Embellish clothing and decor with faux roses you make yourself; plus, create rose-y greeting cards and get a tip for reviving old dinnerware.
Made with ribbon, crepe paper or fabric, these faux beauties can be sewn into a bedspread or dress, gathered into a posy, attached to a pin or used to decorate a picture frame. For a pretty touch at a wedding, use sheer organza roses to hold bunched-up tulle netting at the end of a wooden pew.
Two simple techniques, rolling and folding, can be used for making all types of roses.
Materials and Tools:
1 yard of 1-1/2" wide ribbon or 1 yard of 3" wide silk folded in half lengthwise
needle and thread
1. Run a line of basting stitches along the length of the fabric or ribbon. On the fabric strip, stitch through both layers of fabric along the cut edge.
2. Pull the thread tight to form gathers along the edge of the ribbon or fabric. Knot at the end.
3. Begin on the right end of the gathered strip with the stitching toward you. Fold the right end of the strip down at a 45-degree angle and roll tightly to form the bud. Continue wrapping the ruffled ribbon around the bud, loosely for a more open rose and more tightly for a more closed rose. Stitch along the basted edge as you roll to hold in place.
4. At the end of the ribbon, fold the raw edge down at a 45-degree angle and sew in place.
Note: To make a rose with wire ribbon, first knot one wire on the end of the ribbon, expose the end of the same wire on the opposite end of the ribbon and push the ribbon down the wire to form gathers. When gathered, use the rolling technique, and wrap the bottom of the finished rose with wire to secure.
To make a crepe paper rose, gently stretch one edge of a piece of crepe paper along its length. Roll with the unstretched edge at the bottom of the rose. When the rose is rolled, warp a piece of wire around its bottom.
Materials and Tools:
1-1/2 yards of 1-1/2" wide ribbon
poking tool (knitting needle or a blunt-end needle)
6" of flexible wire
flower stem of wire or plastic
1. Place the ribbon in front of you in a horizontal position with the right side facing up. Create a 45-degree fold about 6" from the left end of the ribbon by folding the left end down toward you so it is perpendicular to the other end of the ribbon.
2. Fold the long length of ribbon on the right away form you at a 45-degree angle so it is parallel to the first ribbon and the two folds form a triangular point at the top.
3. Turn the ribbon counterclockwise one-quarter turn so the triangular point is facing left.
4. Fold the long ribbon on top away from you at a 45-degree angle and place it over the short ribbon and perpendicular to it. The three 45-degree angles folded to this point create three sides of a square.
5. Turn the ribbon counterclockwise again one-quarter turn. Fold the long ribbon away from you at a 45-degree angle and place it in front of the folded ribbon to form the fourth side of the square.
6. Continue turning and folding in this fashion until there are about five layers, leaving 6" of ribbon at the end.
7. Use your blunt-end poking tool to open up the hole at the center of the folded ribbon. Push the end of the ribbon through this hole to the bottom of the folded squares.
8. Pull the ribbon down until it begins to form a bud at the center of the flower.
9. Place the fingers of your left hand between the top two layers of petals. With your right hand, twist the ribbon tail clockwise, forcing the layer of petals to turn about a quarter turn. Don't pull down, just twist the ribbon.
10. Move your fingers down between the next layer of petals and repeat the turning process. Continue in this manner until all layers of petals are formed.
11. Wrap a length of wire around the ribbon tails as close to the bottom of the flower as possible. Twist the wire to secure. Cut the excess ribbon to within 3/4" of the flower base.
12. Place a wire or plastic rose stem at the base of the rose, and wrap the remaining wire tightly around the ribbon and stem. Wrap with floral tape to cover the stem. Add fabric or paper leaves, if desired.
You wouldn't believe that stamps made from a clean foam meat tray could create pretty cards. Use an X-acto knife to cut a small rectangle of the foam tray. Use a pencil to draw a rose pattern on the foam. When you're happy with the design, draw over the lines again to make grooves in the foam. Apply paint to the foam stamp and print.
Revive old mismatched porcelain or earthenware dinnerware with hand-painted roses in bright colors. Use Pebeo water-based colors for china and crockery and simply bake your finished work in the oven. Start by cleaning your dish well with rubbing alcohol. Any paint mistakes can be cleaned up with a Q-tip dabbed in alcohol. Clean brushes between colors with a paper towel or clean rag and be sure to dilute the paints only with Porcelaine 150 thinner. When you're satisfied with your painted design, let the paint dry for 24 hours. Oven bake the dishes for 35 minutes at 300-350 degrees F. If the paint should bubble during baking, scrape off the bubbled portion, clean, paint and bake it again after 24 hours.
Photos by Charles Brooks