We used reclaimed dress linings to make these -- I had plenty left over from my deconstruction for sachets, and I never knew what to do with this type of fabric before. It's a synthetic fabric, a silky polyester.
(CAUTION: please use extreme caution when using this tutorial, as a flame is used in this process. Do NOT allow children or pets near the flame, and do not allow children to play with the flame, burn themselves or anyone/anything else. I am not responsible for any accidents or injuries resulting from this free tutorial.)
To make these little hair bobbies (or clips, brooches, pins, etc.), you will need:
- synthetic fabric, such as polyester
- candle and matches/lighter
- glass jar, filled with water
- clothes pin
- a piece of foil
- beads, buttons or other embellishments
- bobby pin blanks, hair bobby, clip, pin blank, etc.
- strong adhesive, such as E6000, my fave!
1. Cut out circles (or whatever shape you like) from the polyester that are slightly larger than your desired finished flower size. We used concentric circles for ours for a fuller, layered look. Be sure to cut a few extra, to allow for experimenting and mess-ups.
2. Light your candle, and place on a sturdy surface, away from flammables, pets and children. Place your jar of water within reach.
3. Using a clothes pin, hold one fabric circle over -- not in -- the flame of the candle.
Quickly rotate the fabric circle above the flame. The fabric will curl and may change colors.
This video illustrates how quickly these fabrics change and curl.
You'll want to experiment with a few extra circles, as different fabrics will act uniquely when held near the flame. Some will curl in one direction, some turn colors, some crinkle. Holding them closer to the flame or longer will also achieve different results. Once you've achieved the look you want, set the circle aside on the foil to cool.
4. Repeat on all the fabric circles. Extinguish your candle when you are finished.
5. EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: If you hold the fabric circle still for too long, or too close to the flame, it will scorch and/or catch on fire. If this happens, quickly and carefully place the burning fabric in the jar of water to extinguish the flame. Be very vigilant -- as some fabrics tend to ignite quicker than others!
6. Next, arrange and stack your fabric circles (petals) into flowers.
7. Using your needle and thread, sew a few stitches through all the layers of petals -- just a little "X" will do -- fastening all the petals together. Tie off thread in the back of the flower.
8. Now, attach your flower center. If you are using beads or buttons, stitch them in place, tying off the thread in the back of the flower. If you are using other embellishments, a strong adhesive (such as E6000) may be used to attach them to the flower.
9. Finally, attach your flower to a hair bobby, clip or pin back using your strong adhesive.
10. Set aside on the foil, and allow it to dry thoroughly, according to your adhesive's recommendation.
And that's it! So simple, and so pretty. The possibilities are endless -- imagine these flowers layered with ribbon, mesh, tulle, organza. . . or topped with an antique brooch or cameo! These would make sweet little gifts for teachers, co-workers and friends, or even lovely stocking stuffers. Have fun!