Rainbow roses are undeniably divine and a great addition to any home.
The concept of the “rainbow rose” was first developed by Peter van der Werken, an owner of a Dutch flower company. To create rainbow roses back then, they had to inject special dyes into the stems directly into the rose bushes so that the petals form in bright, single colors. And often times, the dyes they used were very toxic. Today, special organic dyes, said to be made from plant extracts, are used to create these roses.
One amazing fact about these vibrant creations is that you can create these right at the comfort own home. Whether it is for decorating your own home or for giving it as a gift, these roses are surprisingly easy to do. In fact, there are several ways that you can make these colorful creations.
Check out the mini guide below and create the world’s most beautiful and hued bouquet of roses in the world.
I. The Authentic Rainbow Rose
1.) Pick the right rose.
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The first thing you need to remember when making rainbow roses is to choose the right color that you will use as a canvass. White roses are best fit for making these rainbow colored roses but you can also opt for lighter colored roses such as peach, pale yellow or light pink. It also best to choose a rose that is near its blooming stage or already in its blooming stage as this will make it easy for you to add the color later on.
2.) Trim the stem.
The next step is to cut the rose stem according to your desired height using either a sharp knife or a pair of sharp scissors. For the proper length, you need to base it on the height of the containers you will be using to dye the rose in or in the height of the vase you plan to store the rose afterwards.
The stem should be a little taller than the length of the final vase. Use a sharp blade to split the end of your rose into multiple sections. The cut should extend from the bottom of the rose up to about an inch away from the base of the petals. The number of sections on the stem will determine the number of colors your roses will have. Do not cut too much sections however, as this will weaken the stem.
3.) Add the colors.
The next step is to mix several colors of food coloring into cups of water. Mix in a few drops of different food coloring into each container. The containers you should be using must be narrow and sturdy so it will not split the stem. Carefully split the stem section into a different container making sure that every end is fully immersed.
Do this with caution as this can potentially break the stem. Make sure that the containers are tightly grouped together so it will not break the fragile structure of the stem.
4.) Let the roses sit for a few days.
You should notice some color change within the first 30 minutes, but for a vibrant rainbow rose, you will need to let the rose sit in its dye bath for a few days. Let the rose sit for a full week to achieve maximum results. The water will be absorbed through the stem of the rose as the dyed water travels throughout the parts of the rose and hydrate the petals.
If you find it difficult to look for roses in your local market, you can opt to go for carnations and daisies instead. Here is another process that you can do to make your rainbow roses.
Here is another simplified process where you can use to make rainbow roses using real ones. Choose which of these two you want to use.
How to Make Rainbow Colored Roses:
1.) Start with a white rose. It’s best if it is a rosebud because the effect relies on capillary action,transpiration, and diffusion in the flower, which takes some time.
2.) Trim the stem of the rose so that it is not extremely long. It takes more time for color to travel up a longer stem.
3.) Carefully split the base of the stem into three sections. Make the cuts lengthwise up the stem 1-3 inches. Why three sections? The cut stem is fragile and likely to break if you cut it into more parts.You can use color science to achieve the full rainbow using three colors — red, blue, yellow or yellow, cyan, magenta — depending what dyes you have available.
4.) Carefully bend the cut sections slightly away from each other. Now, one way to apply the dyes would be to bend the stems into three contains (e.g., shot glasses), each containing a single color of dye and a bit of water, but this is hard to accomplish without breaking the stems. An easier method is to use 3 small plastic baggies, 3 rubber bands, and one tall glass to hold the flower upright.
5.) Into each bag, add a small amount of water and several (10-20) drops of one color of dye. Ease a section of stem into the bag so that it is immersed in the dyed water, and secure the bag around the stem with a rubber band. Repeat the process with the other two bags and colors. Stand the flower in a glass. Check to make sure each stem section is immersed in the liquid, since the flower needs water to live.
6.) You may start to see color in the petals as quickly as half an hour, but expect to let the rose soak up dye overnight or possibly for a couple of days. The petals will be the three colors, plus the mixed colors, for petals receiving water from two parts of the stem at once. This way, you’ll get the whole rainbow.
Once the flower is colored, you can trim off the cut section of stem and keep it in fresh water or a homemade flower food solution.
- Flowers take up warm water more quickly than cold water.
- Keep the rose away from light and heat, since these can cause it to wilt and die too quickly.
- If you want to try injecting flowers with natural colors, here is a list of natural pigments you can use
Here is another simplified method.
1. Start off with a white rose with 8-9 inches stem.
2. Choose some water soluble colors. They should be much different from each other with high contrast value.
3. Collect cups/glasses filled with water for each color. Add color to the water and steer well. Add drops of color until the water becomes totally opaque.
4. Split the stem into several equal channels. Use a knife or sharp blade to cut lengthwise up to 6 inches.
5. Dip each channel in a different dye.
6. Wait for 24 hours and see the magic. The colors will move upwards through the xylem to the petals, and resultant rose will have all the colors in it.
7. Take the rose out and bind the split ends using adhesive tapes.
II. The Colorful Paper Roses
1.) Select a square of rainbow paper.
When you opt to make rainbow roses using paper, you initially have to find a paper with a rainbow print on the front and the back. Origami paper works best for projects like these as they are quite easy to work with. If you are feeling a bit crafty, you can use white paper where you can add the colors of the rainbow on each page.
2.) Make the outline of the rose.
Cut the shape of a circle by starting from the middle of one edge and slowly cutting it into a circle. Do not cut the edges off. Once you get close to the starting point of your circle, shift the cutting line in by about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm). Continue cutting around the inner perimeter of your spiral until you reach the center.
The thickness of the spiral should be about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) evenly. At the end of the spiral, which should fall out at the exact center, cut a tab with a slight notch to it. Snip off the outside square shape simply by cutting it off at the point where you began your spiral circle shape.
3.) Roll the paper to make the rose.
Roll the entire spiral up toward its center then along the top-side of the paper. Make sure that it is tight as possible. Initially, the final roll will look very tight and not very rose-like. Adjust the tightness of the spiral. By doing so it will slowly form the shape of the rose. Once you are done, secure the rose by adding a drop of hot glue on the tab and seal it. Once it is dry, the paper rose should be complete.
4.) Repeat the process to create more.