The last but not the least thing I wanted to talk about is the KNOWLEDGE.
Did you know you could make your own flower stamens to be used in fabric and leather flowers in case you do not have access to factory made or for some reason they are not suitable for your project?
Often tiny stamens for small and blooms can be difficult to obtain. That’s why today I am showing how to make very small stamens similar to those most roses have. You can also use them for cherry blossom, apple blossom and other small flowers.
What you’ll require is some PVA glue (or other stiffener), thick cotton
thread and some acrylic paint in brown , yellow or other suitable colour.
First, the thread needs to be stiffened. That will give it some body and let the stamens hold the shape in a flower once assembled. You can starch it or use your preferred stiffener. I simply cover a length of thread with PVA. To do that apply a blob of glue on your index finger and run the thread between the index finger and thumb to coat with glue as shown.
To make sure the stiffened thread dries straight I like using a weight and hang it to dry (I am using a large wooden star as a weight in the photo). Because you will need to make a considerable amount of small stamens for each flower, try hanging several long threads at a time and leave them to dry.
Once the threads are dry and stiff (if you use PVA it dries rather quickly), cut them
up into individual stamens. The standard length of a double sided stamen strand is around 5 cm, but you can always adjust the length to suit your project and make them either shorter or longer.
Now squeeze out some acrylic paint onto a piece of card, fold a piece of thread in half and dip the tips into the paint. To get enough paint onto the tips try dipping a couple of times. The thicker the thread the more paint will stick to it and stay on the tips.
I am using a very thin thread here so the drops of paint on the tips are quite small after one dip. For more impact please use a thicker thread (and / or more paint).
Now the freshly made stamens need to dry. I am using an improvised rack created by placing a couple of thick wires across a box or a box lid (pictured). Simply hang the stamens in rows over the wires and leave them to dry completely. Make sure to space the stamens well apart to prevent them from sticking to each other when the paint is still wet. In a couple of hours you have got your handmade stamens ready to be used.
Now you know how to make flower stamens. However, this by no means is the only way of making flower stamens. We might be exploring other options in our forthcoming blog posts and tutorials.
Below you will find some tutorials that cover the use of different stamens in flower making.
Which thistle corsage do you prefer: s furry fantasy or a more realistic one? Some customers can’t decide and so they order both versions of our leather thistle corsage.
These pieces of leather thistle jewellery have been very popular lately so we decided to offer an in-person workshop on the leather and fur variation. Moreover, as a BONUS you will be given additional instructions on how to make and assemble a more realistic version with purple flowers.
What you’ll learn in this workshop:
❀ making the stiffening solution for leather flowers
❀ stiffening and shaping leaves by hand
❀ stiffening leather flat
❀ shaping parts of flowers with millinery tools
❀ assembling flowers in different sizes
❀ arranging foliage for the design
❀ assembling all the elements together into a wearable corsage
To order your leather thistle corsage in either variation please visit our online shop.
Whether you are relatively new to flower making or you have been creating blooms for a while you know that tools and supplies for making flowers can get rather pricey. In case if you ever wondered whether there is something you could spend less on without compromising the quality of a finished item, this article would be of interest to you.
Let’s talk about bare necessities for a flower making artist and find out where it makes sense to save some money, and where it is advisable to invest in the best possible tools or supplies for making flowers.
Pictured is the extended set of tools I use for making my flowers and flower pieces..
Then naturally you will need fabric (or leather) to make petals and leaves out of. This is a vast subject. But what ever you choose, be it natural silks that you stiffen yourself, some vintage re-purposed fabrics or professional factory made flower making materials go for the best quality you can.
Here are some of the benefits of our Subscription packages:
❀ 12 new and unique flower making tutorial designs
❀ Value for money
❀ Variety of flowers AND finishes
❀ NEW package options including both tutorials and DIY flower making kits (see below)
❀ Discounts on DIY flower making kits throughout the year
❀ Access to all the Bonus mini-tutorials automatically included in the packages
❀ Lowest price guaranteed when purchased at launch
❀ NEW dedicated Facebook group exclusively for the Subscription 2018 members
❀ NEW special offers for in-person workshops
❀ +1 more BONUS Flower Tutorial
The schedule for the 12 month Subscription 2018 Fabric and Leather Art Flower Package is the following:
❀ August – fabric rose
❀ September – leather orchid
❀ October – fabric passion flower
❀ November – leather grapes
❀ December – fabric water lily
❀ + 1 BONUS tutorial on Fabric Iris
All the tutorials are developed and prepared by Svetlana Faulkner, the creative mind behind PresentPerfect Creations. They come in the form of detailed step-by-step photo tutorials and include short video insertions to demonstrate the most tricky points for you, too.
Our Flower Artist’s Gift Guide for Christmas 2017 has landed!
Feast your eyes on PresentPerfect Creations Studio gift selection for flower artists. Treat yourself to a new tool, tutorial or supply and create something amazing today. Because you deserve a gift, too.
FREE DELIVERY coupon code inside. Hurry, the offer is time sensitive and valid only until 24 December 2017.
Happy gift hunting! ☺
To turn the pages of the gift guide, click on the arrow found next to the pages of the guide.
As you know making flowers is a lengthy process with a number of steps involved like cutting out parts, dyeing, shaping, assembling etc.
Although there is not a great deal we can do about speeding this lengthy process up, however there are a few shortcuts that allow us, makers, save a bit of time creating beautiful hand made flower masterpieces.
When it comes to dyeing, one thing you can and should do is to dye your petals in small piles (usually it is 2 or 4 depending on the thickness and stiffness of your chosen fabric). But what about foliage? Similarly, leaves can be dyed in piles, too if the fabric allows you.
Alternatively, you can use the method I am describing below, which is dyeing larger pieces of fabric to be cut up for leaves, calyxes, stems etc later on.
You will see that I also add a little purple colour to my fabric. This is done to tie the foliage with the petals of your flower and is often a very good idea to bring the whole flower piece together, but can be omitted.
I am dyeing a rectangular piece (about 20 cm by 30 cm) of factory stiffened rayon satin (see at the end of the post) which is known for its beautiful soft shine and is easy to dye. If you have not got any, feel free to use pure silk satin or dupioni silk, or other fabric that suits your project (like cotton velvet etc).
Here are a couple of points I'd like to draw your attention to before you watch the video:
Horse Hair Brushes
Flower shaping or otherwise known as millinery tools… We use millinery tools to shape fabric in order to create realistic or artistic petals and leaves which we then assemble into flower pieces. They are essential for the craft (and ART) and yet they cause more questions than any other aspect of flower making.
In our previous articles we have discussed how one could shape petals and leaves without the use of tools ( Shaping fabric flower petals without the use of tools ). Yes it is possible, but really rather limiting. Owning a set of tools gives you many more possibilities when it comes to flower making, in particular if you are interested in our yearly SUBSCRIPTION programme (learn more and register your interest for 2018 here). To make the most of the tutorial Subscription one must have a set of flower shaping tools.
Each tool has been designed for a particular purpose whether it scoring a line, creating a concave or curling up fabric. Some tools are interchangeable and differ only by the design, but are really meant to do the same job. I would say if you are thinking about making flowers seriously, it is good to have a starter or basic set which consists of a number of round tips of different diameters from about 3 mm to 30 mm, two knives to score lines, two chrysanthemum tools to create softer lines, a tube making attachment and a hook. Later you can add such tools as lily-of-the-valley attachment or forget-me-not tool, or 35mm and 40mm round tools as optional extras.
The main thing to understand is that the more tools you have the more options there are at your disposal to shape fabric. Start with a basic one and build up your set by adding other invaluable tips to it ad you go along. In love with flower making? Then do not hesitate, get the whole lot straightaway and start creating.
Flower shaping tool set is a highly specialised item that can not be picked up at your local craft shop and only sold by very few. The easiest way is of course to buy online and have the set shipped to where you live. Places to check out is ebay and Etsy. You can also pick up some antique flower making tools at your local antiques shop or again online. Another option is to buy a set of tools of your flower teacher.At the moment you can place an order for a flower shaping tool sets here. These are the exact same sets I have used myself for the last 6 years for making flowers, teaching and filming my tutorials.
I am pleased to offer the exact same full 22 piece set of flower shaping tools that I use for making all of my designs, film my tutorials and teach,
So if you are considering subscribing to our monthly flower making tutorials in 2018 make sure you have all the necessary tools to work with during the learning process.
If you have follower our recent tutorial releases you have probably noticed that with every new tutorial we try and offer you to buy flower making kits as well.
Now, you might prefer to source your own materials, if you know well what you are looking for. However, if you have not had much experience in flower making as we offer it, hunting down the right materials can be more complicated than it seems. That’s why when making your first silk or leather flowers you might want to try one of our flower making kits.
Although having a kit is just a part of success, you will get a very good understanding of what materials I use myself when I make my flower pieces as well as develop tutorials for you Friend. Next time when you source your own materials you will know exactly what you need. Say, leather for leather flowers has to be rather thin, soft and pliable, with as little sealant or coating as possible, to give the required result. If you make a leather poppy from our latest tutorial using a kit, you will get the feel of the suitable leather you want to source for your future projects.
Some flowers may require specialist fabrics because of their nature. One of such flowers is the Silk Dandelion Clock made with finest pure silk organza.
Luckily, the silk dandelion clock can be made without the use of flower shaping tools. All you need is one of our Silk Dandelion Clock kits, some silk dyes, good quality thick PVA glue and lots of patience to create this jaw dropping design.
Due to popular demand, we are now developing flower making kits for of our older tutorials, like this one on the Wild Leather Rose Corsage. That’s another great flower that can be made without the use of flower shaping/ millinery tools. All the parts of this open leather rose design are hand shaped, the petals being finished with a pair of tweezers. A limited quantity of the Wild Leather Rose Corsage kits is now available on our website.
Remember that our kits are flat packed and therefore can not contain any dyes, glue or tools.
If you have a question regarding any of these, please get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org to receive a recommendation or advice on what sort of dyes, tools or glue are the best to use and where to obtain them.
A lot of basic information of this kind can be found in my introductory ebooks on Silk and Leather flower making, designed specifically for beginners, as well as at the beginning of each tutorial.
Although ready made stamens come in a variety of colours and sizes is is often difficult to find ones in suitable colour for a project in question. That’s why I find it easier to colour white stamens myself. This way I make sure that the stamens match my flower in colour and size.
For dyeing stamens we’ll need:
– non porous surface (plastic or glass)
– some vodka (or even better spirit)
– Procion (acid) dyes in chosen colours
– a receptacle (a porcelain dish)
– a pair of tweezers
– a bunch of stamens
Vodka evaporates quicker than water which means the dye will dry before the stamen heads dissolve in the liquid. Water is not as good for this task and even with vodka one should act really quickly.
Pour a small quantity of vodka (10-15 ml) into the dish and dissolve some powder dye in it. I find intense colours work better, that’s why I put a generous amount of powder dye into the dish.
Using a brush dissolve the dye well in vodka. It will take a bit longer than dissolving the dye in water, so make sure all the dye grains are dissolved.
Now using a pair of tweezers ( and possibly disposable gloves) dip several stamens at a time into the prepared dye and dye them evenly. Do not try to put all of the stamens at once. This will only dissolve all the stamen heads and ruin the stamens.
Having dyed a small bunch of stamens put them onto a prepared non porous surface like glass or plastic and leave to dry. It is important that the stamens are separated (see the photo). Otherwise they will stick together as they are drying.
In this way, portion by porting a small bunch at a time dye all the stamens and lay them out to dry on the non porous surface. Please do not use paper as the wet stamens stick to it.
I hope this information was useful for you and you’ll be confident to dye white stamens for your project now.