Today we have a terrific How To-sday from our design team member Jessica Arrant. Flowers always add that little something extra to our projects, here is a great way to make your own.
Ever have a tool that you use all.the.time for a few months and then it gets set aside? Right now I’m “on again” with my Silhouette Cameo so I thought I’d share a fun tip for making your own flowers. Any of you Cricut kids can probably do this too, but I haven’t tested it so you’ll have to let me know how it goes.
- Ribbon, mine is 2.5” wired
- Silhouette fabric blade (see tip below)
- Cutting mat (brand new works best)
- Bone folder/popsicle stick
- Spray starch
- Paper piercer
- Brad/decorative centers
- Heat tool, optional
I’m gonna start by saying that my technique is not the one recommended by Silhouette, but since my machine is out of the warranty period I’m more than willing to save some pennies this way.
Cut the ribbon to your desired length.
Spray it with spray starch. Saturate it. The goal here is to make it super stiff and more like paper so that the mat can hold the ribbon better. This is where I saved lots of money, a bottle of “heavy starch” was $2 at the drug store (and since I don’t iron my laundry it will last forever).
Let the ribbons dry.
While they dry, fire up the ol’ computer and layout however many flowers you’ll be cutting in the Silhouette Studio software. My ribbon has wire in it so I have to make sure that I stay away from the edge.
To make a poppy, like mine, you can either cut three concentric circles or use a file from the Silhouette Store. I did a couple of each and didn't notice the difference.
Once the ribbons are dry lay them out onto your mat. Using the bone folder, push the ribbon into the mat so that it is well-adhered. Load the mat into your die cutter.
Select “Send to Silhouette” in the software, make sure to change the settings so that you’re cutting at the correct speed (I used the default for light weighted fabrics and selected the double cut option). Check and adjust the blade depth (I found that cutting all these flowers started to cut through my mat, I probably should have used a “2”blade depth because of double cutting) and position in the blade holder on your machine.
Cut and remove from mat.
Before assembling the flowers, burn the edges of each layer to lend extra texture and depth. Burning the edges also helped cover up where I cut to close to the wire and had to trim the petals from the ribbon.
Punch a hole into the center of the flower and attach with a brad. Instead of using a single decorative brad, I used a really boring metal one to hold the layers together and then used one of my old Prima flower centers for a more decorative finish.
- The fabric blade is the same as your regular blade, just in a different housing. You could use a regular blade, just make sure to use a brand new one/mark it as your fabric one somehow because to cut fabric you need it to be extra sharp and paper will dull the blade faster. I tried it with a loved blade and it left the edges super frayed, which was okay for this project but wouldn’t suit all fabric projects.
- A new mat is important because of tackiness levels. I did not attempt with a re-stickied mat but as long as the adhesive is fresh it would probably work.
- If the ribbon is taking to long to dry, try force drying it. My heat gun worked nicely but an iron would work too, if ironing is your style.
- Use common sense caution with the burning part, fire is hot.
• • • • •
Thanks Jessica! What a great way to create your own custom flowers. Make sure to come back tomorrow for the final installment of our Citrine Mid Week Mojo!