Fabric Flowers: Tutorial #1 – “Fold and Layer”

It is not enough to say that I love fabric flowers; I am bordering on obsession with them! I pin every new tutorial for them that I find on Pinterest and am impatient to try any I haven’t tried yet. Unfortunately, since the last three months of the year are insanely busy for us (more so than most people’s as many people on both sides of our family have birthdays at the end of the year, plus holidays), I haven’t gotten around to trying out several of them. I tried a new-to-me one last night and took step-by-step pictures along the way. I will have to go back and do the same for others that I’ve already tried, so stay tuned for those!

What you will need:

  • Old t-shirt, cut into
    ~  8 flowers
    ~  1 circle, slightly smaller in diameter than the flowers
  • Flower template (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Pen/pencil (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Fabric scissors (for cutting flowers out of t-shirt)
  • Fabric or craft glue
  • Button or bead
  • Needle and thread

(ignore the second shirt and extra buttons ~ I was going to make 2 but afterward decided to stick with 1)

What to do:

  1. Fold 4 flower shapes in half then in half again. Glue them to the fabric circle, corners in the middle.
  2. Fold 3 more flower shapes in the same way. Layer these over the four and glue.
  3. Fold the last flower shape in half and pinch and bend it so that it forms a sort of ring on the top, as pictured. Glue only in the center so as not to stick any of the edges of the “petals” down.
  4. Sew a bead or button into the center, as shown in the finished product at the top of this post.

Tips & Variations:

  • When sewing the bead/button in the center, sew all the way through the fabric circle at the bottom. This will leave a short section of exposed thread with which you can attach a bobby pin or safety pin to the flower, making it usable for your hair or clothing.
  • You can glue or sew a strip of fabric to the bottom of the flower and tie it to clothing, scarves, purses, etc.
  • These can be attached to headbands and hair ties to create easy hair accessories.
  • Layering two pieces of different fabric together adds visual impact. The fabrics can be different colors, types, textures, whatever sparks your fancy. To do this, simply cut out 8 flower shapes of the same size from each of two types of fabrics. Layer one of each flower shape, fold, and assemble as directed. The second layer will peek through in the edges of the petals.
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Printed Burlap Signs

This is something I found on Pinterest (site I saw it on: http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2010/09/burlap-laundry-signhow-to.html). It’s using your home printer to make an image on burlap, then pinning it to foam poster board, and framing it. Genius, right?

Printed burlap sign

I followed the directions on Domestically Speaking, except that I could not find freezer paper (and, no, wax paper or parchment paper will not work–I tried), so instead I used a very light coat of spray adhesive on regular copy paper and ran it through the printer that way. I am providing both sets of directions for printing.

What you will need:

  • Burlap
  • Printer
  • Iron
  • Foam poster board
  • Freezer paper ~ OR ~ copy paper & spray adhesive
  • Empty frame
  • Various bits for decorations (I used upholstery tacks and fabric rosettes)

What to do:

  1. Iron your burlap so that it is completely flat.
  2. Place the waxy, shiny side of the freezer paper against the burlap, and using a dry iron, press it on. It should stick. (I say should because I have not tried this as I could not find freezer paper). ~ OR ~ Spray a very light coat of spray adhesive onto a sheet of copy paper. Lay the ironed burlap over it, making sure it stays smooth and flat. Trim the burlap to fit the paper if you have not already done so. Let it sit for a few minutes before printing.
  3. Create your image. Keep in mind simpler fonts and images will show up better than ornate fonts or detailed images (a lesson I learned the hard way). Make sure your image is the correct size for your frame.
  4. Print the image onto the burlap. Trim to size and remove from the paper. It should peel right off whether you used freezer paper or copy paper.
  5. Trim the foam board to fit into the frame if you have not already done so. You will probably not be able to keep the glass in the frame. Place the printed burlap on the foam board and adhere it as desired (spray adhesive, upholstery tacks, whatever you decide).
  6. Insert into frame.
  7. Apply any desired decorations and hang!

Tips & Variations:

  • If you use fabric rosettes like I did, keep in mind you will need to offset the weight of them so that the frame will hang level. You could glue a little piece of a magnet strip to the back opposite corner, or whatever else is thin and weighs little. I ended up using a plastic knife! Whatever works, right?
  • You could cover the foam board in scrapbook paper or fabric before adhering the burlap.
  • Print text or images! Get creative!
  • You can pull a couple of loose threads on the sides of the burlap to give it a ragged edge.

Quick & Easy Ghosts

These cute ghosts are very quick and easy to make. In fact, my four-year-old helped me make some of them. We hung ours from the trees in our front yard, but you can hang them anywhere or even insert a stick into the bottom and stick them into whatever and have them “standing.”

Hanging Ghost

~ Sorry, I don’t have step-by-step pictures of this. I made these a few days ago and only took “after” pictures.

What you will need:

  • Styrofoam ball of desired size and number (one ball per ghost)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Black permanent marker or fabric paint
  • Needle and thread

What to do:

  1. You will need to cut the cheesecloth into sections. You want each to be long enough to extend well past both sides of the ball and leave room for tying (the ball will be in the middle of the section).
  2. Unfold each section until it is folded only once (leaving a double layer). Cut in half length-wise so that you have 2 double layer strips.
  3. Place the ball in the center of one strip. Tie the long ends in one simple knot. Turn the cloth and ball 1/4 turn and repeat with the other strip.
  4. Using the marker or paint, create a face for your ghost.
  5. Using the needle and thread through the very top of the ghost, create a hanging loop. Tie it off and cut the loose ends of thread. It’s ready to hang!

Tips & Variations:

  • For the bigger ghosts, I spray painted the balls with glow in the dark spray paint.
  • I like to use Sharpie markers so that it bleeds a little on the cheesecloth, leaving feathered edges on the eyes and mouth. I think this looks a little more spooky than the clean edges left by paint.
  • Instead of creating a hanging loop on top, insert a small dowel or similar object into the bottom before tying the knots (tie the knots around the dowel). You will be able to stick the ghost into a planter, vase, or otherwise enable it to “stand” rather than hang.
  • I used wire clothes hangers and bent them to hang the ghosts in our trees.