Making Rose Beads the White Witch way

Instructions for making rose beads

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Rose beads made using only roses and water

Rose beads made using only roses and water

When worn against the skin the heat from the body causes the natural oils in rose beads to be released.


Collect your ingredients

1. Dried and powdered fragrant rose buds petals.

2. Plain water or rose water

Equipment you will need

A small bowl for mixing the rose clay
12" strips of plastic coated wire (the sort found in electrical cables)
A darning needle
A clean work surface

How to make the clay

Put your rose powder into the bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the powder.
Pour in a small quantity of the water into the well.
Begin to mix the powder and water together with your fingers.
Add more water if necessary.
When a consistency of a soft pastry or dough is reached the clay is ready. 

You want it to be pliable yet not sticky, firm but not brittle.
If the clay is too moist add a small amount of powder and if it is too dry add a small amount of water.

How to make the beads

Keeping the lump of clay in the bowl begin by breaking of a small nugget of dough.
About the size of a grape. Remember that the beads will shrink when they are dry.
Obviously the size that you make is up to you. Don't make them too big or they will take too long to dry and may get mouldy which will mean you have to throw them out and start again.
Roll the nugget of clay around in your hands. Keep your hands a little moist to prevent the clay sticking to them. This is very soothing work.
When a nice smooth bead has been formed that has no cracks in the surface you are ready to make the hole in the bead.
If you are finding it difficult to form the bead then your dough may be a little dry. Stop now and add some more water and mix your dough again.

Now when your bead is ready take your needle and make a hole right through the middle of the bead. Keep the bead held firmly but gently between your thumb and forefinger. When making the hole make it bigger than the width of the needle by wriggling the needle. The hole will shrink too when the bead dries.

When the bead has a hole going through it lay it gently down on your surface.
Take a piece of wire and make a knot in one end. Pass the wire carefully through the bead and take the bead all the way down to about 2 inches from the end of the wire. It might take a bit of practice to do this without breaking the bead but rest assured it is possible.

When the bead is on the wire you could if you wanted to make some little decorations in the surface of the bead using the point of your darning needle. I usually wait until the clay has firmed up somewhat before I begin the process of decorating the beads.

You can make all your beads at once and then start to string them on the wires when they are all made. This is entirely up to you.

Once the beads are strung and the wire is full then you must find a suitable place to hang your beads to dry. If you take two small hooks and screw them into the underside of a shelf you could string the wire between them. 
You could also choose to lay the beads on a tray and leaving them in a dry dark place to dry.

Turn them every so often and move them on the wire to keep them loose and easy to remove. 

When they are drying the temperature must not be too hot or the beads will split, and it must not be too cold or the beads will go mouldy. 
The best place is somewhere airy and cool, for example a place where you are drying herbs to preserve their properties.

They should be dry in a week or less. When they are dry they should be very hard like a dry kidney bean. Store them in a dry place for use.
The smell of roses will remain for many years if properly preserved. Do not allow your beads to get wet.

You can experiment and press the rose clay into moulds and then remove to let dry. You must remember that they should not be too large otherwise the clay will not dry all the way through without going mouldy. I made some very simple round medallion moulds and I pressed a design into each one using a needle. I found that some of them did crack when they were drying but that was due to the place being too warm. Remember cool and airy is the best place.