There is something incredibly awesome about being able to take a flat piece of fabric and turn it into something 3 dimensional, useful and beautiful. I don’t consider myself to be an expert seamstress, but I still love to create with fabric. I’m in no way the inventor of this simple satin flower, but I thought that I would share how I make them.
First of all, you will need some sort of a polyester satin-like fabric. You can find it everywhere. Since you don’t really need very much fabric for each flower, it helps to check the remnants section of your fabric store. I have even cut up items of clothing to make these. Check out your own fabric stash. Or, someone else’s fabric stash…with their permission, of course. Seriously you only need a tiny bit of fabric. How much depends on the flower size that you want.
I had a few different fabrics that were satiny that I quickly found they weren’t polyester. To see if a fabric is polyester, just place an edge of the fabric above (not into) a candle flame. Polyester will melt on the edge, which is just plain neat-o. This melted part will darken in color, which makes a pretty cool effect. The fabric will pucker and bend, making the previously flat fabric more flower petal-like.
To get started, cut out your fabric. If you are a perfectionist, you might have a problem with this, because it really doesn’t matter how you cut the fabric. I usually just roughly cut squares, but circles or cloud-like shapes will work. Play around with it…that’s half of the fun.
For each flower you will cut 4 or more shapes in descending size and a thin rectangle for the back so you can attach a hair clip. The more layers you add, the fuller the flower will be.
See how imperfect my cuts are? I will admit that the white fabric isn’t satin, it is more of a sheer fabric, but it must be polyester because it melts. It is fun to see what fabrics will work.
Next step, grab a candle. I prefer small-ish candles in jars. Think dollar store. I’m not going to lie… when I first started making these, I just used the flame on my gas stove. Works seriously fast. If you are worried about fumes, I haven’t really had a problem with this… maybe do it under the stove vent.
The process is simple. Run the entire edge of each piece of fabric above- not inside- of the flame. As you get going, you will notice that there is a hot spot and that is where you want to place the edge of your fabric.
The fabric will curl up as it melts, and that is great. I like to have the shiny side of the fabric facing me as I do this, but play around and see what works for you. The cool thing about the square edges is that they seem to disappear, get rounded, as they melt. I like to mess around a bit and even allow the heat to “cut” in a bit. Experiment with it… it is seriously fun.
Here are my same pieces, after melting the edges:
Now it is time to layer the pieces. Start with the largest one first, add a drop of hot glue to the center, then place the next smallest piece, and so on until you have used all of the pieces except for the thin rectangle that goes on back. For the center, you can get creative with buttons, gems, beads, whatever. As an alternative, just scrunch up a couple smaller melted pieces of fabric to form the center of your flower (see brown flower at the top of this post).
Of course you can be done right here and just hot glue the thing on a frame or pillow or whatever, but if you want your flower to be a hair clip or easily moveable, add a hair clip to the back. Michaels has them, but a beauty supply store (Sally’s) seems to have them cheaper and of higher quality.
To attach, clip the center of your melted thin rectangle piece, with the flat side of the clip facing down, then glue onto your flower like so:
Now flip it over, ooh and ahh over it, run to the mirror and put it in your hair and admire it…
…or grab the closest nearby child (with this excitement, it doesn’t matter if it is a girl or boy… well, I’m sure it matters to the boy). Doesn’t it look great?
What else can you do with these beautiful flowers?
My Scriptures bag that I take to church gets changed out regularly now:
Here’s how I packaged a pair that I made for a baby gift: I just printed up the words on cardstock and cut to size.
Classy, huh? Or you can make it the “bow” on your gift. Get your thinking cap on… I know that you will come up with a hundred ways to use these awesome flowers that you made. What was once a boring, flat piece of fabric is now an awesome accessory. How simple was that?
Stay tuned to see how I took this project and amped it up for home décor. You’re gonna love it!