Thursday, April 22, 2010

Creating a Hand-made Flower by Nancy H.!

It seems that hand-made flowers are all the rage at the moment! For that reason I would like to share a tutorial on how to make "Ribbon Roses" which you sew and weave directly onto your paper. Here is an example of a Mother's Day card I recently made using this technique:

Your first step is to decide where you want the rose to go on your project, card, or layout. You want to think "5 Point Star" - this will help you pierce your holes. Also, you need to be aware that how large a "5 point star" you pierce also determines how big your flower will be.

This first picture is how you need to visualize this 5 point star before piercing!

Here is a picture of the 5 pierced holes into a card in preparation for sewing embroidery floss into an 5 point "asterick" type shape:

After you have pierced the holes, you want to come from the bottom of the project, through the center pierced hole and sew lines connecting all of the outside points to the inside hole (think "spokes of a bicylce tire".) I use embroidery floss for this.

Some advice for this step: You want to use embroidery floss that is the same color as the ribbon you are going to use for the rose so that the floss doesn't show. There will be a lot of stitching going-on on the back-side of whatever project you are doing. In the event that you are making a card, you are going to want to anticipate covering the inside of the front of the card with paper to hide your stitching. Because of this, I prefer to tape the ends of my embroidery floss down flush with the paper instead of using knots...this makes the surface easier to cover up later.

Once you have all the lines stitched down, then you want to thread your embroidery needle with the ribbon you are going to use. You want to come up from the back, through the inside hole of the "5 point star", with your ribbon if at all possible. I will tell you that there have been times when I used much thicker ribbon that made it impossible to come up through the hole, in this case, I stitched the end of the ribbon down as close to the center hole on the front of the project as I possibly could before I started weaving the ribbon in and out of the embroidery floss. Hopefully this will become clearer when you have actually made one or two of these roses. My advice is to use thin silk or as thin a ribbon as you can to start.

Here is a photo of the ribbon coming through the center hole of the "5 point star."

Once you have the ribbon coming up from the center (again attach the end of this ribbon to the back with tape), you want to begin the process of weaving the ribbon in and out of the embroidered lines. Starting from the center, weave the ribbon over one line, then under the very next, then over, then under in an alternating process...because of the uneven number of lines (5) the next time you come around the circle you will be going over a line that you previously went under. This helps the flower achieve the rose effect. My advice for this step is to be sure and use a long piece of ribbon want to have more than enough so that you can weave the entire flower. You can come back and add ribbon if needed by tying more onto the end, but wouldn't you rather cut off excess...much easier.

You want to continue weaving the ribbon until you have reached all of the ends of the embroidered "lines." When you have reached this point you can cut off the ribbon and tuck it into the flower (I would use a small amount of adhesvie for this,) or you could take the ribbon back through one of the holes at the end of the stitched "lines" and secure on the back.

When you have woven ribbon to the end you will have a rose that looks similar to this:

You can add other flowers of different sizes, colors, and/or different ribbons as pictured here:

Here is an example of the same ribbon rose technique I did on my wedding layout:

Good luck with this project! It is really quite fun!



  1. Gosh I'd forgotten about this flower. I used it in my embroidery work before. Thanks for the reminder and nice tutorial. Great work.

  2. Oh my...that is gorgeous. Great tutorial.

  3. Great tutorial! The flowers are beautiful. I look forward to trying this soon :)

  4. LOVE that bloom! I did those years ago in embroidery and had forgotten all about them! Thanks SO much for the reminder!! Beautiful layout!!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! LOVE those blooms!

  6. What beautiful flowers! Such pretty layouts too!

  7. This is an incredible tutorial!! I can't wait to try it!

  8. AMAZING!!! will def save this and make a few! :)

  9. OH MY GOODNESS! Those are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing, and congrats on being a featured artist!

  10. This tutorial is AWESOME. I had to share this with my group. I am gonna try this 1 day.

  11. Nancy, I simply loved this flower!
    Would you mind if I translated the ´how-to-make-it´ into Portuguese and posted it in my blog?
    Feel free to say no!

  12. The pictures that you have shared are really beautiful and unique. The crafting tutorial that has been shared is really creative and innovative. Your blog post has really inspired me a lot and i will try to make such type of handmade craft on my own. Thanks for sharing an interesting tutorial with us.