Roses are a popular way to say "I love you" on Valentine's Day. Sometimes a bouquet of roses just isn't enough - craft-oriented individuals may prefer to make long-lasting items out of the roses they've worked so hard to grow. In northern climates, most roses aren't blooming around February 14, so plan ahead to make the best use of your rose garden for Valentine craft projects.
Decorate for the holiday by making a wreath out of rosebuds. Select roses with unique colors and buds, such as the Hot Cocoa floribunda, which has an orange-brown pointed bud, or the multi-hued Love and Peace hybrid tea rose. Harvest roses when they're just about to bloom and hang them upside down to dry in a low-light, humidity-free environment. Allow the roses to dry out, preserving the buds. Cut the roses so 1 inch of stem remains. Use a commercially available woven branch wreath as the base. Tuck the dried rosebuds into the wreath at varying intervals, or bunch the dried rosebuds in a cluster at the top or bottom. Embellish your wreath by gluing on ribbons, strands of beads or bunches of dried petals from roses that bloomed before you got the chance to dry the buds.
Dried Rose Sachets
Sachets are small pouches of fragrant herbs and plants to tuck into drawers or closets to leave your clothing naturally and pleasantly scented. Choose roses that are fragrant, repeat bloomers to get the most petals over a season, such as the Lady Elsie Mae shrub rose or the Honey Perfume floribunda. Dry as many rose petals as you can, taking care to avoid picking petals that are damaged by mold or mildew. Choose another scent that you find pleasing--lavender is gentle and feminine, while thyme is earthy and masculine. Mix 1/8 cup of the dried herb of your choice with 1/8 cup of roses. Add 1/8 cup of cedar chips to repel moths from the area where the sachet will sit. Sift the mixture, ensuring an even distribution of dried rose petals, herbs and cedar chips. Place the mixture into draw-string bags or small decorative paper envelopes and present as a Valentine's Day gift.
Rose Bead Necklaces
Rose bead necklaces are a romantic and meaningful gift for your partner--instead of a bouquet of roses that will wilt in a week, rose bead necklaces retain their scent for generations when properly cared for. This craft works best when you are growing a number of highly fragrant roses, such as the Memorial Day hybrid tea rose, one bloom of which the All-American Rose Selection (AARS) award website claims can fill an entire room with its scent. You can also use a fragrant rose that blooms multiple times in the season, such as the Fourth of July climber rose. Remove the petals of the rose.
Mix the roses with water--use 1/4 cup water to every 2 qt. of petals. Put the mixture into a blender and mix until the rose petals are finely chopped. Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly. Continue cooking the rose and water mixture until the consistency resembles clay. Let the mixture cool and shape the mixture into small spheres. Gather a number of spheres and create a center hole in each by stringing them onto a bamboo skewer, allowing about 1/2 inch between the beads. Let the beads dry on parchment paper to prevent sticking, or plant the skewer into potting soil. Polish the dried beads with a soft cloth until a shine can be seen. String the beads onto cord, chain or string and store the finished necklace in an airtight sealed container when not in use to prevent damage or mold.