Glitter Roses: Unessential But, I Mean, What IS Essential About Valentine’s Day? (plus bonus centerpiece idea)

Let it be said right off that glittering is best performed in a place that you are okay with being a little sparkly for weeks afterward or, better yet, performed outside somewhere. (Also, you yourself – I don’t care how careful you are – will be covered in glitter for the next 24 hours.) But seeing as it’s February, this particular project* occurred in the kitchen, much to the delight of the cat, as well as in general to my husband, who didn’t have to buy me flowers this year.

Here’s what you need: roses**, glitter the same color as the roses, a tube of clear craft glue (with an applicator tip which, as far as I can tell, comes standard), a small spray bottle (3-4 oz.; the finer the mist the better), cupcake liners or other small containers and some newspaper. Remove the rubber bands and plastic wrap from the roses and place them loosely in a vase of water (watch those thorns!). Pour a matching shade of glitter into a cupcake liner and REPLACE CAP ON GLITTER (self-explanatory). Fill the spray bottle with water and squeeze 5-6 drops of glue into it; shake. Note: Martha recommends using a plastic spoon to administer the glitter to the flower, but I found it unnecessary.

For glitter roses, Martha presents two methods: 1.) the all-over glitter and 2.) the glitter trim. For the first, take a single rose and mist the entire flower with the glue water from approximately 8 inches away, so you don’t shock the delicate petals.  Then, holding the flower over an empty cupcake liner, pick up the liner with the glitter in it, press two sides of the liner so it forms kind of a pour spout and douse the flower in glitter, with the rose upright at first, then on its side, rotating until it’s fully covered. Shake off the excess into the empty liner, where some has no doubt already fallen, then return the rose to the vase (at which point your cat, who is by now intrigued to the point of anxiety, will rub his face all over the newly glittered rose and be covered in red glitter for days thereafter, which is actually sort of cute and festive).

The second method involves piping the edges of individual petals with glue, which is where the applicator tip comes in, then pouring glitter onto the top of the rose only and shaking off the excess. This is a cool effect but super time-consuming and possibly arthritis-inducing, even though I had bought the teensiest tube of glue I could find. This method also uses more glue, and so, for the aforementioned reason, I was afraid I would run out before glittering all 24 roses.

My vision was an arrangement with all-over glittered roses interspersed with glitter-trimmed roses completed in less than an hour, so I devised a third method, which involved simply dumping a pile of glitter onto the table, spraying either the entire flower or just the top with glue and then rolling and dabbing until it was covered to my liking.*** If you go with Method #3, I recommend a.) not dumping the glitter onto a surface that you care about, b.) not dumping it directly onto newspaper and c.) using a non-porous surface such as a plastic cutting board.

Turns out that glitter shows up better on darker-hued flowers and that, if you buy a bunch of oasis, feathers, fake pine cones, decorative birds and eucalyptus, you can make a pretty neat table arrangement with your newly glittered roses, just in time for Valentine’s Day brunch.

I found that some of the glitter fell off during the arranging process, so I dusted the entire thing again once assembled, albeit carefully. Feathers and spray glue do not mix, unless, again, you went to pre-school in the 70s. Also, there exists spray glitter, but it scared me. Martha’s way seemed more organic and water-based.

Turns out that Harrison is actually afraid of feathers, which provide a protective moat around the roses, of which he is very much unafraid

*Martha now averages at least one glitter craft per issue, which probably has something to do with her creating her own line of glitter. Which came first, the obsession with glitter or the line of glitter, is unknown.

**I bought a dozen red and a dozen yellow at Kroger, whereupon, at checkout,  the bagger exclaimed, “These roses have thorns!,” and I responded, “That means they’re real!” after which everyone looked confused and unsure of themselves, and I scurried away to Ben Franklin.

***This method is not unlike those glitter ‘n glue paintings that were once so popular in pre-school classrooms everywhere before they got iMacs and Wiis or whatever it is they do now.

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