Memorial Jewelry – How To Make Rose Petal Beads with Polymer Clay

Your Questions Answered

1) Making keepsake memorial beads using flower petals from a loved one’s funeral.

2) Instructions on how to collect and dry the flowers and rose petals before mixing them into the Premo or Fimo polyclay for making keepsake jewelry beads.

Today’s questions were sent in by Sally White and Carolyn Bolek. Please note that some of the personal details were edited due to the sensitive nature of this topic.


Q-1: At a family members funeral we were given memorial bracelets made by the dried petals from the funeral spray. The beads were a brilliant red and all of the suggestions that I see on the net say the beads are brown or black. ~Sally White

A-1: Although I don’t know exactly what you have seen on the Internet in regards to making memorial beads, I think the ones you described as brown or black might have been rosary beads. They are often made with the paste of fresh rose petals.

The rose beads I make, and probably the ones you received, are made with flower petals encased in translucent polymer clay.

To make these memorial beads, start with dried flower petals that are broken or chopped into small pieces. Then, knead them thoroughly into a block of translucent polymer clay such as Fimo or Premo. Fimo’s translucent is a whiter clay and Premo’s is a slightly more yellowed clay. The choice of brands depends on your taste.

Click on the following link for a photo that shows flower petal beads made from both Premo and Fimo translucent poly clay: Making Jewelry with Polymer Clay Rose Beads

Once the flower petals have been worked into the clay, you can create your bead shapes or pendants as you would for any other jewelry making project.

As far as getting a deep rich red color, that can be done a couple of ways. First mix in the petals to see how the petals affect the clay. Some petals are strongly dyed and this may color the clay on it’s own.

If petals themselves don’t provide enough color, try adding either a few drops of alcohol ink or a pinch of a red colored clay such as Alizarin Crimson. Be careful not too add to much solid color clay or the petals will become hidden.

After baking… sand, buff and polish the beads. Then string them into memorial gifts of bracelets, necklaces, tie tacks or even rosaries.


Q-2: I really want to learn how to make memory jewelry out of dried flowers. I don’t know how many to keep or if there is a special technique to drying them. ~Carolyn Bolek

        A-2: As far as which flowers to save and how many, I would save a whole bowl full of petals. You actually won’t need that many but it’s always better to have more rather than less.

Choose flowers with thin papery petals like Roses, Hydrangeas, Freesia, Larkspur, Ferns, etc. Thick fleshy petals like Lilies or Begonias won’t dry very well.

Take the flowers apart petal by petal and lay them in a single layer on several sheets of paper towel. Cover with several more sheets of paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.

Check to see that the flowers are drying and not scorching. If they are doing well but are still damp, do it for one more minute.

Check and repeat until the petals feel dry. You may need to change some of the paper towels if they get too damp.

Make sure to dry several varieties and different colors of flowers because some flowers loose their color when baked into the beads.


To Sally and Carolyn plus anyone else that’s reading: If you have further questions about how to make polymer clay rose petal beads for memorial jewelry gifts, please use the comments section below.

Cindy Lietz SignaturePolymer Clay Tutor


 

 

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Comments

  1. Another good idea for this type of bead would be to make a bracelet with different flowers that have different meanings. That way it can also be a Message bracelet or other type of jewelry.

    For example:
    Yellow Rose: “I miss you”
    Red Tulips: “I love you”

  2. My husband just recently passed away.I saved some of the flowers just for the dried flower jewelry memories. I learned of this from a former boss. Lost my job and cant afford to have it done for me. So I’m interested in doing this myself. Money is extremely limited.I have no clues what soever how to do this.Would be ever so thankful if you could help me step be step. I’m sure you are very busy,but I truely would be thankful if you could help me anyway you could make time for. Diana

  3. I am so sorry you lost your husband Diana. It is a very special thing you have done, saving the flowers. There are several posts in this blog that will give you some tips and direction on how to make flower petal beads. If you click on the link by my name you will find an article where I compiled some links that may be helpful for you.

    You can also type in ‘flower petal’ or ‘rose petal’ into the search box at the top of the page to possibly find more info.

    Hopefully this helps you out a bit. If you have any more questions, I’ll do what I can to help you out.

  4. Hi Cindy,
    Ok I am trying to experiment with the polymer clay for the first time and I burnt my first batch. I was practing on doing flower beads as a dear friend of mine asked to do a rosary using his mothers flowers. Well I thought instead of doing it the old way let me go buy some roses and some clay and try making them this way. Yeah that didn’t go to well. How long do beads cook? I cooked them for 30min but I am guessing this is too long…lol. Do you have any helpful hints? I am trying to make 4mm, 6mm and 8mm size beads.
    Thanks for all of your help,
    bridgett

  5. Brigett it’s not that you baked your beads too long (I actually bake mine for 1 hour) its that the temperature is getting too high. Click the link by my name to read more on baking. As well, type the work ‘baking’ in the search box at the top of the page to get a list of articles that will definitely help. If you have more questions, do ask!

  6. Cindy,

    Do you or anyone you know make the beads only from our dried flowers. I wanted to do 4 bracelets for family members and 5 key chains but on the commercial site that would be over $300. If I could just get the beads made, I could assemble the jewelry and keychains with findings from the craft store.

  7. You can learn how to make them yourself quite easily Linda. I have a tutorial video that will show you exactly how. That way you can make as many as you like at a very low cost.

    Click the link by my name for information on how to make rose petal beads. The video is in Vol 003 of the back issues in the polymer clay tutor video library. It is called Flower Petal Inclusion Technique.

  8. Is there anything you can do if the finish is chipping off the flower beads? A friend asked me to restring a bracelet someone had made and the flower beads are chipping, is there something you can reglaze them with? It is not bad, but needs to be repaired. Thanks so much, Diane

  9. It is a glossy red, and I think the bracelet was maybe dropped on a concrete surface. it just is a little lighter and rough. thanks

  10. Hi Linda,
    I have a recipe I use for my flower beads…I can send it to you if you forward me your email…are you looking to make straight flower beads or flowers mixed with clay?

  11. @Diane: Is the bead made of polymer clay or something else. Is the finish red or is it the bead? I can help better if I know a little more.

    @Bridget: That’s very nice of you to offer Linda a helping hand like that. But to keep those nasty “spambots” away, email information is kept private at blogs. Otherwise we would all end up with a lot of unwanted junk email (it’s a security and privacy thing). So please feel free to post your flower bead recipe as a comment below. I don’t mind at all. And I’m sure others besides Linda would appreciate your generosity too.

  12. I totally understand Cindy about the spambots…we definitly don’t want that…I will be more than happy to put the recipe I have on here. It took me a LONG time to find this as nobody wanted to share their recipe they had….me on the other hand…I have no problem sharing it as this recipe goes far back as the Roman days…the recipe I will post is using rose petals only and it is a timely process…the clay recipe with petals I use is the one you have posted. I will post the recipe later tonight as I have my hands full packing for our big move next week =)

  13. I think they are the clay, it is a deep red and it is lighter where it is chipped off. Can I send you a photo? I hope this is not to much trouble. Thanks!

  14. Hello – just wanna ask if do you have any tuts regarding traditional rose petal rosary beads that does not change the petal color.

  15. @Bridgett: Can’t wait to see your recipe!

    @Diane: Sure. Seeing a photo would help.

    @Mica: I do have a tutorial for adding flower petals to polymer clay to make beads. Click the link by my name for more info. If the roses are dried properly they most often keep their original color. Some colors, like some Yellows, can turn color in the heat however. SO experimenting is a must. You can always add a pinch of colored clay to the translucent to tint the beads if necessary.

  16. **PHOTOS ADDED: Some project pictures have just been added to a Spotlight Feature article showcasing Mollie Hubenak and her flower petal beads. Mollie is a supportive member of this supportive polymer clay community. Click on the “Keepsake Jewelry” link by my name above to have a look.

  17. I just saw my first flower bead bracelet tonight. The lady had it made from her brother’s funeral flowers. Her beads were very smooth and different colors. All the sites I’ve looked at since then just talk about rose petals and dark beads. How would the person who made these get the color of the flower? Thanks

  18. Sandy I bet the bracelet you saw was really pretty! There are several places on this blog that have already discussed this topic. I have added the link to one of them, right there beside my name. For more articles, type rose petal beads into the search box at the top of the page. Memorial beads, or keepsake beads will also bring up some great articles. So try them as well.

  19. My sister-in-law had a bracelet that had the aroma of roses. How do they get that into the clay. I would think the oil would not blend into the clay.

  20. When you say “polish” and “sand” the bead what do you mean? What tool do you use to “sand” or “polish” the bead?

    • @Julie L: What we mean by sanding and polishing is actually using wet\dry automotive sandpapers, to smooth and polish the beads. Then the bead is buffed using a soft cloth or a Dremel rotary tool to give it a rich sheen. There is tons of information about sanding and polishing on this site. Just use the search box at the top of the page to find lots of articles and tutorials on the subject.

  21. @Bridgett: I would also love your recipe for the dried flower beads posted here also… I have some dried pressed flower petals from my precious sister in laws funeral… from 2000,, can these also be used to make memorial beads to go into some sort of broach,,, also I would like any input from anyone here as to what would be a good idea to make the beads,,, I would like to make the beads close to flower petals as possible without any additives,, thank you for your time and kindness,, take care God bless you and your loved ones,, Cassie

    • @Cassie B: Hi Cassie, we actually recently came out with a new tutorial where I teach you how to make Rose Petal Beads using your own dried flowers. Click the link by my name for more info on that.

      As far as getting beads that are close to your original colors without any additives, that is not really possible with polymer clay. If someone is telling you there is, they either have a big secret or they are not telling the truth. Even beads that are made completely of flower petals, don’t stay their original color. My polymer clay recipes closely mimic the true colors of your rose petals, but they do contain some added colors as well.

  22. I would like to start making the polymer clay memorial beads, do you have a tutorial on how to do this? I have some of the clay, but do not know how long to process beads for curing, how to glaze them? etc. If you could email me so I can converse with you on these items it would be most appreciated.

  23. i am wanting to make the rose petal beads but wondering if they shrink during baking? if so how much. I am making out of my sons memorial flowers

  24. Vicki, I am so sorry to hear that you lost your son. Memorial beads are a loving way to save his memorial flowers and make them into something special for your family. As for your question, rose petal beads do not shrink if they are made with polymer clay. I do have a video tutorial on making rose petal beads that will help tremendously. Here is the link to more information:

    Making Rose Petal Beads

  25. Hi, my name is Cheryl and I am looking for the
    Recipe for turning rose petals into beads so
    That I can make memorial bracelets from the
    Roses from my moms casket spray, I was hoping
    That I could get you to email the instructions
    To me so that I can print them and have them
    At hand while I’m doing this project for myself
    And my 6 sisters.. We just buried my mom
    Yesterday and I want to give the bracletts
    To my sisters so we can always have a memorial
    Of our mother close to us..
    I really thank you from the bottom of my heart
    For sharing the information on how to make
    This amazing gift..
    God bless you!
    Cheryl Vizinat

    • Oh Cheryl I am very sorry for your loss. I know how hard it is to lose a parent. My husband Doug just lost his Dad a couple months ago and we miss him tremendously. Like I said to Viki above, the best think for you would be to get the Rose Petal Bead Tutorial. It will show you and your sisters exactly what you need to do to make your very special beads to remember your Mom by. Take care.

  26. When my dad died 2 years ago, his white funeral roses were dried and used to make remembrance bracelets for me and my sister-in-law. The rose petal beads on these bracelets were a beautiful white, almost pearly white with a glossy sheen. Now the white rose-petal beads have turned purple and dull, I think from a combination of body oils, lotions, and dye from clothing. The other day, I wore a black blouse that bled color, and now the purple discoloration on the rose beads is even darker! Please help me by telling me if there is a way to restore the natural whiteness of the beads without ruining them. I have searched the internet endlessly for cleaning tips, and all I can find is “do not get the beads wet”. I would greatly appreciate your help!! Thanks!!
    -Janine

    • Sorry Janine for taking so long to get to your question. It is kind of a difficult question since I don’t know whether your beads are made with polymer clay or if strictly from rose petals. If it is the later, then they will fall apart if you get them wet. If they are made with polymer however, you can definitely get them wet. It sounds to me like the finish is getting effected. If the beads are polymer, you could try removing the finish with rubbing alcohol. This would also most likely remove the dye from your shirt as well. Another option for polymer, is to soak them in bleach. Maybe you could test either of these options in an inconspicuous place and see if they work. If the risk is too high, you could just leave them alone and look at the discoloration as ‘antiquing’ or a ‘patina’ that happens over time and should be appreciated for its time worn beauty. (It is all in how you look at things any ways isn’t it?) Good luck!

  27. i tried making the beads they all turned out brown what did i do wrong? i only made 2 batches but different colors but they all look the same brown? please help some one told me to try baking them buried in corn starch? any help dont want to waste the flowers they are from my sons funeral

    • Hi Vicki, I am so sorry that you lost your son and that you are having trouble making beads with his flowers. In our last correspondence I suggested you buy the tutorial which would help you a great deal and would eliminate the problem of your beads turning out all brown. To avoid using up more of your precious flower petals, I again suggest you get the video. It would be far too difficult for me to teach you the whole process here in the comment section. I wish you luck with your memorial beads and peace in your time of grief. Take care, ~Cindy

      Here is the link to the tutorial if you lost it: Rose Petal Beads

  28. Hi Cindy,

    I am making beads with translucent sculpey mixed with a little color of sculpey and dried flower petals to make memorial beads. I bake them according to instructions in an oven I bought for baking polymer clay. When they cool I buff them lightly with a felt pad on a low powered dremmel. They look great, well for about three weeks that is and then they seem to pick up body oils and turn black all around where they come in contact with the skin. I researched different things about these for months before I started making them for people and didn’t see anything about this problem. I have people wanting me to make bracelets for them but don’t want to keep making them knowing they will have a dirty appearance after a short time. I was using sterling silver in between the beads and all sterling clasps, etc. I chose not to varnish as I had read and heard that no matter what you use after a while it will begin to peel and flake off. The beads will not come clean with soap and water and I’m not sure what could be wrong. Do you have any suggestions? I would GREATLY appreciate any information you may have. Thanks SOOO much.

    • Hi Tracy, I have given some thought to your problem with the flower beads turning black, and it may not have anything to do with the flower beads, but the Sterling Silver beads instead. Silver turns black quite easily, especially when it is exposed to certain chemicals and oils. Do you wear perfume or lotions that could be causing the silver to blacken and get onto your skin and then get on your beads? Have you tried wearing the flower beads alone, without any other accent beads? Polymer clay, even when it does have flowers in it, should not be getting any dark film on it. If it is washing off easily, it tells me that it is some outside contaminant causing the dirty beads, rather than something caused by the beads themselves. I would test the beads in different situations to see if you can figure out the root cause of the problem. Do write back and let me know what happens. Any updated follow up info you can provide, will be helpful for others who may also be experiencing similar issues.

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