When I was a little girl, I remember a special gift my parents gave me for my seventh birthday, a necklace made from rose beads. Being a lover of flowers starting from a young age (I figure it was in my blood since both mom and dad were florists), I adored anything and everything made from the petals of blossoms. When I opened the tiny pink box to see the delicate piece of jewelry, I immediately believed that I would cherish them for the rest of my life. Unfortunately, my education in horticulture was only just beginning because I hadn’t yet understood that my trinket was almost 100% organic and would eventually disintegrate. Nevertheless, I did my best to preserve the pretty bauble in the hopes that I would one day pass it down to my daughter. Thirty-four years later, this is merely a sweet memory of my childhood I carry with me and smile thinking about every time I spot a similar styled necklace in a store window.
Along with a rose beaded necklace being a lovely way to show your affection for flowers, this form of jewelry is actually the outcome of some interesting history dating back to centuries ago. Before even the 1500’s, rose beads were used as tools for counting, originating in the country of India. Easy to make and a reliable resource, they were made by the bushel and used to teach science and mathematics. As time continued, they found their way into the religious realm, specifically by the Christians who formed necklaces as a sign of worship. The delicate yet stunning presentation of the strung roses made them a precious commodity-some of which survived to be passed to future family members. Today, they are still used in religion although you probably see them more often as a metallic chain called, “the rosary”.
Get togethers called, “Beading Bees” still exist today and are still quite popular all over the United States. During these group meetings, friends and family join to make their own rose beads to use as bracelets or necklaces. If you are interested in trying out a simple and fun recipe to make your own, follow these simple instructions to create them today!
- De-petal a dozen roses (preferably red) and discard the center core.
- Boil a pot of distilled water and throw the petals in until they are soft.
- Drain the water and place in a blender. Puree until they have a doughy consistency.
- Add a few drops of rose incense to replace any aroma that has escaped.
- Let the dough dry until it is easily capable of being formed into balls.
- Roll small balls to whatever size you would like and push a sewing pin through the center.
- Let the rose beads dry in the sun and string for decoration!