Introduction: Creating Silk Flower Bouquets
You will need:
A yard length (or more) of Satin or silk-like material (I found that the cheaper Wal-Mart options of these types of fabric worked best) - You can also mix up multiple colors
Tealight Candles (with the real wax and wick)
Lighter or matches (something to light the candle with)
Fabric Scissors (I bought a package of these at Wal-Mart as well)
Three different sized circle cut outs
A fabric pen, pencil, marker or pen that will write or draw on the fabric of your choice
A plastic sheet to cover your work area
Hot Glue gun (and glue sticks for the glue gun)
Styrofoam ball (size of your choice)
Gardening wire or Jewelry wire (I preferred the jewelry wire because it was thicker, but the jewelry wire required pliers with the ability to cut)
Beading (on strings or wires) and or broach like pins of your choice
Large beads or buttons to make the middle of the flower
Step 1: Getting Your Materials Ready
Start by printing (on paper or cardstock) and cutting out your desired circle sizes you'd like. The maximum of different circle sizes you should have is 4. I found the best amount of different sized circles was three. I used an image that had a 4", a 3" and a 2" sized circle all on one page.
Step 2: Getting Your Materials Ready
Use the cutouts of the circles to trace out the different sizes onto your fabric. You can fold your fabric before tracing the circles and cut multiple layers of the fabric out at a time. Repeat cutting your different size circles until you have at least two of each size circle. (Hint: the circles don't have to be perfect circles, it won't make much of a difference in the final look of the flower.)
Step 3: Preparing the "petals" for the Flowers
After you have cut out your circles, cut slits up the circle about 1/4 of the length of the circle. You will need to cut 6-8 slits up the circle evenly spaced around the circle. Repeat this on all sized circles. (Hint: you can also stack same sized circles while cutting these slits to make it easier to make sure they are similar)
Step 4: Creating "Petals"
Now, you will want to light your tealight candle. You can set the tealight candle over a plate or something that is protecting your workplace so that you don't get wax or plastic on the surface you are working on. Take one of your largest circles and hold it so that about 1/3 of the fabric is extended from your hand. Doing this ensures that if the material gets too warm, you won't get burned. Hold the end of the fabric over the flame of the tealight candle until the edges start to curl to your liking. Continue to move the circle's cut edges over the flame to curve the fabric to a curved petal shape. Repeat until you have curled all your circle layers for the flower. Remember to have the flame melt all cut edges including the ones that go towards the center of the circle, this will give you a more realistic flower shape.
***Disclaimer - Some fabrics are more vulnerable to heat and may cause flames on the fabric, do not panic or throw the fabric, you can simply shake the fabric until the flame extinguishes or blow on the flame with a force that will put out the flame. Please use extreme caution during this step.***
Step 5: Creating the Flower
Now you should have "layers" of petals that have been curled. You will want to take one of your larger layers of petal and place a small amount of hot glue in the middle of it, then place another large petal layer on top of it. You can do anywhere from 4-10 layers of curled petals to make up the flower. The "sweet spot" for the fabric I was using was six layers. I put together the following: two large (4") petal layers, two medium (3") petal layers, and two small (2") petal layers. Repeat the gluing of layers until you have put all your desired layers together to create a flower. Once you have assembled the flower, you can add a bead or a button to make the inside middle of the flower look more finished.
Step 6: Attaching the Flowers
Now you'll want to bend your gardening or jewelry wire to a 90° angle so that a small portion of it lies on the bottom of the assembled flower. You'll want the wire 2-4 inches long with a slight bend about the same length as the width of your finger. Lay the wire with the longer end pointed away from the flower and use hot glue to attach the wire to the bottom of the assembled flower. Once the glue has hardened, you can attach the flower to the bouquet by sticking the wire into the styrofoam ball. Continue making flowers until the bouquet or flower display is full.
Step 7: Completing Your Bouquet
You can now customize your bouquet by adding items like broaches, beads or pins that you'd like to add. Here I added strands of beads, broaches, and pins to customize my bouquet to my liking. You could also add things like ribbons, cascading flowers, tulle and many other things to make your bouquet look precisely the way you've always imagined! You can display the bouquet as a ball of flowers, set it on top of a vase, or add some sticks or flower stems to create a handle for the bouquet. Here I used a wooden dowel about 8" long and attached it to the styrofoam base. I then wrapped decorated ribbon and bands of gems around it to decorate it more.