If movies and commercials are to be believed, chocolate-covered strawberries are synonymous as with romance as big ol’ bouquets of roses. But the two have become full-blown Valentine’s Day clichés that have gotten a little dusty over the years. This year, get creative, save a few bucks, and flex your DIY muscles by preparing a handmade bouquet of strawberry roses. Yup, with a paring knife and a carton of berries, you can totally trick your S.O. into thinking you’re some kind of food sculptor-florist hybrid genius.

You might think learning how to make strawberry roses takes hard work, dedication, and serious skill—I promise, it’s much easier than you think. It might take a few tries to master the art of transforming fresh strawberries into roses, but practice makes perfect. Spare two to three strawberries for your initial attempts, but don’t let them go to waste. Eat them, of course, because you deserve to reward yourself for all your hard (a.k.a. very easy) work. 

The step-by-step photos below will teach you how to make a strawberry rose in five easy steps.

Stick your fresh blossoms on skewers for a bouquet, garnish the rim of your cocktail glass, or adorn this drop-dead gorgeous tart. You can even also  melted chocolate over top and add sprinkles or edible glitter to the mix.

STEP ONE

Grab a few medium to large berries. The smaller ones are harder to cut since there’s way less surface area. And make sure they’re firm. If the strawberries are too soft, they’ll won’t hold shape.

STEP TWO

Using a paring knife, cut a thin slice of the strawberry down toward the stem, about ¼- to ½-inch deep. Just don’t cut all the way through. Press your thumb against the strawberry and tilt the knife outwards, so the slice curves and bends like a petal. Rotate the strawberry and continue slicing until you have three to four “petals” on the base.

STEP THREE

Add another layer of “petals” just above the first, following the same process. Position the first incision between two petals from the first row. Rotate and repeat, peeling each petal back slightly. Remember, the closer you stay to the red skin of the strawberry, the easier it is to curve the petals outwards.

STEP FOUR

Now, complete the rose. If your berry is small, cut the center in half. If your berry is on the larger side, you have two choices: Quarter the tip of the strawberry by marking an X on the top, or follow the same process as before, forming three petals around the tip of the strawberry. There might be a white piece left in the middle, which you can cut out or leave in. 

STEP FIVE

Give your blossom a spin and make adjustments where needed. Use your fingers or the tip of your knife to open the petals again, and serve. If you’re saving them for later, add a simple, clear glaze to the berries, preferably with currant jam. The roses will look exactly like the super-shiny fruits you always see on top of cakes at the supermarket.