This old time craft is wonderful for sharing with your children as a craft day. Also a cheap school project. Herbal Beads are easy to make and make wonderful necklaces, bracelets, door hangers, xmas tree garland, book marks, wreaths for doll houses, or around candles
1If you're using fresh flowers (or fresh scented
geranium leaves),take petals and discard the hard parts. Use only the parts that are aromatic. Process the herbs until they are pureed or very finely chopped. The easiest way to do this is in
a food processor. If you are using dried herbs,
process them the same way or rub them through a sieve to make a powder.
Once you've pureed or finely chopped your plant
material, begin adding the all-purpose flour. The amount listed is approximate. You will need more flour if your puree is soupy or your chopped herbs
are very moist. You may need less if your plant
material is drier or if you use powdered herbs.
If you use powdered plant material or if your plants
are dry, you may need to add water. Start with 1 tablespoon and begin mixing the plant/flour mixture.
The dough should be about right when it looks like
The dough will definitely be too soft if you pull on it and it easily stretches like kneaded bread dough.
2When the dough seems right, begin to roll a
chunk into a long tube or snake and then chop off
bead-sized bits with a knife.
The dough remains workable for quite some time, but if it starts to feel very dry to the touch, it's starting to harden. If they start, try moistening the surface of the dough very lightly and working the moisture in quickly.
Once the beads are shaped, you can add essential oil
to them if you like. Adding the oil sooner usually results in poorer quality beads because the oil evaporates to quickly.
Once your beads are shaped, knot the end of the thread and string it through the bottom of the button. Use enough thread to string your beads with room between them for moving around as they dry. String the beads carefully, being sure they have their holes where you want them. The beads will shrink slightly as they dry.
Hang the beads in a warm, dry place with plenty of
circulation and away from lights. It should take about 3 or 4 days to dry fully. The size of your beads and the weather will make a difference. Be sure to slide the beads on the string every so often to keep them from sticking together or to the string..
When the beads are dry, store them in an airtight
container until you're ready to string them together. I've found dental floss works well for stringing the beads together.
Other Hints and Tips
Dried, scented geranium leaves held their scent
throughout the dough
drying process and required absolutely no essential