Although I scrap a lot of boy pages, every once in a while I go searching for that little something to make a page a bit more fancy or feminine. Yes, I have a few flowers, but most are too casual, usually made of paper, and just don't have the softness that I am sometimes seeking. While I admire the gorgeous sets of Prima flowers that are found in stores and on websites, the price always deters me from the purchase!
But, recently, as I was straightening up my scrap stash and clearing out some old supplies, I came across a box of fabrics...tulle, organza, etc., and I remembered a little technique I'd learned a long time ago. When many of these synthetic fabrics encounter heat and flame, they sort of melt, their edges curling up and shrinking. Tulle is one such fabric and this property makes it perfectly suitable for creating sheer, layered flowers that resemble some of the more expensive Primas. Here is my technique for creating these beauties.
First, you will need to cut circles of tulle from either a piece of
tulle fabric or wide tulle ribbon. Remember these do not have to be perfectly
round. You will also want circles that are in various widths. I used my
favorite pair of fabric scissors, the ones that are kept hidden from the
rest of the family! Dull and sticky scrapbook scissors would probably
not be best.
Next you will gather up your circles and one by one, hold their edges to the flame. Actually, you will not want to touch the flame directly, as the heat from below will be sufficient to "melt" the edges. I began by holding the tulle pieces with my fingers but then found that using tweezers was much more sensible. Note that it only takes a swipe or two over the flame to curl an edge. Change the position of your tweezers and gradually singe all along the edges of the circles. Do be careful! Too close to the flame and the fabric can burn. Even further away, some of the edges can pick up a little sooty residue. In my opinion, it adds character. :)
After all your circles have that nice irregular curl, you can begin to layer them smallest on top, largest on bottom. Four layers looks nice for the size I created. If you are making a larger flower, you may want to cut and curl additional layers in many more widths. Here are four of my sets, ready for their centers:
Your flower can be finished in a variety of ways. If you find buttons and brads too casual, you could put a dollop of glitter glue in the centers and set them aside to dry. I had other ideas in mind for mine. Way back in the recesses of my iris cart, were these little baggies of seed beads. I tried several different combinations, and love the dark beads against the red, but it's really just a matter of preference.
Sewing the beads with needle and thread works for those with larger holes, and that's what I did with mine. It might be easier to glue down the smaller seed beads. Again, it's your choice. If you do use glue for your centers, remember to either glue or sew the layers together first.
Of course I had to try this technique again, with another color of tulle. Here's a recently completed project, where I used a single blue bloom to add the bit of femininity I desired.
[The idea for the flag banner on my page came from the Sweet Paul blog.]
If you try your hand at these do-it-yourself flowers, please share your creations with us. I would love to see all the various flowers that can be made with this technique. Please try it...it's really very easy! If you find other fabrics that work, please share that knowledge as well. Thanks!