While waiting for the buds to cook you can start working on the stems. I found the stems that work best can be purchased at Walmart in bunches of 7, for under a dollar each.
Pull all of the roses off from the stems.
Pull the green backing off from the rose and then separate it into individual parts.
Discard the petals and center red piece. Reassemble the remaining green parts as shown.
Put the green piece back on the stem, but force it down so that roughly 1" of the stem protrudes.
I like to tape the stems together at this point, but this is optional.
Put the stems in your vase and fill with gravel or marbles to hold them in place.