Rose petals are often preserved for their attractiveness and pleasant aroma, but they are also a useful material in a number of crafts. They can be combined with other fragrant ingredients, used to decorate surfaces or even boiled and formed into beads for a long-lasting keepsake.
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Dried rose petals have a delicate, long-lasting floral aroma which makes them ideal for potpourri. Combine them with other dried flowers, essential oils and spices for a complex aroma that will last a long time. Mix 3 to 6 cups of rose petals with 2 cups of dried lavender and 1 cup each of cornflower petals and lemon verbena. Add 1/2 cup of orris root as a fixative to hold the scent. Add a few drops of rose essence to enhance the rose fragrance, and add either a tablespoon each of dried allspice and cinnamon or a few drops of the essence of each. Also add whole cloves, dried pods for decoration and other floral or herbal essences to doctor the scent to your tastes. Mix all the ingredients to infuse the potpourri with an even, complex aroma.
Rose Petal Cover
Decorate a notebook, record, table or other surface with a layer of rose petals. Squeeze a dot of white glue onto the surface and spread it with an old paintbrush. Cover the glue with one or several rose petals and push them down lightly but firmly to hold them in place against the glue. Allow the glue time to dry, then cover it with decoupage medium such as Modge Podge or white glue in a similar way to how you applied the glue; put a dot of Modge Podge on one of the petals and lightly spread it with the paintbrush. Continue to apply and spread the decoupage medium until you have coated the entire surface.
Rose Petal Beads
Rose petal beads will give off a delicate fragrance long after they are prepared. Put several cups of rose petals in a food processor and chop them into very small pieces. Pour the ground-up roses into a cast iron frying pan or pot and add water until they are covered. Heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for an hour. Allow the roses to cool, then heat them and simmer for a second hour. Repeat this at least three times, adding water as necessary. When the roses cool for the last time, squeeze the water out of them using a fine sieve or coffee filter. Put the pulp on a plate. Pull a small bit of pulp off with your fingers, roll it into a bead and place it on a piece of paper towel. Continue until you've used all your rose pulp. Leave the beads to dry for a day, then stick a piece of wire through the beads to pierce them. Put the oven on its lowest setting and bake beads until they dry completely. Beads will shrink as they dry, so make them bigger than you want the finished bead to be.