Using Garden Roses Creatively

Easy Craft Projects: Roses

Although Roses are not technically Herbs, they are flowers, I like to work with them in Herbal projects and find that they add tremendous color and scent to my favorite crafts. Potpourri must have Roses and so should scented Sachets. Roses add lovely scent, color and beauty to wreaths, swags, braids, stuffed pillows and handmade soaps and perfumes. So get out into your garden and pick the Roses! When they are fading from bloom, dropping their petals and leaves, don’t toss them out… pick them all up and set them aside for one of these great projects I am going to outline for you here.

A Lovely Rose Pomander

You will need:
8oz of dried Rosebuds
3 feet of Ribbon or decorative Cord
Medium Florists’ Wire
3 inch Florist Foam Ball
Craft Glue or Glue Gun
Green Cardamon Pods (optional)

Start by folding your cord or ribbon in half and attaching it to the crown of the foam ball with a length of florist wire. Tack it down firmly. Hold it up and see if the length looks good. If it’s too long, cut it. But remember you might want to tie it into a pretty bow when you are done.
Push each of the Rosebuds into the floral foam deeply until they seem set. As you go, you may add in glue here and there to be sure they stay set. A good way to do this is to make the impression with the rosebud and then remove it, fill the impression with a dab of glue and replace the bud. This is a slow but sure process. As you go, you should intersperse the Rosebuds with the Cardamon Pods. This gives the pomander a different look. It’s up to you. Some people like it just with the Roses. Experiment. Once you have all the Roses and Pods in place, set the pomander in a safe place to dry. This should only take a day or two, at most.
After the pomander is dry, test the cord and make sure it hangs firmly.

Homemade Rose Potpourri

You will need:
10 cups fresh Rose Petals
1/2 cup block Salt
1/2 cup table Salt
2 tbsp ground Mace
2 tbsp ground Cloves
2 tbsp ground Allspice
2 tbsp ground Nutmeg
1 stick Cinnamon, crushed
3/4 dried powdered Orris Root
1 cup dried Red Rosebuds
4 or 5 drops Oil of Rose

Dry the Rose Petals in the Borax & Salt mixture until they are leathery. Mix the salts together in a bowl. In a glass or earthenware container, make layers of Rose Petals and Salt, beginning and finishing with the Rose Petals. Just be sure that each layer of petals is completely covered with a layer of salt, except, of course, for the top layer of fresh Rose petals.
Cover and leave for 10 days in a dry, airy room, stirring the mixture each day. The petals will ferment as they dry and by the end of this stage, they will form a crumbly block. At this point, break up the block of petals and stir in the spices. Recover the mixture in the same container and set aside for an entire six weeks. Stir it frequently as you wait, at least once a day
At the end of six weeks, stir in the Oil of Rose, making sure it is spread into the mixture completely. Allow the Rose Oil to “permeate” a little, perhaps for a day. Now you may transfer the finished Potpourri to containers or bags.

Rose Petal Rinse Water


You will need:
2 cups of Rose Petals
Powdered Root of Roseroot
1/2 cup Eau Du Cologne Mint Leaves
1/4 cup Fresh Lavender Blooms
1/4 cup Fresh Rosemary

Any combination of the above ingredients is fine. You may use only Rose Petals if that is what you choose. The scent of this combination is very nice, though, and you should try this mixture at least once to see if you like it. Most of the time, you may use this recipe with only fresh Rose Petals. Just use more of them.
Toss all of these ingredients into a big pot of water. A clean, glass pot would be ideal, although metal is ok. Just make sure there is NO RUST.
Cover the pan and simmer all of these flowers in the water for 15 minutes. Do not allow it to boil.
Strain this mixture through a wire strainer, removing all of the petals and blooms. You should have a highly scented and lightly colored water left. Make very sure there are no stray petals, leaves or debris in the water. The water may be colored but is should be CLEAR.
Add this water to your washing machines’ final rinse cycle

Glycerin and Rosewater Hand Cream

You will need:
4 tbsp Vegetable Glycerin
4 cups fresh Rose Petals
1 cup distilled or purified water
4 tbsp Corn Starch
Oil of Rose

First of all, you must make the water base for the cream. Put the 4 cups of Rose Petals and the 1 cup of water together in a ceramic or glass pot. Warm slowly over medium low heat. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes. Watch it carefully and make sure it does not boil.
After 30 minutes, strain out the fresh petals through a wire mesh or cheesecloth strainer. Make sure there is no debris, no petals, dirt or sand in the water. Strain it several times if need be.
Place the scented water back in the pot. Add in the Glycerin and Corn Starch. Place this pot over a double boiler and heat it slowly until it thickens.
Allow the mixture to cool. When it is cool to the touch, add in the Oil of Rose. Stir the mixture really well and then spoon it into jars or bottles. Keep for use as you need it.

Rose Petal Jam


You will need:
1 lb fresh Rose Petals
6-8 Rose Scented Geranium Leaves
3 cups Sugar
1 1/4 cups Water
3 tbsp Lemon Juice

Pick off the white bases from the Rose Petals. Discard any damaged or discolored Petals. Keep only the best!! Wash and dry these Petals and the Geranium Leaves carefully. Wash thoroughly with cool water and then pat dry. The easiest way to do this is to place them in a strainer and run water over them until it runs clear.
Place the Petals and Leaves into a glass or ceramic bowl. Stir in half the Sugar. Mix the Sugar into the Petals and Leaves really well and then cover the bowl. Leave for 2 days, stirring occasionally. After two days, discard the Geranium Leaves.
Put the remaining Sugar, Water and Lemon Juice into a cooking pan and heat over medium heat. Heat only until the Sugar dissolves. Do not boil. Stir in the Rose Petal mixture. As soon as the Sugar has completely dissolved, turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Boil rapidly for 20 minutes and stir occasionally until the Jam reaches setting point. The thickness of the jelly should be consistent and firm.
Spoon the warm Jam into glass jars and lock. Allow to cool in a dry, dark place. Don’t forget to label. After the first use, refrigerate.

These are some great recipes for easy projects that can make Roses more exciting and more enjoyable. Look for my next post on how to harvest, handle and dry Roses and also other posts still to come with more easy and fun craft projects!

Ready to dive in?  Want to do some more crafting and cooking with Roses? Check out my little ebook full of recipes and projects HERE