Introduction: Ribbon Roses

Some time ago I wanted to make some fabric roses as a fun small present, but the only instructions I could find were somewhat fuzzy on the details. This is obviously not rocket science, but I thought I just might as well share some tips! This is my first instructable, so let me know what you think...

Step 1: Tools and Materials

This is what you'll need:
  • piece of ribbon, about 30 cm
  • needle and thread
  • piece of steel/copper wire, about 20-25 cm
I used a fairly thick wire, because that's what I had lying around. The rose is not that heavy, but you do want the stem to have at least some thickness, so I wouldn't use too small a gauge.
  • Green florist's tape.
This is some kind of rubbery stretchy green tape, you can probably get it at any florist. You need about 30 cm per rose.

  • gluegun+glue
  • scissors
  • somewhere to work where you can spill glue

The only things I bought for the roses were the florist's tape and the ribbon. I can't remember exact prices, but I think it came out to about one or two euro per rose, so not that expensive.

Step 2: Sewing

Luckily this doesn't have to be very neat! Get a piece of thread about as long as the piece of ribbon. Just loop around the end a couple of times to make a start (see the pic), then stitch very close to the one side. If you're done, hold the thread at the end with one hand, and push the ribbon back with the other hand, so that it bunches up. I found out you have to bunch it up quite a bit to get nice roses, otherwise the fabric is just gonna wrap around flat instead of standing apart. If you think you've bunched it up the right amount, finish the same way as you started. Since the sown part will be glued to the wire anyway, this simple way to fix the beginning and the end is good enough.

Step 3: Burn Your Fingers (glueing)

First glue the fabric to the the wire: flatten the end of the fabric, put the wire a little bit from the end of the fabric, put some glue around the wire and then fold over the end of the fabric.
Next wrap the fabric around the wire, after making sure it's bunched up evenly everywhere. You're probably gonna need to do this a couple times before you have the right shape. If you've found that shape, hold your flower a little above the edge at the stem, and then spread some glue in between the layers of fabric. This is the part where you're probably gonna burn your fingers pushing the layers of fabric gently together. I've not really found an ideal method or tool to prevent this... If the glue is dry, you can trim the extra threads from either the fabric, the thread or the glue.
The ribbon I used was coming apart at the end a bit, like you can see in the picture. Because I was giving the roses just as a nice gesture and I didn't expect people to keep these forever, I was fine with this. I just made sure the ends were ok at the moment I gave the rose.

Step 4: The Stem

Next up is the stem. Since the part where the fabric is attached to the wire is showing the sloppy sewing, start there by putting the end of the florist's tape over it, then wrap. Try to stretch the tape while wrapping around the base of the flower and the stem.l At the end of the wire wrap a little extra, and stretch it so far that it breaks. The florist's tape will stay in place without you needing to glue it if you stretch it while wrapping! If you want to you can probably make some leafs as well, by just wrapping the end of a leaf-shape to the wire.
Bend the wire a bit to make it look more organic and presto! You have a nice fabric rose.

Step 5: Give the Rose to Someone Nice :)

There are tons of occasions where you could give these, I use them mostly instead of cards because I always thought it a bit weird to give a card to someone when you meet face to face :). Giving a handmade rose, or even a bouquet with different colors, is much nicer!