DIY Fabric Wedding Flower Tutorial

So, a little bit of a back story here.  Troy and I got married last year.  We had a seersucker wedding (our colors were navy, coral, and gray).  Seersucker decorations are few and far between, so I made most of them myself.  And (in my humble opinion) they looked awesome.  The first things I worked on (and, really, the biggest of the projects) was fabric flower bouquets for me and my (six) bridesmaids.  See?  Look how great they look!

Fabric Flowers!

And, in addition to looking awesome, they were also really, really cheap - as long as I never monetize my time.... but who does that?  Seriously.

So here's the tutorial.  Today, we're making one of these flowers.

I made my flowers out of different things.   Some were made with satin ribbon, like this, from Hobby Lobby.  Unfortunately, ribbon was not readily available in all of the shades of pink and coral that I wanted to include in the bouquets (the bridesmaids' bouquets were all pinks and gray, while the MoH and I had blues in our bouquets).  So, I opted to buy satin fabric, and cut strips (since I could get a yard of pink satin for ~$5, it seemed totally worth it).  I also made some flowers out of strips of seersucker fabric that I also cut with a rotary cutter into 1.5" strips.

So much fray going on.

So much fray going on.

If you opt for the super cheap, cut-your-own-ribbon option, the cutting part is super easy.  The problem comes when the strips all (seemingly of their own accord) immediately start to fray.  I include this information up front, because, while there is a fix, it's a pretty time-consuming fix.  To get the satin fabric from frayed to fabulous, run each side of the strip over a candle flame.  The heat causes the fabric to seal.  Very easy.  But if you're making 150 of these things, it takes FOREVER (actual time estimate).  Also, if you're making your own ribbon, make sure to keep the satin moving.  It's pretty easy to burn through the ribbon, or just get it dirty.

I more or less just worked through the little burns, because you can fold the fabric so that it doesn't really show.  Anything that takes up more than half of the width of the ribbon, however, is much harder to work around.

I more or less just worked through the little burns, because you can fold the fabric so that it doesn't really show.  Anything that takes up more than half of the width of the ribbon, however, is much harder to work around.

For the sake of the tutorial, I'm going to work with a piece of ribbon.  However, satin is slippery (even the ribbon), and it's not the greatest to practice with.  The only thing I used to keep these flowers together is a hot melt glue gun.  I've seen tutorials where people have sewn these, but that seemed impractical for a mass flower production process.  The photos below show the folding/gluing process.  Also, if you want to see a similar process, start to finish, here's one of the YouTube videos that I looked at when I started.  There are a few places where it's kinda hard to figure out what she's doing though, so hopefully the pictures below help.

Start with a strip of fabric or ribbon approximately two feet long.  

Fabric Flowers (1)
Fabric Flowers 2
Fabric Flowers (3)

Just to explain the process from here, you're going to take the top of the long piece of ribbon (going out to the left), while holding the flower in your right hand.  Flip the top of the ribbon over, so that it's on the bottom (toward where a stem would be), as you rotate the flower in a clockwise direction.  Your thumb is going to stay pretty much right where it was in the last picture throughout the process. I typically add glue every 4-5 petals.

Fabric Flower (4)

Once you get to within 2-3 inches of the left end of the ribbon, you should have a flower that's approximately 2 inches in diameter (though it may be larger or smaller, depending on your folds).  The underside of the flower should look like the top right picture below.

Fabric Flower -End

To finish off the flower, put a dab of glue on what was originally the right end of the ribbon, at the base of the flower.  Then, as shown in the bottom right picture above, press the left end of the ribbon onto the base of the flower.  This will allow a spot for floral wire to attach, when it comes time to make the bouquet.

Hope this wasn't too confusing!  If it was, let me know, and I'll try to add more pictures for clarification!