Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Technique for Making Fabric Flower Embellishments

Happy Halloween
Bwa,ha,ha… Halloween has to be just about my favorite holiday. I mean, what is there not to love?
Great Colors: Black, Silver, Orange, Purple and Green…check
Witches, ghosts, and Edward Cullen…check
Pumpkin Spice Latte…check
Pumpkin anything with cream cheese…check

Yep, everything is D.I.V.I.N.E and fun, fun, fun….

Raise your hand if you can't believe it is Halloween already!  Ok... now raise your hand if you have any Christmas/Hanukkah shopping done (my hand is proudly waving and shouting "ME").  I NEVER plan ahead and get my shopping started this early, but something got me going this year. I can't promise that I won't be the last one in the mall or on pins and needles waiting for Fed Ex to arrive at the last minute on 12/24/11, but I am happy to say I have a few gifts purchased. It gets complicated in our house because we celebrate Hanukkah as well as Christmas and 2 of the 4 family members have December birthdays (before my dad died we had his birthday on the 26th to celebrate as well). December is ONE big, never-ending, happy, happy celebration at our house.  Time will start to fly by from now on.  So many Christmas projects to get done…so little time… Until then, here is a short tutorial I Posted on DIY Kinda Girl a few weeks ago. 
Fabric Flower with a Twist:  A Tutorial

Everyone is making fabric flowers these days.  If you don't make our own you can certainly purchase them from a jillion crafters of Etsy.  There are even products made specifically for fabric flower making…. heard of the Gluber?  If you haven't, let me enlighten you….a Gluber is a product by Cosmo Cricket that is a big glob of glue that becomes the base of a fabric flower.  Easy Peasy.  

You will need:
Fabric: I used Wool Felt, Satin, Organza
Tulle in a coordinating or contrasting color
Sewing needle and thread that matches your fabric
Beads or Swarovski Crystals
Fabri-Tac or other fabric glue
Flower Dies
Candle and match
 I started with a nice black felt- the thicker the felt the better the results…Wool Felt is best, silver organza, and orange satin.  
I cut the flower shapes using my Vagabond using Sizzix die's Flower Layers, Flower Layers #9, and Bats and Tim Holtz Alterations Tattered Florals.
I also used some Tulle. I purchased this roll at Michael's in the Wedding's section.  I prefer this rolled tulle because it is easier to deal with AND it stretched and ripped better….I'll explain that later.  
Fold the Tulle several times 
and free-hand cut circles slightly larger than the blossoms.
The felt won't unravel making it very easy to work with.  The satin and organza unravel A LOT making it more difficult to work with but it IS worth the effort.  To stop the satin and organza for unraveling I  burned the edges….carefully.  Sometimes the raveled look is desired but the orange satin I used was disintegrating and had to be melted. 
The trick is to seal the edges without charring or burning them.  This activity is for adults only and the slower and more careful the better…two things I'm not so good at.  Remember to use tweezers for smaller pieces.  You can see and feel when the edges are sealed; after I think I have it all sealed, I like to run my fingers around the petal to double check.  Hint* I've learned, the hard way, that it is possible to cut off a small charred piece- just remember to remelt the edges. 
To add texture to the piece I like to grab the petals along the edges and slowly melt the center of the petal in a haphazard fashion which gives it a rippled texture. 
I start layering with one of the big blossoms then add a layer of tulle.
 I continue layering the petals and the tulle, using smaller and smaller petals, ending with a small felt petal.  Once I like the arrangement, I sew it together using a sewing needle and matching thread.  Always place a knot at the end of the thread and sew from the bottom through all the layers toward the top.  I always go back and forth a few times  and knot off the thread on the bottom of the flower.  I then repeat the process of adding a knot to the end of the thread, start at the bottom of the flower and sew to the top.  Now I add the bead(s), one at a time, to the top of the flower.  Add a bead, sew all the way through to the bottom and go back up and out a little bit away from the previous bead.  Add a second bead and repeat going down…repeat again to add a 3rd bead.  Knot off the thread on the back.  If you add a Swarovski crystal it is important to use a very strong thread, I use Firewire brand, because the Swarovski will cut regular thread. You will also probably need a special bead needle to get through a Swarovski bead.
This is how it should look at this point. 
 Now because this is Halloween I wanted the tulle to look scary.  I grabbed the tulle and pulled and ripped it- gently.  If I got a big blob, I simply cut it and shape it until I was pleased with the look…. well as pleased as one can be with scary, witchy, tulle.
The finished flower.
A more obviously Halloween flower using the orange satin heated across the entire petal to add texture, alternating with the black felt and tulle.  I used one vintage button in the centre. 
A flower with more layers than the previous flowers, using petals from all 3 dies.
The felt bats I used on the flower below.
The final black and orange flower I made doesn't have any tulle, but I added a felt bat at the end, gluing it in place with Fabri-Tac.
A black felt and silver organza flower.  This organza melts perfectly and it is easy to add texture. Again I used petals from all 3 dies. 
Although it looks similar, this is not the same flower.  I love the black and silver pieces and they are not limited to Halloween. 
The Twist! 
The last step is what makes this flower a little different…a twist if you will. Instead of adding a pin back or adding the flower to a headband, I added a product Aleene's called Tack-It Over & Over.
The directions call for painting a thin layer using a brush but I just blobbed out a somewhat thick layer.  I've found the thin layer stop sticking after a time or two. 
I used the tip of the bottle to spread it around a little and let it dry overnight.  It turns clear and tacky to touch when it is dry.  The bottle recommends pressing it on to your skin once before attaching it to clothing to take  a little of the tack off. 
I love that the flowers can be stuck on anything I wear without worry of pin holes or snagging.  Even something like a pretty scarf can be embellished without fear of ruining it.  The flowers can be stuck over and over if you store them on glass.  If the flowers aren't as tacky after a few wearings, simply add another layer of glue.  Storing them on your mirror gives you an instant little decoration on your mirror.  I may make decorations for Christmas using Tack It Over & Over to decorate my mirrors. 
I made this adorable little flower using black felt and Martha Stewart's glitter glue and Glow in the Dark glitter.  I simply edged the felt with the glue and dipped it in the glitter.  I tried to take a picture of it glowing but it didn't work.  The 3 petals were made using Sizzix Flower Layers #9 and an orange bead. 



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