I am biased about flowers. Who isn’t? They are beautiful. When made with fabric, they can be used to transform simple looking garments and accesories to extraordinary ones of beauty. Once I started making them I learned something about myself. It is only boring things like cooking that I hate to do. I can make these handmade flowers all day.
How to start – some flower making tips
Some preliminary points I learned while making handmade fabric flowers
- The main things you will need to make the flowers are the fabric for flowers, sharp scissors, thin needle, matching thread, wire, green tape for covering stalk, gum, old scissors to cut wire, cotton for stuffing if needed, stamens to keep in the center of the flowers ( also called pips – you need to buy these)
- You can use fabric scraps of organdy, silk, artificial silk, voile, velvet, chiffon and even yarns to make these flowers
- The stems/stalks of flowers, which are made of wire can be covered with green tape with adhesive on it, bias strips of green silk, velvet or green organdy, white or colored embroidery cotton or silk
- Cut all the petals before you start assembling the flower
- If you are making flowers with stiff petals the fabric should be stiffened – you can stiffen the flower making fabric by dipping it in a solution of gum and water – press before completely dry.
1 Five petal flower
How to make the 5 petal fabric flower
Cut a fabric piece of 6 inches wide and 12.5 inches long
fold it by half
Measure 2.5 inches from one end of the ribbon so that you form 5 sections.Mark this on the folded fabric.
Make running stitches as in the picture above along these marks
Now gather the fabric by pulling the thread from both sides
You will get the five petal flower
Finish this flower with a button in the centre
2 Make Morning glory flowers
Morning glories are beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers in pink, purple-blue, magenta, or white. It is a wildflower you see growing everywhere. My morning glory flower does not look as glorious as the real one but now that you will know how to make it, maybe you can improve upon it.
Cut out organdy fabric 2 -3 inches wide by 5 inches long
Make whip stitches or use hemming foot to hem the edge with a contrasting thread or use the lighter to burn the edges of the fabric ( as I did) You just need a nice lip along the petal edge.
Join the short edges of this fabric with a french seam – you will get a tube like this
Check out the post on french seam if do not know how to make it
Make a loop with the wire.Insert some pips inside the loop as in the picture.
Keep wire with the pips in the middle of the fabric tube and then gather the middle of the tube and tie with thread. This will form the petal of your flower. Now gather the flower base the same way.
3. Make Gladiolus flower
To make gladiola flowers you need thin and crisp fabric – organdy and voile are ideal for this. You also need some stamens (pips) and ofcourse floral wire and green tape and matching thread for tying the petals together
Cut out 3 inch square fabric pieces. For a small flower you need 3 petals. Fold each of the petal as shown in the pictures below and when done tie at the base with a matching thread and keep aside.
For making bigger flowers you will need 6 petals
A description of how the fold of the gladiolus petal is done – Fold the fabric piece diagonally by the center, so that the opposite corners meet.Now bring the left and right corners to the bottom corner.Now do this same fold again, bringing the corner to the bottom corner. Twist the sides a little to the back and tie the petal at the base with matching thread
You can make gladioli spikes by arranging these flowers and a bud or more (bud is made with one single petal made the same way) along a long stiff wire. As you add the flowers you have made cover the central wire with gree tape. The buds come at the top, then three petal flowers and then six petal flowers. You can add leaves in between.
4 Make a simple folded flower
If you have some 3-inch squares left over from making gladiola you can make this flower. It is a simple construction.A forget me not flower can be made this way with blue petals
Fold the square diagonally and then gather the sides to the middle bottom corner. Tie at the base. Make four or five petals and add some pips in the middle or another petal made the same way in a different colour cloth. Tie everything together with wire in the middle to complete one flower.
5 Make Globe amaranth flower
The globe amaranth is the flower that never fades – something to do with the fact that it has no water in its petals, I think. I always thought that this flower is only in violet or magenta but looks like they are available in pink, white etc – and they are divine.
To make these flowers, you need wool yarn and an old scale along with some wire.
Just wrap the wool yarn on the scale (one end of the scale) some 40-45 times, more the fluffier your globe amaranthus.
Gently coax this fold out of the fold and twist wire on the inside.
Now cut the other end of the yarn circle. You should shape the flower to look the perfect circular shape of the flower.
Add a calyx at the base and wrap green tape over the wire. You may be tempted to shape the flower till nothing remains. Don’t.
6 Make bougainvillaea flowers
Bougainvillaea flowers are quite easy to make. You just need to make a lot of those, that is all. One bougainvillaea flower consists of 3 leaf-shaped petals. You should make these petals with thin voile/organdy fabric. One of them should preferably be slightly bigger than the other. Cut the pip by half and use gum to attach this to each of the petals as can be seen in the picture below.
Make a lot of these flowers and bring them together to form the beautiful bougainvillae bunch.
7 Make simple Cut flowers
This is my absolute favourite way to make flowers when in a hurry. You simply need to cut out some circles to make this flower. You need a lot of these circle if you want a fluffy flower. Chiffon, artificial silk, velvet, organza or knit and any other fabric you have as scarp can be used to make them. If you do not like the frayed look at the end of the petals, simply singe the edge with a cigarette lighter.
8 Make Hydrangea flowers
A hydrangea flower forms a big, rounded flower cluster – So you will need to make a lot of small flowers to make this stunning beauty – they are seen in all of my favourite colours – shades of pink, white and blue
Cut out 2-inch square fabric pieces – a lot of them.Fold them once by the center; then fold them again. Mark petal shape from the middle corner and then cut it out.
When you have all the petals you want make a loop with the fabric; fold the petal and pinch and stitch by the middle. Tie this to the loop. Contnue adding more flowers.
You will need to make a number of such clusters for forming the big hydrangea flower cluster
9 Make rolled roses
Roses are always a favourite – getting it for real or making it with paper, fabric or even recreating the rose with painting or doing rose embroidery. This rolled rose is made by folding a long fabric piece and then rolling it continuously round till you get the rose shape – easy peasy, right? You will need to make gathering stitches on the base of the fabric piece for the rose to stay in place. Stitch the rolls at the base and secure to your garment along with a leaf.
10 Make Bouvardia flowers
These simple flowers are quite a favourite for making flower arrangements – infact you can make the whole bouquets with a lot of these flowers.
To make them you need a fairly stiff fabric. I have taken an artificial fabric and dipped it in a solution of glue and water ( a spoon of glue in 1/4 cup water for 1/4 meter cloth); then ironed before it is completely dry. Now the artificial silk is stiff enough for this flower.
Cut out the fabric into 6 inches long 2-inch wide fabric pieces. One such piece makes a flower. Fold it a number of times and cut petal shapes, ensuring that the bottom part is joined together.
Keep pips and wire together; make gathering stitches on the base and tighten the gathering stitch to make it look like a fan. Wrap the fabric piece you have now over the wire until you get the flower made – coax the flower petals open. You can add glue to fix the last edge or Tie at the base and then wrap with green tape. If you want to add a corolla on the base of fabric – made with a rectangle shapre fabric and glue it in place. You can add a calyx at the base of each flower.