When Valentine’s Day rolls around each year, it is typically celebrated with hearts and flowers. This boutonniere incorporates both in a unique accessory that announces your Valentine’s Day spirit. Make one for yourself or for those you care about to mark this special occasion.
While floral lapel boutonnieres are normally carnations, this one is made from fabric stiffened with a decoupage product, allowing the six heart shaped petals to support each other rather than going limp. Fabric flowers can be attached in various ways to a lapel, a purse, a hat or pretty headbands.
Although many different types of fabric can be used to make fabric flowers, sheer and flimsy white fabrics make the best foundation for the valentine boutonniere. The diaphanous quality adds to the visual appeal.
This flower doesn’t require much fabric. A 12” square will make one flower. You may be able to find scraps this size. Most fabric stores have bins with smaller pieces of fabric at reduced prices.
Sheer and flimsy fabrics are often difficult to handle. Applying a decoupage using tools like a brush can be a challenge. But the job becomes easy when the fabric is first bonded to freezer paper. The paper holds the fabric rigid and keeps it from sticking to the paintbrush. You’ll find freezer paper at many supermarkets on the same aisle as aluminum foil.
It carries the Reynolds name and comes in a box similar to the foil. At 18” wide, the product is a more generous size than foil and perfect for arts and crafts projects.
Coat The Fabric
I don’t know of another product that will react with sheers like Fast Finish. Products manufactured with the specific purpose of stiffening fabric often require several coats to do the job. And that means lots of waiting for one application to dry before applying another. These products also can leave white spots on sheer fabric. Fast Finish Decoupage will stiffen the fabric with one coat and also keep it from fraying under normal handling. Like magic, it transforms tissue-like material into firm layers ready to be shaped into interesting forms. Clean up is a breeze too with this product because it is water-based. Thanks to the water base, the other plus is the absence of a strong offensive chemical smell. You can find Fast Finish at craft stores and online.
1. Pour Fast Finish into a plastic container.
2. Use a wide brush to “paint” the fabric. Do not over saturate. One coat is all you need. Just be sure to cover the entire surface.
Cut The Pieces
When the Fast Finish has completely dried, you’re ready to cut the bonded fabric into six pieces. Using scissors or a rotary cutter, cut two strips to measure four inches by two inches, two strips to measure three and a half inches by two inches and two strips to three inches by two inches.
The beautiful stencil used for the Valentine flower was designed by Samantha Walker and came from the Silhouette Online Store which provides stencil templates to crafters who cut them out using a digital stencil cutting machine. If you own one, you can buy the template for one dollar.
Create A Stencil
If you don’t own a stencil cutter, you can find heart stencils at Joann’s and Michaels. Or you can create your own design by using the images on this page as a guide. Here’s how.
1. Print the images on card stock, separate the three images and cut out the shapes. The largest image should measure four inches top to bottom. If it doesn’t, adjust the size before printing.
2. Press a piece of scotch tape onto a corner of the freezer paper and pull to easily separate it from the fabric. Peel the freezer paper away from each strip and discard.
3. Spray the backside of the card stock images with repositionable adhesive spray and press them onto the cut fabric strips.
4. Place all 6 strips on a paper towel, which will absorb excess paint.
Several items can used to create interesting designs inside the heart. Experiment with different possibilities like paper doilies, lace doilies, loosely crocheted items, and pieces of lace fabric or ribbon.
Spray one side of your doily or design material with the adhesive. Press it down on top of the stencil. The design should cover the heart shape and extend past the boundaries of the image.
Paint The Stencil
1. Use an airbrush or paint can to spray the hearts with red paint. It may help to tape down two ends of each strip so it doesn’t move when you spray them.
2. When dry, remove the design material.
3. Using a red marker, trace the heart shapes just inside the cutout to create a border around the design.
4. When the paint is completely dry, use scissors to cut just outside the borders of each heart.
Assemble The Flower
1. Snugly tie a five-inch string into a double knot around the center of each petal design. Matching the heart shapes of each end with help you find the exact center.
2. After knotting, pull on the two hearts so the petals are not folded in against each other and lie somewhat flat. Don’t trim the string tails.
3. Once all the petal sections are tied, it’s time to stack them. Cut the tails from one four-inch petal section. Put the other four-inch section on top of it creating a cross pattern.
4. Bring the string tails under the bottom section and tie into a double knot. Trim the tails.
5. Add the three and a half inch sections in the same way, adding one section at a time and tying its strings under the bottom section.
6. When the smallest section is on top and all the sections are attached, adjust the individual petals into position until you’re happy with the look.
Use glue or a hot glue gun to add beads or fancy buttons to the center of the flower. I used a piece of beaded trim I found at the fabric store for my flower. If you use a fancy button, keep in mind, that choosing one with a shank is preferable. When the shank of a button glued to the flower, the top of the button will sit well above the fabric. A flat button, especially if it’s a large one, will flatten the center of the flower.
Cut a small round piece of felt or fleece and glue it to the back of the flower. Attach a pin to the felt with Dazzle-Tac or other jewelry glue.
What You'll Need For This Project
Fast Finish Decoupage
Stencil & card stock
Repositionable Stencil Adhesive Spray
Button or Beads
More Fabric Flowers