Gathered Ribbon Flowers
Continuing our weekly theme of Ribbon Flowers, today I am making a gathered flower from ribbon and attaching it to a stem. Any type of ribbon flower can be used for this bouquet, including the “no sew” ribbon flowers from Monday’s tutorial. Each flower is attached either to a wooden dowel or a looped florist wire that is wrapped with florist tape. Several flowers and stems are combined to make a bouquet.
Ribbon of all kinds – satin, grosgrain, printed, ruffled, etc.
Ribbon width of all kinds – 3/8” for the tiniest to 1 ½ “ for the largest
Green ribbon for leaves
Floral tape or green ribbon to cover the stems
Florist wire (optional)
Wooden dowels – ¼” – I found skewers to be the perfect size
Needle and thread
The length of ribbon is determined by its width. However, you can experiment with different lengths and widths. After all, nature does that doesn’t she?
For this demonstration, I used about 20″ of satin ribbon.
Directions:Thread a needle with a double thread, knotted at the end. Secure the first stitch by over stitching at the end of the ribbon. Sew a running stitch on one edge of the ribbon. I started at the top of the ribbon and curved the stitch to the bottom of the ribbon. Continue with the running stitch the entire length of the ribbon.
Pull the thread to gather the ribbon. You can pull it tightly or loosely. Either will change the look of your flower.
I pulled it rather tightly and secured the thread by double stitching at the end. Cut off the remaining thread.
Take a small wooden dowel (or wire). Add a small dot of glue to the end of the ribbon, place the dowel (or wire) on the glue and start to roll the gathered ribbon around the dowel (or wire). You will roll and glue as you go, keeping the ribbon at the top of the stem. Add extra glue where you need it.
I made sepals at the bottom of the flower with green grosgrain ribbon (or you could use floral tape). Cut three 2” pieces of ribbon. I cut the pieces on an angle. There is no set rule. These are part of nature!
Cut “V” shapes in the ribbon to look like leaves. Cut a small slit at the bottom of each sepal. Place about 3 dots of glue on the bottom of one sepal.
Position the sepal on the flower and around the stem. Pinch it with our finger.
Do the same for each sepal, fanning them out around the flower base.
Take the floral tape and wrap it under the sepals. Add a little hot glue to secure it. You need to stretch the tape as you pull it to wrap it around the dowel. The tape sticks to itself if you stretch as you twist. You can also secure with glue as you go but you don’t need to. I put glue at the end of the tape near the bottom of the stem. Another option would be to use green ribbon to wrap around the dowel. Glue as you go in this case also.
I added some ribbon leaves to the flower. Start by cutting a leaf shape from some grosgrain ribbon. You will need to seal the edges of the cut ribbon with either a heat tool or a lighter flame. Just be careful not to set the ribbon on fire! I like to use a long handled barbeque lighter for this purpose.
I made some buds by taking a small piece of ribbon and folding it around a dowel. Add some more sepals, glue them to the dowel and add floral tape down the rest of the dowel.
It takes a lot of flowers to make a full bouquet. You can vary the color and style of flower or you can make the flowers all the same type. The technique of building a ribbon bouquet is the same as it is for real flowers.
While I was making these flower for the demonstration, I also made some small flowers from grosgrain ribbon. These are made in the same manner.
The second flower is made in the same way except I used a double-folded wire with a loop at the end for the stem in place of the wooden dowel.
Sepals are added using floral tape cut in a pointed shape. Continue with wrapping the stem with more floral tape.
Some of them have two stems together. I think this makes the flower look even more real. This way I was able to twist the wrapped wire around the main stem. Again, floral tape was used to wrap around the two stems to secure them together. Leaves are added in the same manner.
I used a little bud vase to put some of my flowers in to set on my windowsill. They add a little sunshine to a gloomy, cloudy day. I’m sure I will enjoy them well into January as well. As you can see we still don’t have any snow in the Midwest.
The flowers you make can be used for so many occasions. Once you learn how to do this, it’s a great way to cuddle up before the TV or fireplace, supplies in hand and make flowers to brighten your life and those of others. Remember practice makes perfect. While no two flowers are exactly the same, the process will get easier. What great gifts!
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