Why buy flower making kits?

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.

leather poppy kit BROOCH
Leather Poppy Brooch KIT

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.

Silk Dandelion kit
Silk Dandelion Clock KIT

 

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 enquiries@presentperfectcreations.com 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.

 

colouring stamens

Colouring stamens for flowers

colouring stamensAlthough 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 licolouring stamensquid. 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. colouring stamens
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.
colouring stamensHaving 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 tocolouring stamens 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.

 

 

 

 

Video tutorials on flowers from £39
Video tutorials on flowers from £39

 

EXPLORE FLOWER MAKING PHOTO TUTORIALS

 

EXPLORE FLOWER MAKING VIDEO TUTORIALS
Gift guide

My ultimate gift guide for a flower maker

Christmas is less than a month away and it is high time we thought what we would like to find in our Christmas stocking on 25th December 2015. Below you will find a wide choice of possible gifts ranging from tools to supplies to books and experiences all chosen to please an avid flower maker. Most of these things I have a use regularly, some others are in my gift list for Santa.Please note that I have not received any of the items listed below as a gift for this review. I am doing this gift guide simply because I love what I do and I would like you to enjoy flower making as well.Prices correct at the time of publishing.Simply click on an image and you will be taken to a website where you can purchase the item.I hope you will find the gift guide useful. Comments are welcome

How to stiffen lace and velvet for the new tutorial

lace orchid headband 2At the moment I am working on a new video tutorial on Silk and Lace Orchid flowers where I will show you and explain how to make an open hair circlet with lace and silk orchids decorated with freshwater pearls.

All the fabrics that are used for making flowers using a flower iron have to be stiffened and lace is no exception here. Please read through a mini-tutorial below to learn how you can prepare your velvet and lace for making flowers.

I often use lace and velvet fabrics for making leaves to enhance my fantasy flowers.

Whilst it is possible to obtain industrially treated delicate fabrics tutorial 1velvet ready for making flowers, I have never seen any ready to use lace fabric. So what to do if you have that nice piece of vintage lace or gorgeously coloured square of velvet you would like to incorporate into your design? Use gelatine? I can tell you from my experience these attempts have not been very successful as the gelatine tends to form a film on the structure of the lace and makes the velvet pile all stuck together. So how to prepare these delicate fabrics for using in flower making?

1. What I discovered is that I can use the starch spray for this job. Not only does it give a better result but it is also easier and quicker to use.

I use the spray starch which is normally used for shirts.
delicate fabrics tutorial 2
2. For the lace just follow the instructions on the can, that is spray the piece of lace with the spray starch and iron it. In minutes your lace is stiffened and ready to use.
delicate fabrics tutorial 3
3. As for the velvet I pin it to some vertical surface (an ironing board in my case), and spray the wrong side of the velvet fabric with the starch spray. After that I leave it to dry naturally. You can try and iron it but I have noticed that it makes it too stiff and affects the pile, especially of silk and viscose velvets. After the velvet has dried it is ready to use.The spray starch might give less body to the fabrics than the gelatine that is why it is strongly recommended to back both lace and velvet with another layer of fabric. You can use decorative metallic thread fabrics like this specialist Lame Backing Fabric here, or thin natural silk or rayon pongee fabric.
For more information on how to back petals and leaves check out our other tutorials
I hope you found this information useful and will now be using some beautiful fabrics with more confidence in your designs.
Stiffened lace or velvet as the case may be are ideal for creating delicate butterfly wings. To learn how please check out this .pdf tutorial on a lace butterfly headband
lace butterfly tutorial
 You might also like these articles

3 ways to dye silk petals to achieve the intensity of colour

Colouring stamens for flowers

Choosing the right glue for making flowers

Fantasy fabric flowers

Last time I was talking about how realistic silk roses can be. The pictures I shared showed the variety of form and colour one can achieve when making them. In this respect painting silk by hand comes in handy by allowing for the gradation of colour, which mimics flowers in the wild.
But who said that we have to be restricted by any limits and only create realistic flowers? No one.
Depending upon the project I often require a fantasy flower to complete it. For my fantasy flowers I frequently use  precoloured fabrics such as the gorgeous Indian dupioni with its soft sheen, or satin silk, viscose velvet etc. I stiffen the chosen fabrics as I do the white ones (see one of the ways to do it described in my post here) and then use them to create fantasy blooms that can only be limited by the imagination.
Thus,  for making black flowers I believe it is easier and better to simply use black silks rather then dye them by hand as it is almost impossible to achieve a really intense rich black colour. 

Birdcage veil with a black rose

 I use lace, beads, feathers, freshwater pearls and other components to decorate my fantasy flowers and make them look more striking and spectacular.

Black orchid corsage

For this large rose I used soft satin in golden sand colour which makes it a perfect accessory to go with any earthy-toned clothing, such as browns, yellows, oranges, yellowish green and ecru.

Golden satin rose

Unlike the warm golden rose this one is created using silvery coloured silk and is set amidst hand painted double organza leaves in mauve and grey hues. The organza I used is enriched with a silver lame thread.
Bridal rose hairpiece

For wedding floral pieces sometimes it is best to use pure white, cream or ivory silks. By combining fabrics with different textures I add interest and volume to these flowers.

Bridal peony veil on a comb

Natural silks, lace, beads, ivory freshwater pearls… What can be more bridal? 🙂

White rose halo

Should you have any questions or suggestions please feel free to share them in the comments below. I really appreciate your feedback.

flower making tools

My flower making tools

millinery tools
SET OF 2 EXTRA NARROW MILLINERY TOOLS

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!

LIMITED OFFER ON SETS OF EXTRA NARROW FLOWER SHAPING TOOLS
If you are interested please click here to find out more  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Those of you who admire handmade silk flowers might have thought about making them yourselves and wondered what magical equipment is required to do the job. So today I would like to give you an insight into the tools I am using for making my flowers.
My set consists of flower making tools which belong to both the European and the Japanese flower making schools. They have been acquired over a couple of years through different makers. The best flower making tools are thought to be made of brass as it holds the heat better than stainless steel that is why my tools look yellowish brown in the picture.
Here is my set:

A soldering iron is needed to work with these brass heads. There are a number of round heads of different diameter, several knives, a rat-tail tool, a tool for making hollow tubes and another one for making lily-of-the-valley tiny flowers, as well as a number of curved both smooth and grooved Japanese tools.

All of them are used to achieve a certain effect on different sized petals and leaves and the choice usually depends on the particular job to be done. For a more impressive result the flower making tools are used on rubber pads which vary in thickness and density.

Here is my collection of pads:

Not only do they allow to achieve different effects when used with tool heads but they also protect the work surface and are a must to have.
The tool set might seem to be an expensive investment but without them it is impossible to create any pure silk flowers from a humble daisy to the most sophisticated rose. Some free tips and how-tos on the subject can be found here on my blog.

Video tutorials on flowers from £39
Video tutorials on flowers from £39

 

I now offer range of flower making tutorials in video and photo format for your millinery and accessory projects. For more information on the tutorials please go to my Tutition section 
For the fresh news from the exciting world of handmade fabric flowers, new releases and discounts on tutorials 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 Skype classes. Please contact me via this site or e-mail me at enquiries@presentperfectcreations.com to discuss the details
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Glam and curvy

I have been lucky recently. My freind from Moscow visited us with her boyfriend and I finally had a chance to make some pictures of my flowers and hair accessories in particular on a real model! Despite the lack of time and a pretty crappy camera we are both pleased with the result. I will be sharing some of the selected pictures here, so keep your eyes peeled ☺

My beautiful friend Alevtina is wearing a corset  fantasy black orchid on a string of black pearls. The orchid is made of several kinds of  silk and embellished with ostrich feathers and seed and bugle beeds. This flower can be made in other colours and in white it is perfect for weddings.

Hope you like the little pic and the outfit 🙂

Bluebells

Another inspiration from one the Japanese flower making tutorials is this stem of fantasy bluebells. I made them in intense blue, but would like to recreate in white and soft pink later on. I think they will look very nice in a bridal or a flower girl’s head wreath when made in white (or even pink!). Here is the original piece I made:

silk bluebells, artificial flowers, faux flowers, handmade flowers
silk bluebells, artificial flowers, faux flowers, handmade flowers
And how do you see these bluebells? Maybe as a little corsage? Or…? Please let me know ☺
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LB Fascinator

Here is another headband, or rather a little fascinator to compliment an LBD, or in fact any cocktail dress. It might look gothic at first but beads and lace add a lot of femininity to it let alone fragile peacock feather antennae! ☺

handmade butterflies, butterfly decor, butterfly hat, butterfly fascinator, wedding butterflies, lace butterfly

Had to model myself this time as nobody else was available

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