Rose Petal Ring

A few weeks back I made a ring from shavings off a mango branch, followed soon after by a ring made of cat hair.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, my son wanted to try making a ring from rose petals for his mom.  So we bought some roses and some super-glue and got to work.

Wrapping a ring core on a form

We wrapped blue painters tape around a AA cell  until we got it to the size of her finger.  Then we put a single layer of clear tape over that to keep the super-glue from sticking.  We cut a strip of black cardstock about 1/4″ wider than the finished width of the ring.  This is used for the first few windings as a core for the ring.   On the cat hair ring, we used construction paper and I think that worked better than the card stock.  The construction paper fused more solidly and was not quite as bulky. We added a few drops of super-glue , then wrapped a 1/4 turn.  Repeat. Repeat …   In the photo above you can see the first rose petal strip being added just to the end of the core, letting the last bit of core sit over the petal.

I made the mistake here of making the core too thick.  I was afraid the rose petals would not have much strength so I wanted a larger core.  As a result, the ring came out a little larger in thickness than we would have liked.

super glue stuck to finger

During this build, my son joined the very select club of craftsman who have super glued themselves to the tube.  I’m sure he will pass the torch on, as I did to him.  Thank goodness for nail polish remover (acetone).  On this project we both spent a lot of time soaking our fingers in acetone. Note to self: order more nitrile gloves

cutting strips of rose petal

We used a narrow ruler and a utility knife to cut stips from the petals.


Making a rose petal ring

The petals were fairly fresh so I think they had a lot of moisture still  in them.  The moisture hitting the CA glue created some white blushing of the glue.  The white blushing seemed to actually change the color of the rose petals to more pinkish than red. I think if we had dried the petals in a book, they might have lead to less blushing, though the color may be just as muted due to it being dried.

You can see that the edges of the ring are pretty ragged.  That’s ok.  That’s why we made the ring wider than we wanted it to be.

create a rose petal ring

Here you can see the color that the rose petal takse on with super glue on the ring as compared to the red of the petal still on the cutting block.

sanding the edge of a rose petal ring

To clean up the edges of the ring, I rubbed it back and forth on a piece of 150 grit sandpaper that is glued to a piece of glass to keep it flat.

rose petal ring on a lathe

My mother had given my son this Cool Tool 4-in-1 Playmat lathe/sander/jigsaw/drill press a while back.  He used it to make a tapered mandrel.  Then we used the mandrel to hold the ring for shaping.  I started trying to shape the ring with a skew chisel.  That was a big mistake as the rose petals flaked off too easily.  This called for the more delicate  approach.

shaping a rose petal ring

Here is the ring ready for sanding.  I stated with 220 grit and used that to contour the ring and start to smooth it out.

ca glue finish on rose petal ring

After shaping it and smoothing the ring, I alternated between applying a thin layer of CA glue, and sanding it with 1500 grit sandpaper.

polishing rose petal ring

On the final round, I  sanded it up to 2000 grit, then applied a coat of [[[Johnson’s Paste Wax]] and buffed it off with some paper towel.

shiny rose petal ring

Some interesting things that I noticed:  Where there are bruises on the rose petal, they turn black when coming into contact with Super Glue.  I consider that a benefit rather than a mistake as it leads to great color variations.  The little white flecks scattered through the ring, I think, are caused by super glue setting too fast on contact with the moisture in the rose petal.  I wish those weren’t there.  They aren’t hideous, but I think they distract from the red and black.  It will be interesting to see if drying the petals beforehand would help solve that.

bent lamination rings of rose petal and cat hair

Here are our three rings together.  Rose petal ring (left), Mango wood ring (center), cat hair ring (right).  Somehow the camera and I failed to capture the luster and depth of color on the rings.

The inside cores and the outside were sealed with CA glue and should be fairly impervious to soapy water, alcohol and hand cream.  The only threats come from nail polish remover / acetone and sunscreen.

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