Hand Painted Silk Plumeria Flowers
a Dharma featured tutorial
Plumeria blossoms are some of the most popular flowers around the world and synonyms with tropical vacation. While you might not be able to hop on a plane to the tropics you can create a bit of colorful tropic flare with these easy to make blooms; no green thumb required! They can be used as centerpieces on your wedding tables or give them to guests as gifts.
- Woven Silk Ribbon (#SR7)
- Natural Silk Sewing Thread (#SSTH)
- Small Jar or dowel
- Dharma Acid Dye # 447 Emerald Green (#DAD2)
- Jacquard Dye-Na-Flow Fabric Paint #804 Salmon (#DNF2)
- Colored Silk Chiffon (#CCHIF-15, Ivory)
- A small round brush (#SB4R)
- Wire Cutters
- Copper Wire or Floral Wire
- Electrical Tape
Let's get started!
First, you will create frames for the petals of your flower using the wire. Find a small jar or dowel to wrap the wire around to shape the wire into a circle/oval shape. We used the bottle of glitterlites as it was similar to the size petal we wanted for this project but you can find something smaller or larger depending on how big you would like your petals to be. For the glitterlites jar we cut 8" pieces of wire to shape around the jar.
Twist off the ends of the wire so you end up with a petal shape. You can tweak it into more of an oval during the next part of the process if you'd like. Make 5 for each flower.
Cut out a square piece of fabric, approximately 5". Lay your circle of copper wire roughly in the center of the square piece of fabric. Fold the fabric over the circle and twist the ends around the stem of your copper circle.
Use the silk sewing thread to secure the twisted fabric around the stem of the copper wire.
Use Jacquard Dye-na-flow fabric paint and a brush to paint both sides of your fabric. We chose Salmon and diluted some of the paint with a few drops of water to create various shades of the color.
Be sure to allow time for each petal to dry once you're done painting. Take a moment and curve your wire slightly so the shape of the petal looks more realistic.
Now you will need to create a stem for your flower petals. Cut a 9" piece of copper wire and bend it in half, leaving a small opening at the point where the wire is bent. Each of the petals you created has a small piece of copper wire extending from it. You will use those ends of wire to add the petals to the stem you just created. Grasp about half of an inch of your bent wire and wind the stem of the petal around it. Continue doing the same with the other petals, moving each one over slightly until you have created a full circle of petals.
Once your petals are arranged as you would like, use either sewing thread and/or electrical tape to tie them together and secure them in place. The tape will be covered by your silk ribbon so you can be as generous with it as you need in order to make sure the petals won't move around.
Use ribbon to wrap around the stem and cover the stem. For this project we created our own dyed ribbon using Dharma Acid Dye #447 Emerald Green and the Basic Tub Dyeing Method. It required about 24 inches of ribbon to cover the stem.
Here are some examples of completed flowers. The flower with the light green stem was painted with Dye Na Flow and then sprayed it with water causing a watercolor effect. The ribbon was dunked into a bottle of Tumble Dye for a mottled effect.