This is the forth video in the series, for which I have chosen another popular tool that can probably be found in any set, traditional or more modern: a knife tool, the sharpest tool in the flower making set.
This is the third video in the series, for which I have chosen a very familiar flower shaping tool, or, in fact tools: ball tools.
If you have not had a chance to obtain a suitable pair of tweezers for your flower shaping jobs, you can order a pair on my website
I can not stress enough how important this technique is. So it is all worth it to spend some time grasping the idea and fine tuning your movement for a decent result.
If you have followed our recent tutorial releases you have probably noticed that with every new tutorial we try and offer you 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.
To back or not to back [ handmade flower petals and leaves with fabric ]? If you have not yet decided on this one, I hope this article will help you make up your mind.
So let’s see why, how and with what we back flower petals and leaves. If you have been following PresentPerfect Creations for a while and had a chance to see our tutorials you might have noticed that I always back foliage with a layer of fabric and quite often (depending on the project though) I do the same with flower petals.
On one hand, flower petals should look thin and delicate, but on the other hand since we make wearable flower pieces they need to be durable and robust enough to withstand wear, pressure and possible damage to some extent at least. Reinforcing handmade flower petals and leaves with another layer of fabric really helps achieve certain durability. Have a look at the camellia flowers above. Would you be able to guess that they are actually cardboard hard? They certainly do not look it and that’s the trick: whilst backing petals with another layer of fabric to give them a look of delicacy and fragility that we see in fresh flowers at the same time.
There are different ways of achieving this look and make your stiff durable flowers appear full of life. The techniques will vary from flower to flower but as a rule we use a flower iron and a pair of tweezers to shape parts. My SILK CAMELLIA JAPONICA CORSAGE video tutorial explains the process in detail.
If you happen to attend one of my workshops on an OVERSIZED ROSE HEADPIECE, you have experienced petal backing to full extent. Indeed this oversized rose is made of large satin petals that are all backed with a layer of thin silk. This job requires precision, speed, dexterity and neatness. The good news is, practice makes perfect. If you wish to join me for a workshop on this oversized silk rose please send your enquiry to email@example.com
Although not all flower petals get backed, a certain range of materials would benefit from being backed on every occasion. Amongst those are lace, velvet, denimetc.
LACE ORCHID HAIR CIRCLET video tutorial teaches you how to work with lace and turn it into delicate ethereal flowers that are also robust. White lace flowers are perfect for bridal pieces but if you take coloured lace or dye white lace yourself you can make evening wear floral pieces and much more.
Another video course on a DENIM ROSE BUD shows how to work with denim.
So, what fabric(s) to choose for backing?
The choice is more than you might think. For petals some thin fabrics like pongee or organza are used in most cases. But if your petals are made of heavier fabric (velvet, denim or similar), you can go for thin or thick satins, or decorative fabrics with metallic threads.
When backing leaves you can choose from an array of different fabrics ranging from very thin (think pongee, organza) to satins to decorative metallic fabrics to velvet should you wish. There is no hard and fast rule about which fabric to use. Depending on your main fabric try to choose a backing fabric that will complement your design and give it a beautiful finish.
I personally love the durability and definition of backed flower parts be it petals, leaves or butterfly wings, that is why I use this method on a regular basis in my works. To learn more about how you can create handmade flower petals and leaves by backing them with a layer of fabric please have a look at some of the photo tutorials by PresentPerfect Creations studio below:
A detailed BONUS photo tutorial on Leather Rose Brooch. Yes, you got it right, you can back leather petals and leaves with fabric too! And this bonus tutorial that comes as a freebie together with LEATHER ROSE BROOCH photo tutorial will teach you exactly how you can do that.
A step-by-step photo tutorial on how to create MILLINERY LEAVES that are just right for your project. Still looking for suitable leaves online and in shops? Look no further. A flower iron and this tutorial is everything you need to create any fabric leaves your project calls for.
A step-by-step photo tutorial on how to create our SIGNATURE SILK AND LACE BUTTERFLY ON A HEADBAND. As a bonus you will also get FREE tutorial on how to shape a velvet butterfly with a flower iron (details inside the main tutorial once you’ve got it)
Should you wish to try and use some decorative fabric with metallic threads in your work (think Christmas ☺) please check this beautiful semitransparent rayon fabric with golden metallic thread. It will look great at the back of leaves as well as petals. The fabric comes prestiffened and is ready to be used in flower making.
Velvet fabrics for making flowers
Velvet is a luxurious versatile fabric that is used a lot in flower making. Whether you choose to make certain parts of a flower from it or a whole piece, it is good to know which velvet to choose when and why.
As autumn draws nearer I want to talk about velvet for making flowers. Velvet flowers are great for autumn-winter season and make perfect trims for felt hats too.
Since velvet was introduced for the first time in the Middle East back in 9th century it has always been associated with luxury, nobility, royalty. And indeed it was so expensive in the past that only wealthy people could afford it.
So what is velvet?
Velvet is a kind of woven tufted fabric in which the cut threads are distributed in an even manner in a short dense pile thus giving a very soft and smooth feel. Traditionally velvet was made using silk. Nowadays velvet is made from cotton, linen, mohair and wool along with silk. Lately, synthetic velvets too are being produced.
First is colouring. Because of its heavy weight, thickness and pile velvet absorbs a lot of water when being dyed. When left to dry on paper it will also lose a lot of water together with the dye. To achieve a brighter colour with velvet I always recommend drying flower parts on non porous surfaces like glass or plastic.
In most cases velvet flower parts are backed with a thin layer of fabric.
Velvet can be backed with satin too.
The type of velvet I commonly use in my works is made of cotton and has a very short pile.
I have a limited quantity of fat quarters of this velvet as well as different velveteen fabrics currently available in my shop, so if you’d like to try it in your designs, make sure you get one now.
Just to let you know...
Our Introduction to Leather Flower Making ebook is out now and available for immediate download after purchase.
Learn the basics about working with leather to start making exquisite leather flowers of your own to match any project at hand.
You are well aware that I make flowers not only out of fabric but out of genuine leather too.
In November 2014 I took part in a millinery contest devoted to the First World War Centenary organised by HATalk Social. To express the theme of Remembrance I created a leather button hat with large bright red leather poppies (on the left). The judges were favourable enough to award me the second place out of 100+ contestants from all over the world. Needless to say I was thrilled! Not only have I won some hat blocks but also I have been asked to contribute to their ezine by offering a leather flower tutorial to the subscribers of HATalk monthly e-publication.
This months saw the release of the first part of my exclusive leather rose tutorial that is shown in the picture below.
If you have all the necessary equipment for fabric flower making but have never tried making leather flowers I think you should give it a go. Leather flowers require less manipulations but due to the nature of material look as equally (if not more!) impressive as the silk ones. Besides, they are a good robust trimming alternative for those colder months when thin transparent fabrics look a bit out of place.
If you have not yet invested into a set of tools but would really like to have a go at making flowers why not try leather blooms? The thing is, leather is such a luxurious and beautiful material to work with that often you do not need to do much before you turn it into a lovely flower. Hand shaping combined with the use of a pair of tweezers can create beautiful as well as pretty realistic flowers.
I have a schedule packed with more forthcoming leather flower tutorials, so if this topic is of interest to you do subscribe to my updates below and be the first to know about new tutorials. As my subscriber you will have a chance to purchase them with an attractive discount too!
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Packed with tips and hints this 20 page .pdf ebook will teach you how to create impressive fabric millinery leaves for you projects every time. I have included the patterns too.
Who is this tutorial for:
- accessory designers
- silk flower makers
- those, who know how to work with a flower iron and would like to improve their results.
I would NOT recommend this tutorial for:
- complete novices in silk flower making
- those, who DO NOT have a flower iron
The tools and the flower iron tips that are required for making the leaves are shown in the pictures below. Please have a look and if you are not sure you have all the tools you need please contact me via this blog before buying the tutorial to clarify any questions you might have.
|The flower iron tips I was using in the tutorial|
|The flower iron tips that can be used alternatively|
For some fresh news and insparation from the exciting world of handmade fabric flowers as well as tips, discounts and much more please subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t done this just yet. Should you wish to learn how to make silk flowers I am happy to share my know-how, knowledge and skills through individual and group hands on workshops in our studio in Stamford, Lincs. For the current schedule please visit our workshop page.
3. Once all the elements are coloured we leave them to dry on a dry sheet of paper. After they have dried they might need some ironing to make them flat and straight as elements cut out of satin especially tend to roll as they are drying. Just remember to switch off the steam on your iron as it will ruin the stiffeness of the fabric
and you will have to start again.
4. Here are all our petals and calyx lobes nicely cut out + 132 handmade pairs of little stamens all ready for the next stage.
5. We glue pieces of thin wire wrapped in crepe paper to each petal and to the calyx lobes
7. We apply a thin layer of PVA glue onto our leaf to then glue it to a piece of hand painted pongee (a very fine type of silk fabric)
8. Here is all our green elements doubled with pongee
9. And now the greenery has been dried, cut out and waiting to be shaped
10. But firstly we shape all our petals using 3 different tips
11. In this picture I am using a big boule
12. Then we move on to the leaf and shape the central veins
13. After that we draw smaller veins that will make the leaf look a bit more like a real one
14. Now this is a difficult step when we need to make a cone out of cotton wool and then cover it with our silk elements. This will form our seed box
15. Here is our flower with 4 petals attached to the seed box and stamens
16. That’s how the flower looks with 12 petals on
17. The flower has all the 16 petals and calyx lobes attached
18. After that we need to cover our stalk with pongee
19. Then we wrap the stalk in a piece of hand painted satin silk
20. Et voila! Our flower
… and the leaf are ready! ☺