Introduction: Fabulous Fabric Flowers
I adore the look of fabric flowers. They have a lovely vintage, sentimental feel, perfect for weddings and other special occasions. And when making them, there are wonderful opportunities to add trinkets, personality and meaning to these everlasting mementos.
These flowers can be applied to shoes, used as brooches/corsages/boutonnieres, or even as this gorgeous bridal bouquet. They’re easy to make, and will save you a bundle over fresh blooms.
Step 1: Materials and Supplies
Polyester/nylon fabric – satin, chiffon, organza, lace
Needle and thread
Compass or household items for making circles (like lids, jam jar rings)
Beads, cast-off earrings, stick-on stones, etc.
Fabric marking pens/chalk
Bouquet form (optional)
Shoe clips – if applying to shoes
Step 2: Choosing Fabric
I recommend at least 5 different types of synthetic fabric. The use of synthetic material is essential, as the process of making the flowers involves melting the edges. If you use natural fabrics (silk, cotton, rayon) the edges will burn rather than melt/fuse… not a good look. Choose lightweight satin, chiffon, lace, organza. I used a lovely pleated fabric as one element.
Also consider color and texture. If all the fabrics are one color or shade, the blooms may just appear as a ball of one single color. Contrast in hues and styles help highlight the main color and give depth to the overall appearance.
If using lace or tulle (netting) the edges do not need to be melted. These fabrics add a nice texture layer to the flowers.
For one bouquet, I began with ½ yard pieces of 7 different fabrics.
Step 3: Cutting Fabric Circles
Determine the exterior diameter desired for your flowers. My roses were 3-1/2″ across. Stack fabrics one atop the other, pin in place, and use the water-soluble pen to mark circles, starting with the exterior diameter. Cut. Then create circle stacks 1/2″ smaller until you have 4 or 5 different sizes.
Step 4: Perpare the Flower Elements
In preparation for the next step, you may want to have a glass of cold water or ice cubes handy. Ice cubes are just in case you inadvertently touch a melted edge before it has cooled. Protect your paws!
Carefully hold the edges of the fabric circles over the candle flame until the edges begin to melt and curl. Continue turning the circle until the entire edge is finished fusing.
Step 5: Assemble Flowers
When you have completed finishing the edges of all your circles, assemble. Stack the circles, gradually working toward smaller circles until satisfied with the result, then stitch together.
To secure and create dimension, turn the flower over, and pinch in half. Take a few stitches to hold pinch in place, and knot.
Turn flower right side up. Add a center to the bloom. This is where the crystals, buttons, pearl paint, glitter, or old earrings come in handy. Go crazy with the accoutrements!
For another choice for flower centers, embellish small felt circles with glitter glue or pearl paint.
Step 6: Construct Bouquet
When you have plenty of flowers, begin assembly on the bouquet form. I also added ribbon roses to my arrangement. My tutorial for ribbon roses is here.
To attach the flowers to the bouquet form, push a long straight pin through the center of the flower. Dip the pin in glue, then push into the Styrofoam of the bouquet form. Repeat until the form is completely covered. Once the larger flowers are in place, use tufts of fabric, ribbon roses, or other elements to fill in any gaps between flowers.
Step 7: Create Shoe Clips
Shoe clip hardware allows you to wear your flowers on different shoes, or remove them when you want to go back to unadorned shoes. Attach flower to purchased shoe clip hardware. Since shoes take quite a beating, I recommend sewing the flowers to shoe clips, rather than using glue, for maximum security.
Step 8: Final Tips and Thoughts
I spoke of opportunities for adding trinkets. Imagine using Grandma's rhinestone earring as a flower center, or a sparkly blue button for "something blue." Or, using some fabric from a sister's wedding gown in one of the flowers! Incorporating sentimental treasures into a bridal bouquet makes it truly one-of-a-kind.
I hope you enjoy the tutorial, and if you're so inclined, give it a vote in the Weddings contest.
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