Making ribbon flowers is not hard and good news is almost any kind of ribbon can be used to make flowers. Colorful ribbons can create realistic flowers. Ethereal and romantic looks can be achieved through sheer ribbons. Wire-edge ribbons are suitable for making many type of flowers.
( The instructions will state the ribbon measurements in number of ribbon widths needed. This will be referred to as “RW.” For example, if you are using a ribbon that is 1½” (39 mm) wide and the instructions call for a length of 5 RWs, you will cut a 7½” (19 cm) length of ribbon (5 × 1½” = 7½” or 5 × 39 mm = 19 cm) )
Materials and Tools and Required in Project:
- Air-soluble marking pen
- Needle and thread
- Stiff, woven interfacing or crinoline
- Fray check
- Material for flower centers
- Floral wire
- Floral tape
a) Gathered Flowers
Characteristics of the gathered flowers are very much determined by the style and color of the ribbon, the pattern of the hand stitches, and the fullness of the ribbon. Mimic natural flowers or design your own fanciful blossoms.
a.1) Single Gathering Line
- Cut 5 to 15 RWs of ribbon, based on the desired finished fullness. Remove wire from the inner edge (the edge that will become the flower center). Apply Fray Check to the cut ends.
- Double threading the needle and knot at the end. Insert the needle into the outer edge near the cut end. Secure thread by running needle between the threads before pulling the knot tight.
- Stitch to the inner edge, round the corner, and stitch close to the inner edge the length of the ribbon. At the opposite end, round the corner and stitch to the outer edge.
- Pull up on the thread, gather the ribbon tightly. Knot the end to the beginning, turning raw edges to the
back of the flower.
- Tack the flower to a square of backing, directing short stitches from the center outward. Shape petals as desired
and tack in place as needed along the outer edges.
- Follow step 1 in open-end method. Beginning at the inner edge, with right sides of ribbon together, form ribbon
into a circle and stitch ends. Trim seam allowance to 1 ⁄ 8 ” (3 mm). Finger-press the ribbon along the seam.
- Place the wrong sides of ribbon together and stitch ends again from outer edge to inner edge, encasing the
raw edges of the ribbon. (This is known as a French seam.) Knot thread, but do not cut.
- Stitch along the inner edge of the ribbon circle, overlapping one stitch at the end. Pull up on thread, gathering
- Tack to backing. Apply flower center.
a.2) Double Gathering Line
To make flower buds, berries, or flower buds for stemmed flowers, use a closed method to sew the gathering lines along the sides of the ribbon. Fill the flower buds and berries with polyester fiberfill or beads.
b) Continuous Petal Flowers
b.1) Five-petal flowers
- Cut 12½ to 17½ RWs of ribbon, depending on your desired fullness. Remove the wire from the inner edge, which the edge will become the center of the flower. Apply Fray Check to the ends.
- Five equal sections are marked along the inner edge, 2½ to 3½ RWs wide. Stitch the running stitches in the displayed pattern, wounding the lines at each marker around the outer edge.
- Tighten the ribbon. Knot the end to the beginning, turning the raw edges to the back of the flower. Tack the flower to a square of backing. Apply flower center.
b.2) Serpentine gathering
- Mark off both edges of 1½ to 3 yd (1.4 to 2.7 m) of 7 ⁄ 8 ” or 1½” (23 or 39mm) ribbon into 2-RW segments, staggering the position of the opposite side 1 RW.
- Make a knot thread at the first mark. Stitch diagonally zigzag pattern, wrapping the thread around the outer edge at each mark.
- Pull up the thread and gathering the ribbon to about one-fifth of its original length.
- Form tight circle with first three loops, and tack to backing. Coil the remaining ribbon loosely around the center, tacking inner edges in place as you go. Turn over and pin the end of the strap with a tack.
b.3) Looped petals
- Mark a ½” (1.3 cm) circle onto backing fabric with marking pen. Cut 3 yards (2.7 m) of ½” (12 mm) wide ribbon and knot the thread near the end of the ribbon.
- Take three small stitches into the ribbon 2″ (5 cm) apart, and pull up on thread, forming loops. Tack the loops to circle marking of the fabric, with loops pointing outward. Repeat this step, working around the circle.
- Form an inner layer of loops, as in step 2. Continue until end of the ribbon. Tack end to backing. Add flower center.
c) Individual Petal Flowers
The basic technique is forming individual petals from short cuts of ribbon, that will provide them unique shapes by the way you cut the ends or by sewing seams. Then sew these petals together to make distinctive flowers.
c.1) Seam-Shaped Petals
- Based on the your desired flower size and cut the ribbon lengths accordingly for individual petals. After that fold in half crosswise. Stitch a seam by hand or machine, curving gradually from the petal base to the tip.
- Apply Fray Check to both layers 1 ⁄ 8 ” (3 mm) from the seam; allow to dry. Trim seam allowance to 1 ⁄ 8 ” (3 mm).
- Now stitch to join the petals; with slightly overlapping petals to form flowers with many single petals. About 11 petals to make 1 flower but this is not fixed. Pull thread in order to join petals into a circle.
- Tack to backing or secure to stem wire. Apply flower center.
c.2) Cut-Shaped Petals
- Use marker pen to do marking on desired petal lengths on ribbon. Apply Fray Check across at each mark and allow to dry. Cut the ribbon at marked point; use pinking shears if desired, or shape petal ends in slight curves.
- Join petal bases together with running stitches, with slightly overlapping the petals to form flowers with many single petals. Pull the thread to join petals into a circle.
- Tack to backing or secure to stem wire. Apply flower center. Shape petals as desired.