October 2010
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Fabric Flowers


There are a mind-boggling number of tutorials out there on how to make fabric flowers. I made these recently using a pair of tutorials at Mary Janes & Galoshes, but there are dozens more I’d like to try at Oopsey Daisy. Here are my two cents, in the form of two tips:

1) Many of the tutorials that involve synthetic fabric call for using a candle flame to heat seal the edges. I found another easy and potentially safer method: an embossing heat gun. I bought a heat gun probably 15 years ago when my sister and I used to make stamped and embossed Christmas cards. (You use the heat gun to melt the embossing powder.) I’ve saved it all these years, and now I’m glad I did! I placed the flower petals on a large tile, held down one edge and waved the heat gun over the edges until they started to curl a bit. I was using rather large petals so wasn’t in danger of burning my fingers, but with smaller petals you could always use a chopstick or something to hold the flower in place.

2) I was telling my sister about these flowers and suggesting we make some as gifts for her daughter and other little girls we know. When I suggested adding a pin back to the flowers that could also be pinned to  a  hair band she said, “That would look cute until someone fell and then got a pin stuck in their head.” Now, I think you’d have to fall pretty hard and in just such a way to have the pin open and then stab you in the head, but just to be on the safe side, I came up with an alternative.

I cut a circle of felt and a small strip slightly narrower than the width of the pin back. I sewed one end of the strip to the circle, and added a tiny bit of Velcro to both the strip and the circle. (It is a little tricky to sew Velcro to such a small piece of fabric. This would be a good project for the iron-on Velcro.)

That way, the pin can be slipped under the strip of felt, or a hairband. At this point, I admit it did seem like a lot of work just to guard against the very slight chance of injury. Then I realized that by doing it this way, I could also slip the flower on a headband, which would not have been possible with just the pin back. (Not that I would ever wear a huge flower on the side of my  head, but I would LIKE to be the kind of person who could pull that off. But little girls can get away with that, right?)


(Edited to add: As my clever commenter Katherine points out below, it would be easier to just sew both ends of the felt strip to the circle, making a little loop that could be slipped over the pin or headband, and the hair band could be looped through there as well. Or a bit of elastic, which would be sturdier than a strip of felt. Or forget the extra piece and just make two slits in the felt? Sometimes I make things more complicated than they need to be!)

2 comments to Fabric Flowers

  • That’s cute. You don’t really need the velcro though, do you? Without it you could still slip the pin or head band through, and with the hair tie you could just pinch it, slip it through, and then put the other edge of the hair band through that loop – making a lark’s head knot. I’d probably just sew a bit of elastic to the back of the felt instead of the felt and velcro. I think my husband has a heat gun around somewhere, do they really get that much hotter than hair dryers?

  • kathy

    @ katherine: embossing guns blow less air than hairdryers and are hotter.
    i love this idea much better than using flame-duh!

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