Friday, February 12, 2010

Flowers on Friday

Introducing............. drumroll please ............... "Flowers on Friday" !

I love making my own embellishments, not sure if you've noticed that. I love actually 'creating' something, rather than just sticking down paper in pleasing arrangements. Don't get me wrong, I certainly enjoy that side of scrapbooking too and there's certainly a skill in being able to choose complimentary papers. I'm not sure I'm very good at that, which is perhaps why I think if I can take the focus away from the papers and onto some pretty handmade embellishment I will feel more relieved! But for me, there's nothing like creating something beautiful out of something a bit ordinary. And making flowers is one easy way of doing that. These days there are SoOOoooo many different techniques for making flowery embellishments that I thought I would start a compilation of tutorials running you through some of the ones I make.

So today we start off with a very simple flower that I used on my layout "heart flutter". It's a kind of frayed shabby fabric flower. For this you'll need some pretty fabric, you won't need very much. I used a scrap which measured about 12x5 inches and I made 5 flowers, and had almost half of it left over at the end. Obviously it depends on how big you want to make your flowers. Some pearls or beads to make the centres, and a needle and thread.

Tear your fabric into thin strips. You could cut it if you prefer more perfect lines, but I find it's also just easier to tear it.

Then cut your strips into pieces, approximately 2 inches long. You don't need to be too precise about this, because they'll get trimmed at the end. I generally use 12 pieces to make one flower, but you could use more or less depending on the look you're after.

Arrange 4 pieces in a star formation. Just lay them down, you could sew them together at this stage if you're keen. Do this 3 times.

Then pile them up on top of each other.

Now you can sew the whole lot together. I try and bunch them up a little by pinching the centre together and sewing through it a bit randomly. I don't mind if my flower isn't looking too perfect.

And sew on your pearl into the centre. What I used for this (here's a good tip) is an old pearl necklace I bought at an op-shop. I simply cut it up and slipped all the pearls off it. You obviously don't have to use pearls for this, any beads will do. Or use a button, or brad or pieces of paper.

Now, you can either leave it leave it like this, or you can start trimming the layers like I've done below. Make the layer closest to the centre the shortest, and work your way out. The reason I do this at the end rather than having different lengths of material at the start is because they'll always move around a bit when you're sewing them together. So I prefer to see which bits I need to trim at which lengths once it's all stable at the end. And don't forget to fray the cut edges again if you like that look.

So there you go. Make a few of them in different sizes and layer them up on your layout. This technique obviously has so many other applications. You can mix and match your fabric, make it with paper instead of fabric. Use other centres like I said above. Anything!

So what I plan to do, and the reason I've called it "Flowers on Friday" is because I hope to do a series of different flowers and present them to you on a Friday. Now I certainly can't promise you it will be every Friday, that will depend on time mainly because I won't run out of ideas for tutorials any time soon. Any feedback you've got would be much appreciated. Do you like this idea? How can I do it better? Is there anything in particular you would like to see? I'm sure there will be great improvements as I go along. Thanks for sticking with me!


  1. I also love to make my own embellishments and am always on the lookout for great ideas and this is one of them. Your flower is beautiful and I'm definitely going to give it a try today because I just purchased some nice cheese clothy fabric yesterday. I knew I wanted to make flowers with it but didn't quite know how I was going to go about it - now I do. TFS.


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