Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tip of the Week: Using Polyester Wedding Petals for Scrap/Card Flowers

Just in time for spring, this beautiful dogwood has blossomed in the CardMonkey's PaperJungle.
It almost looks real, don't you think?  I haven't had many who guessed what I used to make this ... so here's the answer:  Polyester Wedding Petals

I went out to Michael's in search of some polyester or silk fabric, when I saw online that some people are using 100% poly or silks to make their own flowers.  (I was hoping to find fabric -- but my best source would be my own closet or Joann's.)

Instead, the best bet I could find at Michael's was in their Clearance aisle.  I found these petals that are marketed in the wedding aisle as the polyester petals strewn at weddings.  These were half off -- a box of a zillion (300+/-) petals in ivory tinged in pink for only $4.99!

The petals look like this:
To give the petals a more natural (crinkly) look, you'll want to melt them.  I've seen this done on other blogs, where the crafter holds the petal over the open flame of a candle.  Well, my  PaperJungle is enough of a mess that I have a strict policy against open flames in my room. This is a wise decision especially if you have/use other chemicals or sprays in your crafting. (I have a friend who was burned having lit a cigarette shortly after applying hair spray!) 

So instead, I did my melting over the open flame of my kitchen's gas stove.  Using metal tongs, I held the petal or groups of petals about 3" above a moderate flame, and the petal simply curled up. 

Once the petals were melted, you can shape them to pinch the ends (near the stamen) or leave the flower part of the melted end soft.  Incidentally, when you melt these petals, remember:

a) THEY ARE HOT to the touch and can burn you. Let cool before over-handling. 
b) THEY CAN CATCH ON FIRE. Safety first. Blow out the flames, and/or dunk the petal  in water. No harm is done, as they are fabric and dry naturally.
c) AGAIN, THEY ARE HOT so use a pair of long picnic grippers (tongs) to hold over the stove.
d) Allow petals to cool on a clean surface, e.g. a cookie sheet.
e) When you MELT, the petals dry HARD. 

To form the flower:  Use five petals. Stack them and glue them to one another, using a hot glue gun.  For the stamen in the middle, I used Swarovski crystal beads in topaz color. I laid them into a small puddle of hot glue that I applied to the top center of the assembled flower.  The finished flower is about 2 to 2.5" in diameter.  

A further tip:  If you have an old polyester or silk shirt, cut your own petals to try this. You can cut the petals in circles, ovals or irregular round shapes; it's also easy to cut this fabric using a Big Shot or Sizzix die. I'm planning on trying this next, with silk, and a Sizzix stacking flower die.  Your fabric DOES NOT have to be new -- used, beaten, abused fabrics work just as well. So you can use that silk blouse that's become stained and unwearable, and still make the most beautiful flowers!!

Be creative in what you use to decorate the middle of your flowers. Perhaps you'll want to put pieces or twirled twine ... maybe a paper punch ... Flower Soft ... even spices (e.g., whole allspice, or cloves).
Let me know what kinds of flowers you make ... better, show me!


Unknown said...

Oh my what an awesome idea. I just got rid of a blouse because it was stained, and this is why you must never get rid of anything. Bummer!!! On to Michaels to see if I can find some petals. TFS

Axes DesigNs said...

Great tutorial thanks for coming to my blog.. I have time to time english posts.. you will be always welcome to come by :)