Last month when I made Alexis her bulletin board, I said I would post about making melted ribbon flowers. So since I had some time (finally), I thought I would do that now!
First of all, I should say this flower project was inspired my my sister’s friend Carrie. Carrie made some out of ribbon and some from satin and gave them to my sister for Hannah to use as hair bows.
They looked easy to make so I gave it a whirl. First I tried fabric…satin, organza, and who knows what else… But it proved difficult and after a couple of hours burning my fingers and lighting the fabric on fire, I did come out with a few decent flowers. I wasn’t really interested in pursuing this craft further though because it was kind of a pain.
But then Alexis wanted some aqua-colored gross-grain ribbon on the edges of her bulletin board. Because of the pretty floral patterned fabric we used, I thought her board could use a pretty flower on one of the edges. So I experimented with the ribbon to make the flowers.
This time the result was much better!
Here’s how I did it:
First, decide how big of a diameter you want the flower to be and cut strips a little more than half that length. My flower was about 5 inches, so I cut the strips 3 inches each. You will lose about 1/2 inch from each petal to attach them together. Cut the number of petals based on how full you want your flower. I think I used around 15-16 petals.
Then trim the edges to look petal shaped. Don’t worry about making them perfectly rounded, you won’t notice that once you melt the edges.
Now, use a tea light and first run the edges near the flame to smooth them out. You won’t even be able to tell where you cut them after you do this. And please be careful as to not burn your fingers!
Then lightly wave the center of the ribbon over the flame until it begins to melt a little and curl. It is better to start higher then move a little lower…you don’t want to melt the whole thing into a clump…you just want to get some bends in the ribbon. I would suggest experimenting with this part on some extra ribbon as to not ruin the specific pieces you cut out. This gross-grain ribbon worked so much better than the organza fabric I tried previously. You really have to leave it on the flame a wile before you will set it on fire. I didn’t try with satin ribon though, so I can’t tell you of those results.
While the petal is warm, you can shape it a bit. But be careful not to pull the ribbon, otherwise, you will get holes in your ribbon like this and you will have to start over!
Once you have all your petals melted, take out your thread and needle (yes, I am going to make you do some very basic sewing!). Put a knot in one end of the string and run the needle through each petal, about 1/4 inch from the edge.
Then pull the strings and gather the petals together.
Arrange the petals as you wish and then put a few stitches in the center from the back to the front of the flower, then tie off and cut the string. This sewing just gives it some extra stability. You can skip the sewing option and glue all the petals together, but I personally think it is stronger and looks more natural this way.
You can attach whatever backing you wish…a hair clip or a broach pin, depending on what you are going to be using it for. I only had these metal clips so that is what I used…otherwise I prefer alligator clips when putting then in little kid hair. I just put a piece of ribbon over the top and hot glued it from the back.
The last step is to add whatever beads you want. Here I went with 7 pearls because it was kind of a big flower.
I also made some smaller flowers, but I cut the petals in the shape of an 8. It works well if you are only going to use a few petals. I think this flower ended up being around 2 inches.
And there you go, easy melted flowers!
You can see from the (horrible!) picture below that I added the large flower to the top left corner strip of ribbon and three of the smaller flowers to the bottom right ribbon. One good thing about using hair clips is that she can take them off the ribons and use them in her hair!
I also had the idea to make the flowers into bulletin board pins, except I ran into the issue of thumbtacks not being long enough and I didn’t want to use the plastic top push pins because it would look weird…so I will have to work on that for another time.
Until later, happy crafting!
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