Around 11 million roses are expected to be brought into Australia in the days leading up to Valentine’ Day on February 14.
Aside from the cost to Aussie farmers who cannot compete, there is an environmental cost.
And then, of course, there is the personal cost.
Fresh rose prices range from around $30 for a single stem to $100 plus for a dozen.
Everlasting, Infinity and Forever roses can put you out of pocket hundreds of dollars.
What if I told you that you could create your own everlasting rose for under $15?
The tradition of giving roses for Valentine’s Day is a long one.
In fact, the oldest known evidence of a Valentine’s Day gift is a 15th century woodcut showing a knight receiving flowers from a maiden. It was customary for women to give men flowers during these times.
Today, the tradition of giving Valentine’s roses is a multimillion dollar business.
A THORNY PROBLEM
If you enjoy the fragrance of a rose, you must accept the thorns which it bears.Isaac Hayes
Most of the roses imported into this country for Valentine’s Day come from Kenya.
More than half of all tested cut flower shipments from overseas in 2017 had spiders and other insects in them, according to a report released by the Department of Agriculture and Water Services. More than 80 per cent of the flowers imported from Kenya had pest infestations.
The Department introduced new protocols in 2018 to reduce our biosecurity risk. They include extra pesticide spraying – another loss for our environment.
Fresh roses usually last about a week, a little longer if you take meticulous care and regularly change their water and cut their stems.
Everlasting roses are treated with a special solution and require little care. They last for between one and three years but cost hundreds of dollars to purchase.
This little DIY enchanted perfect rose will last forever, has little environmental impact and costs less than $15 to make.
THE ROSY TRUTH
Before I share the instructions with you I have an admission to make. I’m a bit lazy. I often come across a craft project I really want to do, but can’t be bothered to go to the shops and get supplies.
For that reason, I often look around to see what I have on hand that I can make work for the project.
I tried some leftover sheer red Christmas ribbon to make the little perfect rose but soon realised I didn’t have enough of it.
Then I decided to try red cellophane and I was thrilled with the result as the little lights shine through it so beautifully.
I didn’t have quite the right glass dome, except for one I had bought (for $8) for Christmas a few years ago. This little dome already had the lights attached – a bonus for me.
I had the artificial leaves and stalk but no florist tape to wind around the stem and light string. So I used sticky tape to attach the light string to the stem, then cut some more artificial leaves and glued them around the stem – hiding the sticky tape and light string.
I mention all this because what I was doing was creative thinking – working out ways to make what I had work for me. You can do this too, with any creative project.
Don’t be frightened to stray from the instructions to experiment with what you can produce. You may surprise yourself.
PERFECT ROSE FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
PERFECT ROSE MATERIALS
- Small glass dome – shop around. You can find them for as little as $8.
- LED battery string lights – again, shop around. You can buy them for around $3.
- Ribbon (glitter ribbon is particularly pretty), or cellophane or tissue paper.
- Stalk and leaves from an artificial flower – you can buy them in bunches at the cheap shops for about $3.
PERFECT ROSE METHOD
- Whatever you choose to use to make your rose, you should start with a long ribbon like shape.
- Fold one end of the material to make one of the shorter ends narrower than the rest. This is where you’ll start.
- Place the end of the string of lights that is furthest away from the battery on top of the material where you have made the fold.
- Then, simply roll the material and the lights until you get to the end.
- Secure the rose with glue.
- Glue the artificial leaves and stem to the base of the rose – this will help to secure it and hide any light string hanging out.
- Wind the remainder of the string around the stem and then glue into place.
- Glue the bottom of the stem to the base of the glass dome and your enchanted rose is done.
- You can create petal shapes or use more artificial leaves to hide the battery compartment if necessary.
If you enjoyed this project you may also like How to Make a Flower Pen – they are really easy and make great gifts.
Discover some fun and crazy Valentine’s Day facts here.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.