Intro: Wooden Valentines / Mothers Day Roses Made From a Branch
I Made these recently on my wood turning lathe and then carved these with my dremel. These were then painted and mounted onto canes.
The perfect gift for that special lady in your life that won't look sorry for itself in a few days time.
Apologies for the quality of the photos, these were all taken on my phone.
Step 1: Tools, Materials and Wood You Will Need.
To make these you will need the following
A Wood Turning Lathe (ideally one that can accomadate a 20" length and be able to have a 3" clearance from the spindle to the lathes bed (which is most lathes really)
Wood turning chisels. I think I used mostly the roughing gouge, spindle gouge (1/4") and a parting off tool.
Dremel Or Rotary Carver
A rasp bit for your Dremel, I used a tungsten carbide bit with a point.
Sanding bands and mandrels. I used mostly the 1/8" sanding bands as parts of these are quite tight for the 1/4" sanding mandrels.
Drill, either hand or powered with a wood drill bit to accommodate the wooden stem.
Paintbrushes, the finer the better.
You will also need
Paint. I used a colour tester as you don't need much. This was part of the Dulux range called Ruby Starlett (a rejected colour from my lounge)
A garden cane/s. I used the wooden ones which you can buy in the UK in packs of 30s
For this project I used a seasoned silver birch branch. This measured approximately 30" long and 2" wide. I then cut this length down into 2 lengths so they could fit onto my lathe. The branch should be as straight as possible and ideally seasoned for a few months, a year would be better.
You could possibly do this with a piece of klin dried timber, either 2x2 or 3x3 but I can't promise you will get the same results
Step 2: Turning Down the Branch.
Take your branch and cut it down to the rough length you will need. Each rose will measure approximately 5cm long and times this by the number you want, plus a bit extra so your spindle has something still to grip onto. I was asked to make 15 of these, so needed to make these out of a number of lengths of birch. But if you are just giving these as a present for that special person then you should be ok with just one length.
Once you have your branch cut to length you need and mounted securely into your lathe you then need to turn down the branch so it its perfectly round. I used a roughing gouge to do this. You are only aiming to make the branch a perfect cylinder at the moment and don't need to worry about the thickness yet.
Step 3: Shaping Your First Rose
Next you need to shape your roses. For this you are looking for a pear woman shape, basically.
But first divide your length of birch into sections using your pencil and then marking these more clearly with your parting off tool. You need a length of 5cm for each rose. But you could adjust the height and thickness to suit your piece of wood you have. Remember to leave a 1cm piece of branch between the spindle and the top of the last rose.
Once you have divided your branch we will then begin turning our first rose. Now take your dividers and turn the first section down to the thickness of 3cm. Now take a spindle gouge and begin to shape your first rose. As I said earlier we need to create a pear shaped woman. Start by turning the bottom part by taking the gouge and tapering the bottom section, roughly 1cm above the bottom dividing line.
Next make a groove roughly 3cm (with your spindle gouge) along the divide and make this groove roughly 20mm deep. Now begin to make the wood either side of this groove taper into the groove.
This is your first rose done.
Repeat the above along the rest of the branch until you have either made as many as you wanted or have run out of branch.
Step 4: Sanding and Parting Off
Once you are happy with your turned wood you should have something like the photo above. Your roses are in a row.
With a piece of sandpaper give the whole turning a sand all over to remove the rough marks in the wood and sand off the tops of the roses in particular.
Once you're happy with this you will then need to divide up the roses. Now if you were making one then you would use a parting off tool but if like me you were making quite a few of these then you will need to saw them off individually. Take the turning out of the lathe and lock it into a bench vice and then saw down each dividing line with a hand saw.
You should now have several pear shaped pieces like in the picture above.
Step 5: Drilling
Next you want to take you now separated buds and drill the hole to insert the stem into. I used a 5mm wood bit for this in my power drill, but I would recommend measuring your cane before you drill so you have a nice fitting hole.
I locked each bud, bottom facing upwards, into my bench vice again, marked the centre and then drilled 2cm into the bud.
Step 6: Carving the Detail
Next step is to take each rose and carve the tops and the sides to make it more rose like. I used a Dremel with a flexible shaft very good for this.
First we need to mark out what bits we want to remove. I used a pencil and drew two circles. I tried taking pictures of this but the lines were not as clear, so I drew out a diagram to demonstrate. Draw one about 5mm away from the edge of the top of the rose and the other just over 1cm in diameter in the centre. Next draw two lines down the sides of your rose, ideally opposite sides, so you should have two channels drawn.
Now take your dremel with its rasp attachment with it's point and make a small hole dead centre in the rose, roughly 5mm in depth and width. Now run the rasp along the parts of the diagram marked out in grey again to a depth of 5mm or so. Use your instinct for this part but be careful not to go too deeply or you will remove too much for the top and at the moment we are only looking for the depth in the top of the buds.
Now using your rasp, cut out the channels and connect up to the top channels you just cut out.
Step 7: Sanding
Now take your 1/8" sanding attachment and use this to smooth out the rough surface your rasp has made. Also use this to smooth out the edges of the channels on the sides of the buds, both in the depth and the sides of the petals. Use the sander also to add a bit more interest to the top petals, creating a slight wave between them so they no longer look straight and square.
You should then have something like this.
Step 8: Cutting and Mounting the Stem
Now the rose buds are more or less done. They now need mounting onto their stems. The canes I bought came in at 46cm long, I thought this was a bit too long and so cut them down to 12" in length.
At this point you decide what length you want to have your roses. You could make these into button holes if you wanted to.
But anyway to cut these I found a pair of hand garden pruners good for cutting these to length.
Once the stems are cut to your desired length put a big blob of PVA into the hole at each rose bottom and push your cane into place. Allow to dry for a couple of hours.
Step 9: Painting
Now the roses are mounted they are ready to paint. I used a left over paint test pot I had left over from redecorating my lounge to paint these a nice dark ready colour, but you may wish to paint them a different colour if you want to go against tradition. I would still suggest painting them with an emulsion or acrylic paint though.
Once dry your roses are now ready to be presented to that special persona in your life and admired for years to come.