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.


  1. 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.

  2. Melinda leblue-nolan says:

    Have you ever added color to the mixture? How well does it take color if do?

    • 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.

  3. Martha Jensen says:

    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!

  4. Ooh, now this is cool! How much water can they stand before disintegrating? Would long exposures in misty weather hurt them, or is it only a downpour?

    • 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!

  5. I was wondering how you do it to keep the roses their original color instead of black??

    • 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.

  6. SoniaLina says:

    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!

  7. Cant wait to make these , my sister in law just got married tonight so im gonna try and make her something and myself something from my bouquet and hers . thank you !

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