Making Rose Petal Beads
Kind rosary makers have passed these recipes along to us. Some are pretty straightforward, while others have several steps and require some cooking. We haven't tried any but the first, which came out looking a little like children's play-dough, but we imagine that those which involve boiling the petals into a paste are probably better.
Please be very careful. These involve processing organic material. Some people may have allergic reactions or by injured while processing the petals. Try these at your own risk!
You will need:
Directions: Chop rose petals in a food processor using a plastic blade attachment. Add the flour and salt and blend. Continue blending in food processor and add a drop of rose oil and a small amount of water, blending until the dough is smooth. Pat the dough out on a working surface to 1/4-1/2 inch thickness. Cut out the dough with a thimble and roll each piece into a bead. String the beads on wire to make a hole. Allow to air dry.
Put several handfuls of rose petals in the pan. Don't use a copper pan, some strange reaction will take place. Barely cover
with water. Bring to a slow simmer until the mass of rose petals forms a
black sludge in the pan (takes about an hour). The petals should be stirred
to prevent sticking to the pan.
Drain the liquid from the sludge and then use the sludge to form a bead
around a wire (to create the hole). If the sludge is not sticky enough to
hold its shape, add some egg white to the mixture.
You need to pull the petals from a good bunch of roses...make sure that
they are not moldy...add then to a large pot and cover them with a equal
mixture of rose water (obtained easily these days in most markets or try
Asian or Indian market)...simmer them for several hours...add more rose
water and simmer again until you get a black mush...take mixture and roll
beads making sure to make them larger than the size you want as they will
shrink by half and inserting a pin or string in each to create a hole.
Allow them to dry thoroughly before using (you can speed drying by placing
them in the oven at 200 degrees for several hours).
They can be made with dried rose petals, ground to a powder, and mixed with
Elmer's Glue or other similar protein glue. Shellac them lightly so that
they don't dissolve in humid weather. Add a perfume stabilizer if you have
scented petals or wish to add a small amount of scent. You get that at a
perfume supply shop. If you don't want black beads, add a color preservant
like vitamin C. It helps a lot to have a microwave oven and it helps a
lot to have silica gel to dry the beads in.
- Gather rose petals -- a lot of them (like two pounds).
- Dry out of the light until they are leathery but not brittle. Using a
microwave on 'defrost' with a bowl of silica in the center speeds this up
and preserves the color and scent of the petals.
- Grind to flour. At this point add a drop of scent, color preserver,
and stabilizer (if desired)
- Mix with glue and knead to the consistency of Play dough.
- Form the beads either on the intended chain or on a temporary string.
lightly sprinkling the beads with gold embossing powder and then heating
the surface of those beads (light bulb, toaster top, embossing gun)
produces a very lovely gilded-leather effect.
- Allow to hang dry until the beads are surface dry and place in the
microwave on 'defrost', this time with the beads in the silica. Dry to
wine-cork feel and consistency. If you don't use a microwave, hang to dry
in a frost-free freezer for best results.
- Shellac very lightly (so the rose scent can still come through) and
allow to dry.
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