Recently, I was commissioned to craft fabric flowers for a friend’s wedding. It was such an honor! The couple purchased a ton of beautiful shiny aquamarine fabric. Let’s say, polyester satin? (If anyone knows for sure based on the photos below, please let me know!) After having a bunch of pocket squares made for the wedding party they ended up with a ton of extra fabric. They just couldn’t let it all go to waste — and that’s where I came in. Searching for ways to use it up, one of the brides came to me with an idea. “Hey Nichole, can you turn this extra fabric into flowers or something for family members to wear at my wedding?” You’re damn right, I can! So, I got to crafting.
Ambitious as ever, I set out to make my own unique template to commemorate this special occasion. I quickly abandoned that idea. Martha Stewart already had a really good template and tutorial (found here) — so why mess with perfection? Martha’s instructions come with a printable template; however, it wasn’t the exact size I wanted. My vision was for the petals to be about the size of a quarter. I used a quarter and a sheet of card stock to create my own template. You can use any kind of paper to make this template, but card stock is much easier to work with when you’re ready to trace it onto the fabric.
Once I had my stencil ready I traced it onto the fabric. To speed things up, I folding my fabric a couple times, pinning them together, and cutting the stencil out of several layers of fabric at the same time. The fabric was very slippery, so this method was pretty tricky. There were a couple of times where I messed up while cutting. Luckily, because flowers aren’t perfect, you can fix that in the end by shaping the mistakes with scissors.
Disregard the ugly, frayed bottom of the cut-out shown above. Nobody is going to see that part anyway because it will be glued to the base. It’s more important to make sure the petals don’t fray in the process. If you’re really worried about frayed petals, I recommend applying glue that is specialized to stop frays in their tracks, such as Aleene’s Stop Fraying.
Next, I gathered all of the petals to make a flower by stitching a running stitch along the base of the cutout and bunching the fabric periodically. Now that I’m writing this I’m realizing that I didn’t follow Martha’s instructions exactly. I didn’t spiral strip to make the flower shape. I used another method that I made up, but it worked! I stitched both ends together when I was done bunching up the petals.
After all the flowers were made, I put together a ton of these bad boys using felt, thread, and bar pins (shown below). I first affixed the pins to the felt using a glue gun, and then also sewed the pins to the felt by hand. I wanted to double-secure it because I was paranoid that something would fall off during the ceremony.
Pro tip: The stiffer the felt, the better.
The felt I used was stiff enough, but I wanted them to be super stiff. I applied some Mod Podge Fabric Stiffener to get the right firmness. That stuff is magic. Once they dried, I attached the felt backing to the flowers using a hot glue gun. I didn’t want the black backing to be visible through the flower, so I made sure that some of the petals were glued to the black backing in order to mask it.
Flowers bunched. Backing attached. But, I still wasn’t done. I refused to have any of the gathered base show through the petals. I took some hot glue and carefully glued some petals together, back to back, to hide any of the base that was peeking through. Then, and only then, did I feel like these were ready for prime time. The process sounds long, but it really only took a couple of hours–that’s about one Avengers film. (I did put these together while watching Avengers: Civil War.)
These little flowers have a lot of potential uses! They would make great gift-toppers, headbands or necklaces, hair clips, addition to paper straws for a Sunday brunch or picnics. I offered to recycle them after the wedding was over. If I do, I’ll give you an update!