Giveaway! Geeking Out! The Art of Handmade Flowers

09 Jun 2009

So, I reviewed this book a while back, but the nice people at New Sheer Creations sent me a copy to give away, and some supplies to make flowers with. (Thank you, Fe!)

Last night, I entirely redeemed a not-so-great day by diving into nylon flowers. Wanna see?

The materials are simple - I've made pantyhose flowers before, but I will say, New Sheer's stuff is the Cadillac version. Wondering what those nested circles are?

They're petal forms - just choose the size, wrap the wire around it and twist, and you have consistently-sized petals in seconds. Awesome!

The real genius bit, though, is this nylon thread. See how it's kind of spun in texture? Well, that gives it incredible stretch, so when you wrap it around the base of a petal, it "grabs" the nylon fabric and stays in place. This makes it super easy to tie a double knot and anchor the petal.

UPDATE: Fe emailed me to say that you don't even have to tie a knot - you can just wind the thread a few times around the base of the petal and it stays in place!

I love this stuff! It'll have lots of other crafty applications...

Initially, I cut the nylon fabric into squares before stretching it over the wire. But that created more waste than I wanted. So then I tried leaving the fabric intact, stretching the end over the wire and then trimming it off. Worked great - and I was able to get a lot of petals out of a very small amount of nylon.

Incidentally, I love this variegated color! New Sheer also has solids in gorgeous colors.

...Then you gather up a group of petals, with a clump of stamens in the middle.

Oh - and you also need some leaves.

From there, it's a matter of arranging and floral-taping. The book gives you great guidance on how to place the flowers and leaves along a stem to create replicas of specific types of flowers. Not that you couldn't go wild and invent your own.

Voila! Here's my take on a Eustoma from the book. I've been obsessively tweaking and curving the petals since I made it.

Now for the giveaway! Just leave a comment here and tell me what flowers you're looking forward to most during this gardening season. I'll draw a winner at random at noon PST, Thursday, June 11. International readers, you're welcome to enter.

Good Luck!

UPDATE: Congratulations to MelodyJ, who won! I'm emailing you for your address now...


Cosmos. They are the South Korean National Flower. They just make me smile.

I am looking forward to Roses, Violets, and Jasmine. The Honeysucle that grows wild is always a treat.

I'd love some roses! They are definitely my favourite flowers :)

Thanks & have a nice evening

I live in FL, so we have lush flowers year round, but I am looking forward to seeing the tiger lillys that grow along the roadside when we visit up north in July. Timing should be perfect.

Those look great :)

The flowers I was looking forward to most this year were my foxgloves which have flowered and keep getting taller everyday :D

Most of my favorites have been and gone. I guess my next favorite will be the zinnias I put in. The ones the slugs keep eating.

This is great. Hope I am not too late for the comp! Even if I am, the flowers look great. I have been looking for instructions on this and yours are very simple to follow. :)

toad lillies. i love them. they are like regular lillies, but tiny :)

I'm not sure what their proper name is but I love the 'trumpet flowers'. They grow from bulbs and are just gorgeous, huge flowers that look just like trumpets. :)

I second the vote for honeysuckle. Pantyhose petals look soooo much better than the old fabric glued to a wire that I used when I made fabric flowers.

wow, those are so clever cool!
it's winter here in australia but i'm soooo looking forward to the first magnolia blooms appearing along our street - that's when i know spring is right around the corner!

Oh I would love to have this book...if I don't win I may need to go pick it up. I love all flowers but the pansies growing in my garden are my favorite this year!

I'm looking forward to of my favorites.

I can't believe those flowers are made out of pantyhose...they look really great!

I want to say Roses are my most looked forward to flower.. but, I can't. I just love my little box on th side of my fence full of persalain.

Creating flowers from different types of material is my hobby. I love to make flowers stocking material also, some of them are on my yahoo flickr account. all varieties of new sheer creation flowers are beautiful. i shall also try them out

Sadly the heat is so scorching here flowers are scarce. It is a lovely time though because the desert plants are in bloom and it for a split second makes me forget how hot it is outside. My mom has happened to keep her sunflowers alive this summer so that is a nice surprise. This looks like a very fun thing to do when the day seems to drag. If I do not win it I think I may have to find myself a copy. My five year old just looked over my shoulder and squealed in delight and is also planning on trying her hand at these. haha

Lilies, they are so beautiful.

GREAT JOB on that flower! Looks like a FABULOUS book!

I LOVE peonies and roses the best, but really LOVE all flowers!!!

I'm looking forward to the jasmine flowering. We have some in a big tub next to the front door, and when it's in bloom the fragrance is lovely.

Oh wow, what a blast from the past. My mother taught classes on this back in the early seventies. I haven't seen anything like that since then! So funny, thanks for the memories. I'm excited about seeing my girls pick cherry tomatoes. The plant is getting nice thick stems and I can almost taste the juiciness now!

I'd love to make some fuchsia and some freesia!

Right now the poppies, peonies and roses are popping in my garden. I would love to be able to replicate the papery effect of poppies.

Pantyhose flowers!?
Oh, as a former flower shop clerk/designer, this is perfect for me. No trashing!

Peonies... and gorgeous hydrangeas!

I can't wait for sunflowers!

I want to make flowers :)

I love daffodils and pansies. I finally have an attempt at a window-box herb garden this year and I'm really looking forward to the lavender blooming.

I've always been partial to alstromeria, but I also love the different varieties of fuchsia, especially when grouped together in many hanging baskets. EEEE color overload!

Oh my. I'm going to have to try these. I have an unfortunate obsession with crafts that produce life-like flowers. Gorgeous!

I have to say my peonies! I love them so much, the large flower heads are just wonderful. Close second are my hollyhocks.

ooo I love it!

How cool are these, nylon flowers! I love anything colorful with a scent. I think the flowers that best visualize summer to me are the big sun flowers and dahlias. XOXO

We pretty much plant a salsa garden - tomatoes, cilantro, onions, jalepeno. I need to buy a lime tree for it to be complete! :)

Wow, hose flowers are so pretty! Have to get that book one way or another. :)

Anyways, I really love jasmine and lilies, both are so elegant looking and jasmine smells wonderful. Always makes me think of my grandma's house.

Irises. I love them. Right now they are in bloom in my garden right next to my rose bushes.

By the way, I love your podcast!

I am looking forward to the snapdragons that I planted coming into bloom.

I have a carnation that's a heirloom varietal. The petals are this iridescent lavender with stripes of hot, flat pink. They look totally unreal and have that spicy pink scent.

Nice stuff! I'm going to try some of these - I love the tutorial. My day lilies are blooming like crazy.

These flowers look better than the artificial flowers that are true to life. Love the colour. Would love to have a go at making arum lilies.

It's not summer where I live, it's actually the monsoon. The flowers that I'm waiting to bloom (that we planted in the summer months) are the tiny lillies and clustervines: pink and sky blue... they make the prettiest pictures in the garden.

I love your nylon flowers! Thank you for the tutorial, it'll definitely go on my list to make.

My favs are asiatic lillies, especially Stargazer!

Ooo - lovely! I am looking forward to seeing the sunflowers I planted bloom! :P

I love any flowers that result in fruit. especially if that fruit is strawberries and I get them before the squirrels do...

Love these!


Darn, I guess I found you too late to enter this giveaway, but those flowers you made are beautiful. Oh, and I love Day Lilies.

Love the nested flower forms! You could probably make those yourself out of plastic PVC plumbing pipe from the hardware store if you couldn't find them for sale anywhere. The pipe is easy to cut with a hacksaw and comes in several diameters.

I actually planted flowers for the first time this year. No fake ones in the windowboxes.

This craft always looked so complicated, but you make it look easy. Might have to try this one. Of course, a free book would help, hint, hint...

Great job and I really appreciate your blog.

Those are really pretty! Glad you were able to turn your day around :)

The nylon flowers are so neat- never would have thought of that! Thanks for the tutorial.

I'm looking forward to the daylilies- they are the only thing in my new flower bed that look like they might come up.

I'm also looking forward to the flowerers on my pumpkin plants... maybe some pumpkins will grow from them!