Saturday, February 20, 2010

Fabric Flowers: fast easy and cheap! (My Unique Technique of the Week)

Hello Friends,

Happy Weekend! How are you? Is anyone out there?

Today I thought I'd show you how to make your own pretty fabric (or lace or ribbon) flowers, any size or color you want/need, for SO much less money than Prima and they'll be every bit as gorgeous. It's easy and fast. You can customize: add leaves (as I did with this particular one) or not. Add ribbon stems, or not. Add bead or pearl centers, or not.

Aside from using them on scrap pages and altered craft projects, you can add a pin backing to add them to your sweaters/clothing/jackets. Or add a hair pin backing and put them in your hair, or attach them to a head band, or bracelet.

(I don't know WHAT happened to this picture...some digi-glitch. Also, I took these pictures at night, so the lighting is awful; the flash creates shadows and overexposes everything. I apologize. Hopefully you can get the gist.)

You need only 3 things to make these flowers: Fabric Tac, felt (for backing), and fabric of choice.

I usually buy the fabrics from the remnant pile. (A lace is lovely too. I'll take some pictures of them tomorrow when I have better lighting.) I generally like a sheer, silky or satiny fabric, but sometimes I like a muslin or even a printed fabric. You can even use denim, velvet or linen... whatever you want. I have been known to cut up old clothes I no longer wear.

For the flower I made here, I used a sheer pink fabric that happens to have tiny sparkles on it (that don't really show up in my lousy photos).

First, Cut a Circle of Felt, the approximate size you wish your flower to be. (I usually use a white or cream color felt, especially when using light sheer fabric.) It doesn't have to be a perfect circle, it isn't going to show, and you can trim away any excess when you finish.

Then you are going to cut a couple of approx. 1" (ish) wide strips of your fabric.
Your strips don't have to be perfect or neat. (see photo below)

(After you play and make a couple you will find what you prefer. In general, the smaller flowers will use skinnier strips (1/2"-ish) and bigger flowers you may like a wider strip. Also, I usually use a thinner strip as my first piece (since it will be your center) and then the subsequent strips I usually cut a bit wider. But you don't have to. Really, the twist and wrap determines how big/tight your "petals" are. But more on that in a minute.)

Next you just tie a knot at one end of your first strip.

Then use your fabric tac and squirt a drop of glue to the center of your felt circle and press the knot of your fabric strip down on it.

(Your fingers are going to get a bit sticky, but it peels right off.)

Then simply squirt a bit more glue onto the felt, twist your fabric strip attach, twist, and attach going around your knot. You just keep twisting your fabric and glueing it down as you go around.
A smaller flower usually takes two-three strips (assuming about a foot and a half length strips), a big flower maybe 3-4 strips...again, depending on the length of strips you are using and the size of your flower.

When you are at the end of a strip in mid flower, just tuck it under and glue, and then tuck in a new strip and keep going. (no knot needed, just glue in a tucked end and start twisting and glueing.)

It goes very fast, and the glue dries very fast. I have made 4-5 big flowers in under 10 minutes. And they are ready to use when you're done...the glue dries fast.

*I usually like to twist tighter in the middle, and then make my twists looser as I get to the outer edges.
If there is any felt sticking out when you are done, just trim it away.

In this case, I used the same fabric tac glue and attached two CTMH felt leaves to the back.

That's all there is to it.
I hope you like it, and try it.


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