Grandma’s Rose Petal Beads

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Mom has, over time, handed down to me various trinkets, baubles, dried roses from my great-grandmothers wedding in 1899 and assorted family papers. One of my favorites has been the long strand of rose petal beads that my grandmother, her mother, made sometime between 1916 and 1926. The strand when around my neck hangs almost to my knees. In my minds eye I can see grandma in a flapper style dress with the beads wrapped once tightly around her neck and the second loop hanging low down the front with a knot tied in it.


The beads are black and I am not sure what color they may have been when she first made them. A small gold metal bead is inserted between each rose bead. The beads are rough surfaced from rolling between her fingers and the smell of roses is still strong even after 80 years.


I think about those beads when I see the roses growing in my garden and I imagine making my own set of beads some day. After searching the internet I found a lot of instructions for making the beads. I am not sure what my grandmother’s process was, without a food processor it was sure to be longer, and this would be a bit time consuming even with modern conveniences. This is another article that I found, with a similar process, plus more chemicals and really a nice photo of a finished necklace. They would be a nice gift for a new bride with roses from her wedding bouquet or decorations. 


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