Making Rose Beads – Step Three

Making Traditional Beads from rose petal “clay”

rose petals, rose clay drying, and finished rose beads

The rose petals became rose clay, which is on the plate, and then rose beads. The large ones will become more or less the same size as the smaller already dried ones.

If your rose clay is now dry and can hold a rounded shape, you can proceed to make balls, ovals, or even squares of clay as your beads. Traditional rose beads will shrink quite a lot, so if you want a bead of a particular size, make sure you make it bigger than the final size you are hoping for. I really recommend doing a little testing – you can make some test beads to check for shrinkage before you start to make the final beads.

Put a nail, brad, or beading pin through the bead to make the hole for stringing. I almost always use nails now, because the bigger hole is good if you have a heavier string, or use elastic beading thread. For bracelets I almost always use elastic. It is especially convenient for older people with arthritis. If you are sure you will use silk thread or something really thin, then you can use a thinner nail or beading pin.

You must move the bead up and down on the nail or pin or else it will actually stick to the nail and is almost impossible to remove. Take the bead off the nail after 24 hours unless the clay was very wet.

Before you string the beads, let them dry for a few days to a week.  Longer never hurts.  In warm weather they will dry faster in the sun, or if the weather is too cold, in a warm place such as over a radiator or in the oven if you have a pilot light.  When you wear the plain beads they will get darker and shinier from the oils in your skin.

Do not store rose petal beads in a plastic bag or they may mold.  It is smarter to leave them out in a dry place for several months to be sure that all the residual moisture is gone.  I like to store them in a box with some rose petals and a small cotton ball that has some rose oil essence on it.

Please don’t get water on your rose beads.  They look like some sort of natural or ceramic bead,  but if you get them wet from rain or jumping into a swimming pool they will disintegrate.  I know because I did tests.  If you do get some water on them, please dry them afterwards.  Treating them with sealers will keep that from happening.

Rose beads can be given a protecting coat of low gloss Tung Oil, which you can get in a hardware store, or you can use acrylic sealants that are used for crafts.  Make sure the sealer can be used next to your skin.   Even if you put some sealer on them, you still can’t go swimming with them on.  After a long time of trying different options for sealing the beads, I have settled on sealant, in order to keep them from staining clothes if it rains or you sweat.  You can rub in a little rose oil after the smell of the tung oil is gone if you want to help them retain their fragrance.

65 thoughts on “Making Rose Beads – Step Three

    • Hi Liz – The book is only available in Kindle form as of now. You can read it on any computer or any iphone, ipad, etc. by installing the Kindle app.

  1. I made my first batch using highly fragrant yellow roses. The result was acceptable. The beads shrunk but kept their shape. The color was like wet sand. Not great but I could work with it. My next batch contained deep red flowers that produced a rich burgundy to black color. However, when they dried, their shapes became distorted and very rough. The only thing I do differently from your directions is to place the wet “clay” in cheesecloth and twist the cloth to extract the excess water. It may still need to dry overnight before it is dry enough to form balls. I’d appreciate any ideas for keeping a round even shape.

    • Hi Rosenelle – Again – I talk about this in the book – it is a little complicated. Could I suggest that you get a copy? It isn’t expensive, and then you will have all the instructions and suggestions. All you need is to download the Kindle app, which is free. Then you will be able to read the book. On the home page there is a picture of the book – you click on it, and it takes you right to Amazon.

      • The soft ones are explained in the book. I like the look or the rough ones, but I also like the smooth ones. The smooth ones are rustic but elegant. The rough ones look like a more nature-related bead.

  2. Hi. I’ve been reading about placenta keepsakes. I’ve decided I’d like to make a prayer necklace and use it for mantras. So if I dehydrate the placenta, it’s frozen now, do you think I will be able to mix it with the Rose bead recipe and have suitable beads to prayer with, I will most like seal it, to preserve it. Also I’ll need a 108 beads how many roses will be necessary. If you believe the placenta will work well I will purchase your app to read more and hroughly and go step by step, as I do not want to waste my placenta.

    • Hi Tonya – I have no experience working with placenta. That is a new idea for me. All I could suggest it to experiment with small amounts and see what happens.

    • Hi Kelly – I did a lot of experimenting with various types of flowers, but roses are best. If you have roses as a base, you can add others. I have a long list of flowers that work and don’t work in the kindle form of the book, which only costs $3.99. You can read it using the kindle app – you don’t need to buy a kindle itself. I am not sure if plumeria is on the list, but you could certainly try and experiment a little.

  3. I have always wanted to learn how to make beads out of Rose I saved Rose from my first date with my husband,my children’s weddings,my father’s funeral,
    My children’s first Communion so on …..
    Because I want to make rose beads out of the Rose’s can’t wait to see how they turn out.

  4. Tucked away in a drawer I found a box with a note in my Grandmother Alverda Bates’ handwriting saying ” these rose beads were made for Lois Bates who died in the spring of 1914 aged 3 months”. They still have a very strong rose fragrance.

    While lunching with a friend, I showed her the 103 year old necklace and she found your site on her smartphone while we waited for lunch. I will restring the necklace and make a matching bracelet with the leftovers. Thanks for the tip about sealant.

    Edwina M. Berg
    Krasalov Kreations

  5. Best instruction I’ve found thank u trying my hand in making some from a loving family member funeral flowers have mine setting n the sun as I write this.

  6. I have my mother’s roses from her memorial and I gave tried to find someone to do this. I may try this myself, however I stored them in a freezer bad in the freezer will this still work?

    • Hi Becky! I am doing an experiment for you with some of my own roses. The biggest problem might be that the roses would lose their color. Do you mean that you tried to make the beads yourself and that it didn’t work? Or do you have some left?

  7. I don’t have a gas oven , Can I leave them out to dry if so how long do I leave hem out?
    Love the information on making beads for rosaries Thanks

    • It depends on whether you live in a very humid place or not. If your environment is a dry one, you can just leave them out in a warm and dry place.

  8. Hi Emma,
    I love your instructions.
    I just finished step 2. I will let sit overnite. Unfortunately I didn’t plan this to well. I need to leave for work early tomorrow. Can I let it sit until tomorrow nite & mold the beads then?

    • There is a lot of information in the Kindle book, which is only 3.99 at Amazon. You could order it and have it right away, and I think it would answer all your questions. Smooth depends on your patience in blending…

        • If you go to, they have a free kindle reader. You don’t need a kindle to read it – just the free kindle reader, which lets you read it on your computer or phone or ipad.

  9. I’m a terribly last minute kind of guy and am wanting to use the roses from my sister’s wedding to make her a rosary that will be finished before she moves away in a day and a half. Every recipe that I look at says the beads must be dried for several days. If I put them in the oven on a very low heat or do as you mentioned with the pilot will they be finished overnight? Thanks.

    • No – you can’t rush the drying… alas. And if you dry them too fast they will end up cracking. Could you mail them after they are finished? It would be a pity to go to all the work of making something precious like a rosary and then have it crack.

  10. This site is fantastic. My sister just sent me a bouquet of roses the other day because I was having a bad day and I’m thinking about making rose petal beads to share with her.
    My one question is: Can I use linseed oil instead of the tung? I already have a ton of linseed oil (I’m a painter)

  11. This is a beautiful site and I will be purchasing the book when i aign up fo online banking which I currently dont have. One quesion – How can i keep rose petals i gather now to yse in the future as I am in Canada and we have a short growing season.

  12. Concerning the tung oil you mentioned–do you mean 100% pure tung oil, or the type that is sold in home improvement & kitchen stores to finish cutting boards and furniture? For example, the Minwax brands and Formby’s tung oils are not 100% pure; they have other ingredients like mineral oil etc. Any clarification you can give would be helpful.

      • Thank you. And do you know whether the tung oil finish still allows the rosy fragrance of the beads to emanate, or does it seal so much that there’s no fragrance left?

        • There is no sealer that will keep the bead safe in a moist environment that will let the fragrance through. If you don’t seal them, they can leave spots on your shirt if they get wet. So sealing is pretty necessary unless you live in a very dry place. I sometimes add a tissue with some natural rose oil into the box where I keep my beads. Or if you are sure you will never get them wet, for example, in a rosary, you can skip this step. You’re welcome!

  13. I followed the directions per the website. It’s currently in the oven for the overnight. In the comments I am now seeing stuff about clay. Did I miss something? Am I supposed to have clay in the mix?


  15. I am so happy to find this recipe! I am wondering whether using a stainless pot produces cream or rose colored beads? I have some dark colored beads someone made from my wedding flowers 19 years ago 😉 but want to make some more now. I’ve seen the cream colored beads in photos online and am wondering how it is done — especially once the glop is made — do I just cook it down in a stainless pot?


    • Hi Margit!
      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 would be happy to have all the information and think about it, contemplate what color you want from which flowers, etc. I love the pale beads too. They are elegant, and have a light feel to them.

  16. I have recently made a rosary for the parent / partner and family members of a family from the funeral flowers of a family member who was only 24 year old young lady . I took a small amount of her ashes and added them to the mix for her mum and partner. they loved them and I felt so good doing them for them .

    • This is such a sweet idea. It is so hard to lose someone and feel so separated. I am so glad her family loved them. What a sweet thing for you to do for them.

    • Yes – but be careful. Try a tiny bit first. Colors can change dramatically – and I mean from purple to green – so test, test, and retest before you add color to the whole lot.

  17. Thank you!

    I appreciate both the information given on your site and the great ideas in the book. I choose a charity every couple years and it is now WISER, a girls boarding school (an so much more!) in Kenya. With any luck I will be able to make beads and some simple jewelry (arthritis stops a lot of things) to add to items made to support WISER.

    Thank you for your sharing and helping those in need!


    • Hi Martha, Great minds think alike! I use the money from this book to support a Special Ed school in a poverty area in China. They have also made lots of beads which we have strung and sold to make money as well. You are doing great things with your creativity – thank you!

    • Sarah – I agree! It really is cool. In order to make really sturdy beads that resist water, there are several things you can do. It is a little complicated. But I have all the different ways to make them strong in my book – and it doesn’t cost much – since it is just a Kindle book. EVERYTHING is in the book, and I use the money to help the kids at a Special Ed school in a poverty area in China. Untreated beads do suffer if they get wet, so it is worth treating them.

      • I read your rose bead book per your suggestion, and it was very informative! I especially liked how many different styles you wrote about and how to make each one. That would’ve taken a lot of experimenting :). I’d probably go after the modern type beads- lighter colours are more my thing.

        • I like the lighter colors too. If you use a deep burgundy colored carnation and add it to white clay, you get a great blue color that doesn’t fade. It looks wonderful with blue jeans!

    • It’s a little complicated, and that is why I wrote the book. All the tricks to keep color are there in the book. You don’t need a Kindle to read it – you can read it online at the free Kindle Reader in the Cloud. There are also kindle apps for your pc, laptop, phone or ipad, so you can just download an app to read it.

      Online: You can read this book online by going here: Online Reader

      On your own computer: Just install the free Kindle app, and you will be ready to read any Kindle book It works on PC, Macs, and just about every other electronic device out there. I actually prefer it to reading books on a proper Kindle device.

  18. My fiance’s grandfather (who we were both very close to) past away two weeks ago today. After the funeral I collected as many of the roses that were left as I could. I have seen and heard about rose petal rosaries for a long time but never considered making one until the day of the funeral. I just knew I had to do something special and then it hit me! I have followed these instructions and I, along with a future cousin in-law, formed our beads last night. We have 198 beads and we plan on presenting my fiance’s grandmother with her rosary beads at Thanksgiving. That was the hoiday that his grandfather cherished the most. I just know she will love them! Thank you so much for the detailed instructions!!!

    • Oh Sonia! I am so glad that you saved your roses! I have made rosaries from funeral flowers before, and they really are a meaningful gift. The love from everyone who sent the flowers is all present in the beads, and I hope every time your grandmother holds or uses them that she will feel loved and cared for. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

      • Kayla — if you go to a bead store or hobby store – they have bead holders…you’ll see them once you get there. Sorry I can’t recall the name of them – but you’ll see them. They fit over the round ends of beads, and the string goes through both the bead-‘cap’ and the bead.

        • Thanks Margit for answering – I am sure you could use bead caps with rose beads, but don’t forget to dry them thoroughly before you cap them. They do shrink a lot.

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