7/12/09

How to Make Fabric Flowers (Tutorial Part II)

Making jellied fabric flowers (from the jellied fabric, described below) is quite an easy technique: two or three times of practice are enough to become familiar with all its nuances.

So, first of all, you need a model, according to which you will cut the shape of the future flower. I have lots of them, the majority being made by myself. You can make either a flower similar to the real one (like a rose, or a daisy), or you can just imagine something special, some fantastic flower. First, a model is drawn on the hard paper and cut out.
Here are some of my paper models.



Then put a paper model on the fabric and just outline it with a pen or a pencil. To get a fabric model of the future flower just cut out what you’ve drawn around. Fluffy flowers with multiple petals need several models of different diameters, like this rose.





To proceed you will need a special tool for curving the petals and conglobating them. In fact, this is a common soldering iron. The only note is that a soldering iron should have removable nozzle, because instead of a common nozzle you will need specific nozzles for making flowers. The nozzle looks like an ordinary soldering nozzle but with the round bulb at the end of it. In fact, this is the trickiest part about instruments for making fabric flowers. It is most likely that you will have to find a metal turner, who will be able to make a set of nozzles for you. I had my set made from a piece of copper (it should be copper because this material worms well); and there are several nozzles with bulbs of different diameters (6 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 15mm) in my set. In fact, the exact sizes are not crucial – you will just need several sizes to work with smaller and bigger flowers. OK, here are the pics of the nozzles I mean, as it is hard for me to describe them properly (I’m not a technician, you know). One more thing - you will also need a small cushion stuffed either with foam rubber or even salt to make your flowers on.



Warm the soldering iron with the inserted necessary nozzle for about 1,5 minutes, avoiding its overheating not to burn the fabric. Then put the fabric model onto the cushion and press its every petal with an iron so that they could become curved to achieve the shape of the natural flower petals. The center of the flower may also be pressed.





Once all the petals are ready they can be gathered either by gluing one to another or sewn together while making the beaded center of the flower.



You can also make a flower on the stem. The latter is actually a piece of thin wire, braided with paper stripes and with a bead (or several beads) on one end. The stamens are made of even thinner wire with beads fixed on their ends. Make a hook on the stem end and fix the stamens.






To put the petals on the stem, make tiny holes in their centers and gather them together (it is better to fix them with glue) on the stem near the bead, which will serve as a center of a flower. The stem may then be painted green or with the color matching flower petals (sometimes the latter variant is better). I usually use gouache paint for this reason. However, when the whole project is ready, I cover all the stems with transparent nail polish to prevent gouache from losing color.





To make flower leaves you will need a special “knife-shaped” nozzle (on the picture above), with which it is possible to make “veins” of the leaf for it to look more natural. When the leaves are ready, they should be glued to the similarly made stems (wires covered with paper).



At the end, when everything is done your flower may look like this one, or maybe much better. Additional decoration with beads makes the bouquet really special. Just use your imagination and full speed ahead to making fabric flowers!


5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tutorial! You directed me here from Craftster, and although I do not have the tools to make these (I never even knew some of this stuff existed!), I have really enjoyed reading it. Very beautiful and inventive!
    Thank you,
    Yell Stella, yellstella.etsy.com

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  2. Please tell me where can i buy a bulbe nozzle set?

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  3. I am not sure where a nozzle set is available. I have got mine from my husband, who made it at some turner workshop.

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  4. Thanks a lot it was a very good guide, now to make fabric flowers (tutorial is without a doubt easy with your tips. Thank you

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