In this fast moving world, time is of the essence. We all want to achieve great results, make more beautiful pieces without wasting much time.
Is that even possible?
The question I get asked time and time again is about the production time of handmade flowers, or how you can make your flowers quicker. If you have ever tried to make a flower from scratch it should come as no surprise just how much time every piece takes to produce.
I am afraid I have not got a magic pill to offer here. However there is a number of best practices and recommendations I would like to offer today that we can (and should!) apply to improve our production times.
Let’s have a look at what they are.
in a set of reliable tools
and a pair of tweezers
if you are serious about making flowers and make them often. They will deliver great results in shorter times and you will enjoy the process as well as the finished piece in a shorter time with a better result, too.
2. Use specially designed brushes
to dye fabrics for your flowers. Not only do they work quicker and deliver better results, they are such a pleasure to use, too. You will love dyeing fabrics with these magical brushes☺
yourself a decent stapler and use it to staple several layers of fabric. This will allow you to cut out petals/ leaves in 2-4 or more layers (wherever possible). I really love mine and highly recommend it (see here
you’ve stapled 2-4 layers of fabric go on and dye your petals or leaves in 2-4 layers (wherever possible). Not all fabrics will allow for that. Lightweight to medium weight silks usually dye great in 2 and even 4 layers. Other fabrics should be fine in 2 layers. Test beforehand to find out exactly how your fabrics behave.
the design allows you, shape your petals in 2-4 layers. Petals for most roses can be shaped in the groups of 2 or 4 petals which speeds up the process. I talk about it in the relevant tutorials. Make sure you use the right pad for shaping, soft or medium
as they matter too.
6. When possible use already dyed silks (that you stiffen yourself). This can potentially save a lot of your time and can work well for some projects but not for all.
Opt for professionally stiffened fabrics if the design benefits from it.
They might cost a bit more, but your time (and the result!) is more precious. I recommend trying metallic fabrics
for festive and wedding designs, as well as Rayon Satin
and Cotton Velvet
for the foliage.
7. Ribbons, both rayon and fine rice paper are great to use and can save you time when working on certain projects. White rayon ribbon can be dyed to match, whilst green can be easily used as is with smaller and larger flowers to help you make your flowers quicker.
8. In flower making every little helps. Make sure your glue is right for the job. Normally 2 types of glue are required in flower making: a very thick PVA glue for putting flowers together and a more liquid PVA glue that is used for backing leaves and petals. Obtaining some specialist flower glue can make a lot of difference when assembling flowers.
9. I find making 2 or 3 or even more of the same (popular) flower design works out quicker for me. Although I still have to go through all the stages of cutting out, dyeing parts, backing and shaping them, and then assembling into flowers, I’d use less time compared to when I have to make flowers one after another. Keep this in mind.
10. Good news: practice makes perfect. It really does with handmade flowers. So keep up the good work you are doing and enjoy it whilst enlisting all the best tools and other supplies that make your flower making quicker and easier. ♥