Step 1

Recieve Valentine's roses.

Step 1

Step 2

Pluck off petals.

Step 2a

Step 3

Cut off the little white part at the base of the petal. This is where the petal is attached to the flower and so is hard and tough. I used the fingernail on my thumb to just press and clip off this bit. You want to remove this white part on the petal in preperation for grinding the petals.

Step 2b

Step 4

Place petals into food processor, blender, or go the old fashioned way and use a mortar and pestle. I used a combination of blender and pestle.

Step 3

Mix in just enough water to cover the petals (not too much!) and some flour in equal proportions to the petals. Grind until doughy consistency. I accidentally added in too much water, so I had to mortar and pestle my way to dryness. My beads were therefore hard to shape because of the excess water, but dried to a great hardness anyway.

Step 5

Excess water? Pour pulpy mixture into a colander and drain out water by squishing pulp.

Step 4a

Step 6

Rose Petal ball! Your mixture should look like this:

Step 4b

Now it's time to form the beads.

Step 7

Pinch off a bit from the main ball. If too fragile (perhaps too much water? not enough flour?) shape the bead gently with the tips of your fingers. Otherwise, roll like playdough or roll into thin tubes and cut into squares to form into balls.

Step 5

Step 8

Let dry in a room without moisture. You want to avoid these beads from getting too humid and molding. At this point, you can either poke holes in the beads or wait until later if beads are too fragile.

Step 5b

I poked holes in my beads using the end poit of a dart (um, the dart board is over the dining room wall...) but the beads often fell apart because they were still wet. If you wait until the beads are dry, heat up a needle or metal skewer and poke it through.

In the tutorials I read, people also recommended skewing or pinning the beads in place and letting dry that way with occasional turning to prevent the beads from becoming lopsided. Step 9 I made my beads on Wednesday night. By Friday they felt dried, but I waited until Saturday to work with them. Please test out a bead first before you get into your craft production and realize that your beads are crumbling! Step 6

The beads should have a slight fragrance. If you want more for next time , add rose oil during the mixing stage or rub it on the beads at the finished stage.

Step 10 

Yay, ending on an even number!

With my beads nice and dry, I dug out some old earring findings from a year ago when I used ot make origami crane earrings. I had a few beads and wire left over, so I used them to make some earrings.

finite: Balance Love Earrings

Voila!  

Love Balance Earrings.

Whiplash