Married to the Empire

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flowers for Her Hair (or Her Clothes)

I've started making flowers from fabric.  It's a slow process, as I do it all by hand, but it's easy enough.  I started with some red ones that I wore on Easter, but these pink ones I'm about to show you were for my niece Emily's 10th birthday. 

First, start by tracing circles onto the wrong side of a man-made fabric, like polyester.  (You want fake stuff, not cotton or other natural materials because later, the fabric gets melted.)  I like to use 4 different-sized circles for each flower, and as I was making 2 flowers, I traced 4 circles of each size.  That would be 2 circles of each size per flower. 

Cut out circles.

Next is the fun step of burning the edges.  All you want to do is lightly melt them, so don't hold them in the fire too long.  It's best to use some sort of fire from oil, like one of those butane lighters, but that hurts my hand after a while, so I used a candle.  The problem with candles is that they can leave a smoky tinge on your fabric if you're not super quick about it.  Fair warning. 

The circles curl up a bit.  That's a good thing.  It adds to the overall look once assembled.
The next step is to stack the circles to form the flowers.  As I said earlier, I use 2 circles of each size per flower, so that's 8 circles total.  Start with the biggest on the bottom, and stack them until the smallest circles are on top.  They do not need to be perfectly stacked.  In fact, they look nice when the circles are slightly off center from each other.  Then stitch the circles together.  (I like to make a little X in the center with matching thread.)

Once that's all stitched together, I then sew a bead onto the center. 

See?  It looks like a flower now!
Now, at this point, you could just choose to stitch or glue a barrette or pin to the back of the flower.  However, I like to leave my options open for the flowers to be used as barrettes and pins.  So, I cut a circle out of matching felt.  Then I cut a little rectangular piece of felt, which gets stitched onto the center of the felt circle.  Then, the entire felt circle is stitched onto the back of the flower. 

The reason for all that is because I want the option of slipping a hair clip into it or a pin.  An added bonus is that the felt adds a little something that helps the clip to stay in fine hair.  (Very important to fine-haired me!)  For gift-giving, I slip both a pin and a hair clip into the back so the recipient can decide for herself how she wants to wear her flowers.

All finished and placed in a box for giving as a gift. 

These turn out very pretty and impressive-looking for very little money.  I received so many compliments on the ones I made for Easter Sunday, and my niece really liked her pink ones.  Now I just need to make some pink ones for me


Kayla said...

These are super cute, AM! I may have to give them a try.

Thirsty said...

These are great, girl!

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