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Activity Ideas for Roses

what to do with rosesRoses can do more than just show off their prettiness. They can be used in many different ways. Here are some fun and creative things you can do with your roses after you’ve enjoyed their visual effect. 

Rose Potpourri

You can make rose potpourri using roses someone has sent you, or you can cut roses from your garden. If you are taking roses from your garden, opt to cut them when they are halfway open. This is when roses are their most fragrant.

Red roses are ideal for potpourri that will be displayed. They will turn a burgundy color when dried. White, pink, and other light-colored roses will turn yellow and brown when dried and they aren’t very visually attractive when used as potpourri. However, they can be used in sachets and other closed containers.

How to Make Rose Potpourri

1. Gently pull the petals free from the rose stem. 

2. Lay the petals on a flat surface, such as a cookie sheet. Let them dry. You will know they are dry when the petals are no longer leathery.

3. Add at least one fixative to one quart of dried petals. Viable fixatives include orris root or moss. Gently mix the fixative into the petals.

4. Add visually pleasing fixatives to the mixture. Possibilities include cinnamon sticks, dried orange blossoms, penny royal, lavender buds, or violet leaves.

5. Add a scent to the potpourri mixture. Good choices include aromatic flavors such as cinnamon, cloves, citrus, and vanilla. 

6. Once your fixatives and scent has been added, place the potpourri into a sealed container and shake gently. Containers can include a jar, sealable box, or plastic bin.

7. Let the potpourri set for 10 days, yet gently shake the container every day. This will allow the mixture to settle and the scents to blend. 

8. After the 10 days, your potpourri is ready to use. Place it in a glass container, sachet, or use it however you wish. 


Rosewater was used as perfume for thousands of years. Today’s bottled perfume market has unfortunately overshadowed the art of making rosewater, yet no perfume truly is as ideal and soft as rosewater. This recipe for making rosewater is something that you can make and hand down to your daughters and nieces.

How to Make Rosewater

1. Gather two to three quarts of fresh rose petals or roses. 

2. Place a very large pot onto your stove. Place a glass bowl in the center of the pot upside down. 

3. Put your roses into the large pot. Situate the roses so they surround the upside bowl.

4. Place another bowl right-side up on top of the upside down bowl.

5. Pour water into the large pot so that it covers the roses. The water should not go into the right-side up bowl.

6. Place the lid of your very large pot upside down on the pot. Bring the water in the pot to a rolling boil. Then, lower the temperature so the water remains at a slow, but steady, simmer.

7. Place three trays of ice cubes on top of the inverted pot lid. This creates a still. When the steam rises inside the pot and comes in contact with the cold pot lid, it will condense. The condensed water will fall and collect into the bowl.

8. Remove the pot lid every 10 minutes. Take out the rosewater that has gathered in the bowl and place it in a container. Continue doing this until you have at least a pint of rosewater. The process should not extend past 30 minutes or the smell will be diluted.

9. When the rosewater has cooled, place it in a container of choice.

Special Note: Rosewater can be used in other ways besides just as a perfume. You can dab some on a cotton ball to clean your face. It is a natural cleanser. You can also apply rosewater with a cotton ball to your eyes to reduce puffiness. To go all out, pour one cup of rosewater into your bathwater for a clean, fresh, all-over scent. To help with oily skin, add a tablespoon of rosewater to two tablespoons of tomato juice. Apply it to your face and let it sit for 15 minutes.

Rose Tea

A lot of people are not aware that roses are edible. If they have not been in contact with pesticides or other chemicals, you can eat them. And, if they are edible, they are also drinkable. This recipe for rose tea is great on its own, or served with cake and cookies. Add a couple of rose petals to each tea glass or freeze them in ice cubes for an extra-special visual affect.

How to Make Rose Tea

1. Rinse a bundle of rose petals under running water. Gently pat them dry and then place them in a saucepan. Add distilled water to the pan.

2. Bring the water to a boil. Then, lower the heat. Allow the water and roses to simmer until the rose petals have darkened. This generally takes 5 to 10 minutes.

3. Place a strainer over a teapot or pitcher. Pour the water into the strainer and fill up the pot with the rose tea.

4. If you like, add honey to taste.

Rose Picture Frame

A very inexpensive way to bring character and elegance to a plain picture frame is with rose petals. This project is very easy and can be done by children and adults alike.

How to Make a Rose Picture Frame

1. Gently pull the petals free from the rose stem. 

2. Lay the petals on a flat surface, such as a cookie sheet. Let them dry. You will know they are dry when the petals are no longer leathery.

3. Remove the glass and the backing from a picture frame.

4. Use a glue gun to glue the petals around the frame.

5. After the petals have dried to the frame, replace the glass and the back of the picture frame. You can use the frame yourself for a photo, or give it to a friend as a gift. 

Recommended Reading

For more information and inspiration for art and activity ideas, take a look at the following books:

The Big-Ass Book of Crafts
150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids
101 Kids Activities That Are the Bestest, Funnest Ever!

More in Hobbies & Leisure: Activity Ideas

Book Exchanges: Your Own Personal Library
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