This is what happens when I play with scissors and matches. I wind up making some silk flowers and turning them into a silk flower necklace. This time I used the flowers to make bib flower necklaces, but really there are so many things you can do with them: from bridal bouquets to hair pins and corsages.
What you will need for this project is fabric in the color of your choice. You need the kind of fabric that won’t burn, but will melt when put close to a candle. Usually it’s a polyester fabric. Real silk burns, believe me, I tried. It also needs to be fairly lightweight. I like tulle, organza, and light polyester silky leftovers from other projects. You can also include some lace. Colors are up to you. Mine are mostly pinks and silver because I had leftovers from other projects.
You will need a candle, scissors, needle and thread, some assorted beads, a bit of seed beads and a large bead for a clasp. You will also need a hot glue gun.
Please note, if you need to see a photo bigger, just click on it!
Part 1: Making The Petals
Make sure that when it comes to singeing the edges of the petals you do it in a well ventilated area, and remember to be careful while using the candle!!
First thing to do is to cut out the petals from all the different fabric. I have seen folks do it as an entire flower shape, or circle shapes. I do it as an hourglass shape, this way I get a bunch of double petals that can be stacked on top of one another to form a flower. Of course a picture will make it all more clear, so look below.
Cut a rectangular piece of fabric and fold it. You are looking to make a rectangle out of folded fabric that won’t be too thick to cut with your scissors. Once I folded mine I realized that it was to thick to fold once more, so I just cut it into two pieces. I took one of the rectangles I made and folded it into two.
Then I cut out the petals: circular shapes that are attached at the fold. Once you open them they should be of an approximate hour glass shape. The sizes range from 2.5 – 3 inches to 1 inch in length.
The petals are all different fabrics, colors, sizes, but all have a similar shape. The more type of textures and fabrics you have the more fun the flower looks. You definitely want a variety of sizes. Shape imperfections aren’t a big deal, as it will all be smoothed out by singeing the edges. You will need about 15 to 25 petals per flower, based on how big you want your flowers.
Once your petals are all cut out, it is time to use the candle to singe the edges. Make sure that for this step you are in a well ventilated area. While I didn’t feel a bad smell from singeing the fabric, I can’t imagine that sitting in a small closed off space with a candle burning is good for anyone!
When singeing the edges just bring the fabric close to the flame, but not close enough for it to actually burn. Just enough for the heat of the candle to melt the edges a bit. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does take a bit of time.
Below are some photos of the petals as I was working on them.
Part 2: Making The Flowers
Once all the petals are done it is time to construct the flowers. First pick some petals. You will need 3-4 largest petals (set those aside, they will go on last. You’ll also need 4-5 next to largest, 5-6 medium, and 5-6 smallest. These are just estimated numbers. Use as many as you feel you need to make each flower complete.
Here are my petals for this fairly large flower. On the top left is the three largest petals and the crystal bead for the center. They will go on last. Then it’s four big petals, 8 medium and 9 small. That’s 24 all together. Get your needle and thread ready.
Step 1: Start by taking your next to largest petals, arranging them together and putting the thread through them a few time.
Step 2: Then do the same with the few middle ones. All of your petals will vary by size. The idea is to arrange them from largest to smallest.
Step 3: Do the same with all the petals, arranging them from largest to smallest. I find that it helps to make a little stitch every few petals to prevent them from moving out of position.
Step 4: Once all the petals are together put the center bead through the thread, and position it in the center of the flower.
Then put a seed bead on the thread and push the needle back through the large bead and the flower.
Now just add the last three largest petals from the back, arranging them so that the flower looks proportionate all around.
Push the needle through to some place among the petals, tie it off, and cut it. Make sure to leave an inch or so of thread behind. All done! Now make a bunch more!
Next is the necklace. I only took photos of the dark pink necklace in the process of being made, and parts of the grey and pink one.
Part 3: Making The Silk Flower Necklace
Arrange the flowers into a necklace. Really play with them, make sure you like it. I must have changed it twenty times until I settled on a pattern I liked!
The next thing to do is to carefully take your flowers, and use the hot glue gun to glue the touching petals together. Only a small dot of glue on each spot will do the trick! Just put the dot of glue on and squeeze the petals. Be careful not to glue all the petals together in a stack, but just one from each flower. This way when you move your pattern of flowers it will stay in one place. I am not a fan of just gluing things together, and usually I like to either sew or thread or something more secure, but after trying many ways to do this, hot glue was the best option, and one that worked amazingly!
Flip the flowers over, get the needle and thread ready, and begin threading the flowers together. Start on one end, and add stitches over the glue and the flower centers. Don’t push the needle all the way to the front of the flower, but just through the few bottom petals. Look on the pictures above.
Keep stitching the flowers together. There is no particular pattern to this, just do what feels right to you. To see my stitching look at the photos. At this point I went out in the backyard with some coffee, so I put all my crafty things into a blue bin. Hence the blue color. 🙂
After I went through the length of the necklace the first time, I turned the thread around and went another time, until the thread was too short.
Keep in mind that your total necklace length will be the two sides plus the length of the flowers. Make sure your thread is long enough for the entire length of the necklace and another half. This way you can tie off comfortably at the end.
With the loop and one side all beaded I am going to sew it to the flowers and go through them one more time, sewing together the spots of glue that I missed the first time around. Again, there is no particular pattern here, I just kept sewing in one direction.
In the photo above you can see the path that I took when sewing from one end to another.
Once you bead the second side, add the large bead to complete the clasp. Once that is done, split the four threads into two and put a small seed bead on one.
Push the seed bead all the way down and then tie the two threads a few times, push all four strings back into the needle. Then put the needle through the large bead, and the beads all the way down to the first flower. Tie the needle off somewhere among the flower petals. Now the necklace is all done!
Here is the back of the blue necklace.