Step One – Making simple rose beads

cooking roses to make beads

You start by cooking the petals

What flowers should I use?
I first developed this recipe when I wanted to try making rose beads from a friend’s wedding bouquet. But the fact is, you can make these beads anytime, for any celebration, graduation, birth of a baby or grandchild, when you have Valentine’s Day flowers, or just go into your own garden when there are blooming flowers. You can also buy flowers at the store and enjoy them until they begin to get a little tired looking.

How fresh do the flowers have to be?
It is not necessary to use extremely fresh flowers.  If your local flower shop has older flowers they are throwing away, then these are fine to use too.

Will other flowers work?
Try any flower in your garden. You will be pleasantly surprised at the results. If you would like to know more about other flowers that work well, click on the link on the right to get on the list to be notified when the e-course comes out.

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How to make beads from rose petals and other flowers - Step One
The first step to making rose beads. Preparing to make the beads is the most important part. You will not only need flowers, but you will need other supplies. For making the rose dough you will need:
Recipe type: Rose Bead
  • Petals from at least 8-12 roses
  • Distilled water
  • Frying pan - non-stick, or if you want the traditional black beads you should use a traditional black cast iron pan. Grandma's old cast iron chicken fryer works well.
  • Blender (critical for smooth, good-looking beads)
  1. Remove the petals from 8-12 roses. Do not include the ball inside the flower that becomes the rose hip later, and try to knock out all the little round seed-like things from inside the bud before putting the petals in the pot.
  2. Snip the petals into strips using a sharp scissors and put them in a no-stick or cast iron frying pan.
  3. Add about ½ to 1 cup water (using distilled water guarantees a purer fragrance) and cook just under the boiling point until the petals get soft.
  4. Be careful not to let all the water evaporate. Keep watching the pot carefully and add water if necessary, stirring to make sure they cook evenly.
  5. When the petals are very soft, turn the mixture off and let it cool. They should look a bit translucent, like a cooked vegetable. This is the first step to creating the dough from the petals.

If you are finished with Step One,  you can now go on to Step Two.

65 thoughts on “Step One – Making simple rose beads

  1. Hi, I just recently found this blog amd am trying the beads tonight with day lilies. One question: u got these from a friend’s garden, with permission. I didn’t want to deprive her of her beautiful flowers so I only took the ones that were wilted closed and close to falling off on their own. Will these still work?

    • Hi Katherine – I have not tried to use wilted flowers yet – but I suspect it will work. I am curious how the daylillies worked for you. Mostly, I have used roses. There seems to be something about roses that creates a better clay.

  2. i notice when you make the beads out of dried roses they turn black how can i get them to turn into red beads

    • Hi Sonya, You can make all sorts of colors, but that is what I explain in my book. It is not expensive – less than a cup of coffee. If you don’t have a Kindle, you can just install the Kindle App on your phone or computer and you can read it easily. Colors are complicated, so I think the book would help you.

  3. Hi EM
    Is there any way of getting this book in a hard copy form? I just purchased it for a kindle and I don’t have a kindle. I have had these beads made for me in the past but would love to try them myself. Please advise? Thank you for sharing this.

    • Hi Carmela, There is no hard copy form yet, but you can get the Kindle app both for your computer and also for your iphone. It is free.

  4. Hello,
    I tried sending my email address to you to be on the latest list for making flowers into beads but the website rejected it for some reason. Could you please include me on your list?
    Thank you,
    Patty Anderson

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  6. I make my clay with multiple grindings using a crank meat grinder. The (lost) instructions I started with theorized that cooking would mute the fragrance. My beads have never had scent added, and years later still give off a nice strong rose smell. Can I continue with this method and use the info from your book to play with color, or is the heat a necessary part of your coloring techniques?
    Thank you!

    • It depends on many things – watch the mash to see the changes. You do not need to cook it to death. And if you want more information, can I suggest you buy a copy of the e-book? It has lots of important tips inside that will help you.

    • Yes, but be careful of burning. I normally don’t use teflon frying pans, because they are not good for your health, but I do use them for making rosebeads! They work well too.

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  8. hello,
    I recently purchased and read your book. I still have some questions. I looked but I could not find your email. I was wondering if you could let me know what it is or email me.
    Thank you

  9. I made rose petal beads with my class to make bracelets for Mother’s Day. Some of the beads are a lighter brown, some are very dark, and some are half and half. Is there something I can put on the lighter ones that will darken them so they don’t look (as one of my students said) like poop????? I tried rubbing with rose oil and it worked temporarily, but the next day the lighter color was back. Is this project ruined?

    • Yes. In fact they will make very nice beads. Can I suggest that you get a copy of the book? It has all the information in it, and is very reasonable. About the same price as a cup of Starbucks. You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can just install the kindle app on your computer, and have all the information instantly.

  10. Well, thannnnnkyou for saving me weeks of time! I had a rose bead recipe that found online in 200
    This was before blogs and when people had less than one. I use to digest information, but anyway, it was over four pages of steps and took weeks! So thank you!

    Glad to see a method for both black beads and the more red ones.

    Do you have any suggestions on cooking in a slow cooker?

    What about adding rose oil?

  11. Have you ever tried using peonies? I have a ton of them in my yard and they smell so good I was thinking about trying them.

    • Hi Erin, I always recommend doing a small trial first to see how it will work. But I will say it again, there are some flowers that do really well, and others that aren’t good to mix in. I have a list in my book. Can I suggest that you get a copy of the book? It has all the information in it, and is very reasonable. About the same price as a cup of Starbucks. You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can just install the kindle app on your computer, and have all the information instantly. I think you will be glad to have all the instructions.

    • Hi Erin,
      I was wondering if you were able to try the peonies? I have a lot of peonies as well and would like to do something to be able to repurpose them. I also found some cutters (like mini cookie cutters) at Hobby Lobby in the polymer clay isle that are great for making beads that aren’t necessarily rounded, ie, leaves, squares, hearts, etc. You could probably make a rose with them and bend the petals however you like them. I don’t know how much more difficult that would be since the dough would be much more thin. Just a thought. Thank you for your time. Tana.

      • Hi Tana and Erin,
        You can shape the rose “clay” or “dough” – however you like to call it, into shapes, and can use molds. It is better to have a solid shape than layers, and if it gets too thin it is easy to break.

  12. Just wondering if you can use other flowers to make the beads. Wanting to make these for the ladies of the family from our grandmother’s funeral. Not sure if we can get enough roses for everyone. 🙁

    • Hi Lisa – Yes – you can! There are some flowers that do really well, and others that aren’t good to mix in. I have a list in my book. Can I suggest that you get a copy of the book? It has all the information in it, and is very reasonable. About the same price as a cup of Starbucks. You don’t need a Kindle to read it. You can just install the kindle app on your computer, and have all the information instantly.

  13. Hello I am definitely putting this on my bucket list. One question though, the pot and blender, does this need to be something you would not use with food again? Any help is appreciated.

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    • I like using fresh petals, but I was really surprised when I tried dried ones. You can blend them into dust, and they work quite well too. Glad it worked out for you!

  15. Hello and thank you for the simple steps in making these beads. I was hesitant as I’ve never done this before but I read and re-read your instructions and this is what I did. I also have pictures to follow. I followed the instructions and the amount of time I cooked the rose petals wasn’t for very long. I used 12 red roses that where about 10 days old. I put them in a pan with a bit of water and cooked them till they were soft, not translucent. As soon as I could handle them I threw petals and remaining water into a blender and blended them for a few minutes. I added enough water while the blender was on high, to make a dough that was really smooth. Didn’t actually measure my water, just went by feel. I was looking for a dough like, smooth consistency. I then placed my dough back into the pan and cooked it on low till it was a paste, thick dough. Almost pasty. Took this and placed on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Left in oven over night with pilot light on. In the morning I gathered it all up and formed it into a ball and placed it in a glass bowl. I added 1 Tablespoon of all purpose glue to the batch. I worked this ball with my hands till I could no longer see the glue. I then pinched off a small ball and started working it to the size I wanted. They do shrink down so keep that in mind. After I got them all rolled and pierced with a small nail or needle. I pinned each bead onto a piece of foam board cut to the size of my cookie sheet. I then baked it in the oven on low for several hours. The foam did shrink to the point where the beads kinda started to fall over but I didn’t care by then. The beads had started to really harden and I did work the beads loose from the nail about every 30 minutes or so. If not your beads will adhere to the nail and you’ll never get them lose. All of this from beginning to end took about one full day. I cooked them one morning and was beading them the next morning. I have some pictures on my
    if you can’t find them email me. Very happy with the over all effect. I’m going to use old, dried roses. I’ll let you know how it goes.

    • You can find them under Homemade when your on my site. I’ve just made two more sets of rose beads. I took notes and lot’s of pictures. I’ll post them soon.

      • Thanks so much Stacie! Do be careful about foam in the oven. It has toxic fumes if it gets hot. Perhaps you could think of something else?

        • What is the purpose of the glue? Oh, please don’t use the foam in anything or anyway where it can melt. One of my friends did that and the fumes killed her birds. Don’t want to sound like a bossy person, but it really can happen. Tana

          • Thank you Tana! I agree about the foam – that is a bad idea! So sorry about your friend’s birds. That is so sad.

      • Hi Stacie,

        Didn’t find the pictures of your rose beads on Homemade. Can you post a direct link to the photos?



    • Stacie – You must be a real crafter. Sounds great – but I do have a comment. Putting the beads in styrofoam in the oven may make some really awful fumes that could be really damaging to your health… Letting them air dry is much better for your health! It does take longer, a few days, but you won’t harm yourself or your family…

    • It depends on your flame. I keep my flame as low as possible. The time frame is such that you can stand there and stir if you like. It will not take hours.

  16. I came across your blog and the steps to make rose beads. I guess I am slow on the uptake, but I think this is such a grrrreat idea! I run everybody up a wall with my recycling and repurposing. I also was introduced to getting the Kindle app for PC and following that process. I also got your book. Thank you very much. It does look grand. I can’t wait to try something. Thanks also for preserving the Knowledge so well. I appreciate the positive dialog here. Hope everything is coming up roses for you EM

    • Thank you so much for getting the book. And I am so glad you like the idea! I think you can have a lot of fun trying out all the different options. It is amazing what you can do with flower petals.

  17. I used to have a recipe for making rose petal beads using fresh rose petals and wrapping them in a similar way that paper beads are made and then coated with some type of shiny mixture that retains the color. The beads can then be strung. Would you have this recipe or any ideas on where I might find this again?

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  19. Hi! I have tons of dried rose petals that I have been searching for something to do with them. They all still have their colors due to how I dried them. Could the traditional or new method be used with them? Beyond that, is there an alternative way to buy your book about the new method?

    🙂 KC

  20. I have frozen flowers Ive had for awhile. They still their color since I put them in the frezer before they died. Would they be fine to use to make beads?

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