Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Some of you probably have a bunch of roses which will start to wilt during the weekend. There are several ways to use roses which won’t make that bouquet look like a colossal waste of money. You can make utility items out of roses or preserve them forever.
1. Make your own potpourri
Lightly-scented potpourri can really freshen up your living spaces. Follow these steps to make your own potpourri from wilting roses:
- Remove the petals from the flowers and spread them out on a plate or tray lined with newspaper. Put these petals next to a window where they can get enough sun through the day. Leave them there for about three days.
- The edges of the petals will start getting crisp as they dry. Place the petals in a vacuum-sealed glass jar.
- Add half to one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and sprinkle a few drops of rose essential oil on the petals. You can use any other essential oil as well to add more fragrances to your potpourri.
- Seal the jar and shake gently. Place the jar in a dry spot next to a window for 24 hours at least. Keep shaking the jar to coat the petals well.
- Your potpourri is ready.
2. DIY home decor with painted roses
You can make beautiful dry decorations with roses to make them last for a long time. This process is slightly more complicated than making potpourri, but it’s still doable. You just have to be patient.
- Buy a can from spray paint of the desired colour. Use metallic colours to make sure your roses have a solid shine after they’re painted.
- Hang the roses upside down on a clothesline or a hanger. Bend the stem to make a hook or use clips to secure on the clothesline or hanger. Leave them there overnight.
- Shake the spray paint can, and spray a test rose from a distance of about 8-10 inches. Make sure you do this in a ventilated room. Wear an apron or an old t-shirt which you don’t mind throwing away, if necessary. Wear a mask if you have one.
- Spray the paint in short bursts and cover all sides of the rose. Hang the roses again and let them dry overnight. You can put a second coat once the first coat dries.
- Put the finished roses in a vase, or cut the stems and put them in a deep bowl as a centre piece.
3. Frame them, if you’re the romantic kind
This is one of the easiest ways to preserve your flowers and make a beautiful decor item. For this, you will need to buy a shadow box or a box photo frame. You can also use a box with a clear lid so that you can see the contents of the box.
- Let your roses dry out completely. To hasten the process, take them out of water and let them hang outside on a clothesline.
- Once the roses are dry, cut the stems short or get rid of them completely. This depends on the design you want to make with your roses.
- Put a lot of glue on the bottom of the roses and stick them on a cardboard. The cardboard should be cut out to match the dimensions of the box frame. Make sure you check the measurements before you start sticking the roses.
- Wait for the glue to dry before moving the cardboard. Once it’s dry and the roses are firmly glued on, place the cardboard inside the box and shut it.
- You can even stick some glitter or use any other small decoration to make your piece stand out more.
4. Make your own rose water
Rose water is a great toner and anti-inflammatory solution for Indian skin, as has been proven by generations of women using it to keep their skin balanced. If you have roses at home, you can make your own rose water and it won’t even take much time or effort. Here’s what you need to do:
- Bring distilled water to a boil in a saucepan.
- Separate the petals of one or two roses and add them to the water. The water level should be just enough to cover the roses.
- Bring the water off the heat and cover it. Leave it to cool. The water should change colour gradually.
- Take out the petals and put the rose water in a sealable jar in the refrigerator. Use as required.
5. Clean your windows with roses
It may not be the most romantic thing to make window cleaner out of Valentine’s Day roses. But it’s one of the best ways to use roses.
- Add rose petals and white vinegar in a jar. This jar should not have a metallic lid since vinegar corrodes metal. If you don’t have any other lids, use plastic to wrap the mouth of the jar and then place the lid on top of the plastic.
- Leave this jar in a cool, dark corner for 7-10 days. If you want the vinegar to be darker or more scented, add more petals and let it infuse for another week.
- Strain the vinegar into another jar and store it away from direct sunlight. This vinegar should be good to use for at least a year.
- To make the cleaner, mix two tablespoons of rose vinegar, two tablespoons of water, and a pinch of cornstarch in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle well to combine the ingredients. Spray on windows or other glass surfaces, and wipe them clean with a soft cloth.
- Do not use this cleaning mixture on metallic surfaces, granite, stone or marble.
Don’t throw away those roses. Put them to work.