Tuesday April 26, 2011

For this week’s Show & Tell Wednesday I thought I would shake things up a bit by doing a “How To” post with a little giveaway thrown in the mix.

{the giveaway is officially closed}
First:  the “How To” portion of the post~

How to make flirty flowers for your hair.

A few years ago I started seeing these lovely fabric flowers popping up all over the internet.  I was fascinated and determined to figure out how they were made.  My mom and I put our heads together and figured it out.  So, if you would like to make some for yourself here’s how it’s done…

I like to use a small torch to make my flowers.  I think the torch makes better petals, and it allows you to have better control of the heat.  If you don’t have one you can use a candle instead.  You also need large, medium, and small circle templets for tracing (different sized cups and plates will also work).

You need small amounts of polyester satin fabric in a variety of colors.  It needs to be polyester so that the fabric will melt.  Natural fabrics like linen, silk, or cotton, will just burn (burning is not good).

Start by tracing circles onto the wrong side of the fabric.  Begin with the largest circle and move down to the smallest size.  Keep in mind that the circles will get smaller once you have melted the edges.

Cut out the circles.

These circles will be the petals of your flower.  You can make them all the same color or you can create a variegated style flower by using different colored circles.  The more circles you cut, the fuller your flower will be.

Now for the fun part; burning the material.  Hold the edge of the circle up to the candle and carefully glide the edge along the flame.  As you do this the edge will begin to melt and curl up.  The more you melt the curlier and more ruffled you flower will be.  Don’t go too crazy though, or you will end up with a little puddle of goo… and that’s not the look we’re going for.

Learning to control and manipulate the heat is the key to making really pretty flowers.  It takes some practice and experimenting.  Every fabric melts and curls a little differently.  I’ve certainly incinerated my fair share of petals over the last few years.

Once you’ve sealed the edges of all your circles, stack them up largest to smallest.  You can re-stack the petals, twist and turn them until you are happy with the shape.

Next, thread a needle and stitch about a half a dozen stitches in the center of the flower.  You don’t have to be real neat and precise you just want to keep your petals together.  The stitching will be covered up later.

As you can see, you can use a variety of materials and layer them together to create different looks and styles.  I like to add netting, lace and tulle layers in between the satin petals.  It’s not necessary to seal the edges of the lace, netting and tulle… they won’t fray.   Now for the fun part: the finishing touches.

Sometimes I like to hot glue leaves to the back.

You can put lots of different things in the center of the flower.  Seed beads, pearls, antique buttons, small gems, vintage velvet flowers… the sky is the limit.  I like to use extra strength glue for gluing any nonporous items like bead or buttons.

Just put a dollop of glue in the center and pile up the pearls or beads.  Have fun with this step, use your imagination.  I just keep messing with mine until I like the way it looks.  Once it looks right I walk away… you gotta know when to walk away.

I like to finish the back by hot gluing a felt circle to the center.  It covers up the stitching and gives the hair clip or pin back a level place to stick to.

Last, I use a little bit of the extra strength glue and apply it to a metal hair clip (or pin back).  I hold the clip open with a pencil so that it doesn’t get glued shut.  Then I center the back of the flower onto the clip.  Let the glue dry completely before using (duh).

Here are some other variations of flowers you can make~

Alright, here’s the “Giveaway” portion of the post.

If you leave a friendly comment on this post, your name will be entered to win your choice of 4 flower clips, from the selection shown in the following pictures~

I will close the giveaway on Monday, May 2nd, and announce the winner Wednesday, May 4th.  Be sure to check back to on the 4th to see if you won!  Comments on my FaceBook page will also be entered into the drawing.  Don’t be shy, even if you are a first time visitor please feel free to say “hi”.

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you feel inspired today!
~ April

41 thoughts on “Tuesday April 26, 2011

  1. appalolly

    Oh, I would LOVE to win those flowers.  They are so pretty. I am quite impressed that you make them yourself.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge as well!

  2. Anonymous

    April your flowers are adorable! Emma is just getting enough hair to put fun things in… we’ve waited almost 2 whole years! Guess the Lord knows what mama will make beautiful bows and blooms and gave you Eliza with a full head of curls – and this mama a barely-there-hair girl :) Have a blessed day!

  3. nothing_to_say

    (I like that you specify this must be a “friendly comment” in order to be considered.)

    I do love your “how-to” posts, April. I always think, “Yes, someday I will do this!” But, of course, we both know that will probably not actually happen – so a giveaway makes the post even better!

  4. inanorchard

    @nothing_to_say - Yes exactly, unfriendly comments will not be rewarded with flirty flowers.  I do think you would be very good at making these flowers, but getting a PhD might be a better use of you time and skills (I guess).  

  5. lifeisadance

    I like your “friendly comment” stipulation. :)

    And I LOVE what you’ve done with these flowers!! Just absolutely beautiful! Last fall two friends and I had a booth at some local festivals, and I made over 200 of these flowers. :) Needless to say, I had a lot of burnt fingers! I love the endless variation that there is with these – fabrics, lace, embellishments… Love it!

  6. inanorchard

    @lifeisadance - How fun!!  I really want to see pictures of your creations!  Did you do a post about it?  They are fun because you can change the look so easily.  They can look formal, whimsical, shabby chic, playful, … it’s fun to experiment!

  7. onehappymomma

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again…you are so stinkin’ creative!!!  ”Stinkin’” is of course, a good thing.  I love these hair pretties so much and always see them for crazy expensive prices and think to myself, those could easily be made…not by me, but you, you the creative genius who puts her hands to scraps of material and creates beautiful things.  Please enter me into your drawing and pick my name as well because I can’t wait to be faced with the challenge of choosing just four.  : )

  8. Elizabethmarie_1

    Ok, so did I leave you a comment saying I am looking forward to your show and tell Wednesday AFTER you posted it!  I didn’t even see this….silly me!
    Anyway, I LOVE the flowers. They are so pretty!
    Happy Wednesday to you. =)

  9. going2tx

    what a great idea April!  you are so very talented and it has inspired me to expand my horizons, not always successfully but always entertainingly!  Have a good day!

  10. ma_an_pa

    Oh I love those flowers. I’ve been thinking about making some of these myself, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. These are adorable and I have 2 girls who would love them.

  11. the_schlabachs

    Oh, I love these flowers! You make it look so easy, maybe sometime I’ll get around to attempting them! I have four daughters who would LOVE to have flower clips! ;) ~Rosalyn

  12. skittler335

    These are SO gorgeous, I would love to try to make these some day. I’m not someone who has a lot of craft making items laying around though, but someday I think it would be a ton of fun! You are very talented in so many ways and this is just another one! I didn’t realize you had a business doing this (though I thought you perhaps might due to other posts) what is your Facebook/etsy page so I can check it out? Hope you have a wonderful weekend! To bad the giveaway is closed 4/30 now and not 5/2… Shoot I missed it. :(

  13. inanorchard

    @NightCometh - I used to have an Etsy shop but now I just do the occasional custom order for weddings, birthdays, baby showers etc…  I don’t have any inventory right now, sorry!  If there’s something you like I could do a custom order for you :)   Or who knows, you might just win.  Oh, btw I really enjoyed the Jane Eyre post you recommended!

  14. inanorchard

    Thank you all so much for your lovely comments!  The giveaway is now closed, any comments appearing after this one will not be entered into the drawing.  I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday so be sure to stop back by!

  15. redladybug18

    just got back in town and was reading your post….I absolutely love the flowers!  Never would have thought of “burning” them but it’s so cool!


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