Valentine’s day has come and gone, and if you’re one of the millions of people who received roses as a gift for this holiday, chances are that your flowers will keep smelling and looking gorgeous for another few days. The good news is that those roses don’t need to end up in the compost heap just yet—there are a number of ways that you can reuse the petals so they’ll last far longer than your original bouquet. Read on to learn about some of the crafty ways you can reuse those blooms.
This beautiful, lightly scented water can be used in a number of different ways: you can pour it into a spray bottle and use it as a refreshing, toning facial mist; you can add it to desserts or other dishes you’re cooking; you can use it as an ingredient in homemade cosmetics, or spray it onto bed linens before you sleep.
What you’ll need:
- A few cups of rose petals (fresh are best, wilted are fine, dried will yield stronger fragrance but weaker rejuvenating properties)
- Distilled water
Place the rose petals inside a large cooking pot, and add just enough distilled water to cover them. Simmer on low heat until the petals start to lose their color and release their fragrance, then strain the water, allow it to cool, and decant into bottles. Store this rosewater in a cool, dark place.
Candied Rose Petals
These delicate sugared petals have been used to decorate desserts for a couple of thousand years now, and they’re just as popular today as they were to the Romans.
What you’ll need:
- The dried petals of about 24 (or more) organic, unsprayed roses
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 1 cup ultra-fine sugar
If you’re going to use these to decorate cupcakes or other pretty desserts, make sure that you choose the most beautiful, well-formed, and colorful petals. Dry them completely, and then brush each petal with the beaten egg white (on both sides) and either dip them into the sugar, or sprinkle the sugar over them to cover completely.
Place the petals on a wire rack or mesh to dry for at least 6 hours.
Rose Petal Beads
Did you know that you can make beads out of rose petals? It’s a fairly involved process, but you can transform that gorgeous bouquet of yours into keepsake beads that can last a lifetime. We put together a handy how-to tutorial that you can follow, and you can then use the finished beads to make jewelry or ornaments, or just display in a beautiful bowl.
Rose Milk Bath
Luxurious and decadent, a milk bath (which can be made vegan with powdered soy milk instead of dairy) leaves skin soft and hydrated, and adding rose petals means that the bather will be scented sweetly for hours. Cleopatra was a huge fan of both roses and milk baths, so if you’re feeling the need to pamper yourself ancient Egyptian style, steep in these scented waters for a little while.
What you’ll need:
- 1 1/2 cups powdered milk (dairy or soy)
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt
- 1/2 cup dried rose petals
- Rose essential oil (NOT home fragrance: you’ll want to use Rose Otto or Rose Absolute essential oil for any edible or cosmetic purposes)
Mix the first three ingredients together in a large bowl, and then add 7-10 drops of essential oil. Combine thoroughly with a fork, and then add to your bath. This also makes a great gift if decanted into a decorative jar.
Rose Petal Ice Cream
Although people around the world have been eating roses for centuries, their heavily perfumed petals are an acquired taste. If you enjoyed the candied petals mentioned above, try this recipe for rose petal ice cream from Food.com. You can add in both the rosewater from the recipe listed above and some leftover candied petals, if you haven’t devoured all of them already.
Most likely the easiest craft listed here, sachets can be sewn from fabric scraps, or created from simple organza bags. To make the latter, simply remove the petals from your roses and dry them on a towel or screen until they’re no longer damp to the touch. Toss these in a bowl with a few drops of rose oil or perfume, and tuck them into a small organza drawstring bag. This can be tucked into a lingerie drawer or closet to scent clothes gently, or kept under a pillow to inspire sweet dreams.
*Important note: Standard roses are fine for making beads or sachets, but if you’re making edible or personal care products, it’s imperative that you only use organic roses that haven’t been exposed to harmful pesticides.
Images via Shutterstock