Tuesday, March 06, 2012

la fleur: a tutorial . . .

In honor of March being National Craft Month, I wanted to share a fun craft.  While on retreat, one of the gals graciously shared with us the process to make the cutest shabby-chic flowers!  I fell in love with the (very) simple process and definitely the end result.  And with my girlfriend--Miss Ellie--in the picture now, I can see LOTS of potential for the end result!
Susan used her handy scrapbooking tool, the Big Shot, to cut out her flower pieces.  You could also use the varying flower shapes in the Go! cutter or the Baby Go! cutter and do the same thing. I had to settle for tracing the patterns of the three shapes so I could cut future flowers out by hand.  

You will notice that the outline of each of the three different flowers shapes is slightly different.  I don't think the variation makes a huge difference to the final product, which is very scrunchy.   So if you're using another cutter or cutting by hand, feel free to use all the same shape!
What you'll need is three fabrics, your choice.  Cut three 4-inch squares of one fabric, three 3-inch squares of the second fabric, and three 2.5-inch squares of the third. 
If you're using the Big Shot tool, you'll lay out your squares on the dye sheet.  If you're hand-cutting, trace your flower shapes onto the wrong side of all nine squares and start cutting!!  (My MBA has a nice die cutting machine and lots of dies -- I'll probably take my future fabric there and die cut away!)
Once the fabric is cut, you'll end up with three sets of three flowers.  Separate all your pieces and pull out your Stiffen Quik spray.
This is available at craft stores (I found it at JoAnn's).  Holding each flower, one piece at a time in the palm of your hand, give each flower a quick, sparse spray.  You do NOT want to soak the pieces.
Once you've sprayed the piece, crumple it up! 
Seriously, roll it up into a ball and put it on a microwave-safe plate.
Place the plate with your nine crumpled up pieces into the microwave and (depending on the wattage of your microwave) heat on high for 30-45 seconds.  You want the shapes to be completely dry.
Now you're going to slightly un-crumple your pieces, which should be a little stiff and fraying.  You don't want to pull them flat or smooth them out,  the rumpled look is part of their charm -- then stack your "like" pieces back together, offsetting the flower petals and making sure the centers of each piece are lined up with each other.
Now you're going to work with the sets, starting with the smallest.  We used a rudimentary method of hammer, wood, and nail to pound a small hole into the center of each set.  So again, starting with the smallest set, make a hole through all three layers in the center of the flower.
 Now you'll take a decorative brad and push it through the hole in the first set.  (Note:  you could also use a plain brad and decorate it with a button or bead or crystal.)
Repeat this process for the middle and then the large sets of flowers.
Once the brad is through the last (large) set, open up your brad prongs, securing it into place, and give it a good dab of hot glue to hold it snug.
Next, we used a pre-cut cardboard circle with a fastening pin hot glued to it to make our flowers into flower pins.  But you could also fasten your flower to a headband, a hair clip, a knit hat, a magnet . . . the possibilities are endless!
But here we used the pin -- and hot glued the pin directly over the fastening brad.
Give it a couple of minutes to cool and set and . . .
Voila!  A very shabby-chic fleur!  The fun thing about this project -- to me -- is that there's lots of room for variation and you can truly make it your own
Of course, my own flower was in a combination of oranges and purples.
Do you think it's a favorite combination of mine or something?!?  Haha!  Today I'm linking up with the Linky Party Tuesday at Quilting by the River!

Have fun and *happy* crafting!!


10 expressed . . .:

Janet O. said...

Really fun flowers, Denise. I'm not much of "crafter" anymore, but I think my daughter will enjoy making these!

Jean said...

now you post it...LOL. I was a day too late. love the crinkly look!

Barbara said...

Darling, Denise!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

This looks like a fun project for a quild meeting. Thank you for posting your pretty flowers for Nat'l Craft Month.

Editfolt said...

Beautiful flower. I really like this go to the cutting machine. :)

Connie said...

Oh my gosh Denise these are so neat! Thanks for a great tutorial, I've never seen this done before and I have that die! Love all your little matching projects!
Quilting by the River - Linky Tuesday

Sarah said...

Such a pretty flower - just yesterday I watched a youtube video to make a similar flower. Theirs was layered with 6 pieces of fabric and tulle, dampened and then put into the dryer. I think yours, with the spray, would hold the krinkle much better. I think Miss Ellie is getting some more accessories...

Melissa said...

Totally cute!

Teresa in Music City said...

That flower is just too cute! Thanks for sharing the tutorial - I'm going to have to try it!

AnnieO said...

Quick and satisfying craft project there! I like your color combo :)