Hand-Pressed Petals

One crafty afternoon, my assistant Montita came over with her flower-making supplies to teach me the art of pressed millinery flower making.  Montita was a silk flower maker in Thailand, and she is a fount of wisdom on the subject.   Let me just say it’s  a difficult and time-consuming process.  Here’s what we went through to make one fluffy flower:

1.  Boiled clear gelatin with water to make a liquid, and spread it onto sheets of fabric.  Hung them outside to dry.

2.  Tested out the irons to make sure they weren’t so hot that they would melt or burn the fabric.

3.  Hand cut petals from our stiffened fabric. We used silk dupioni and a thinner poly silk.

4.  Used over 4 different iron tips on each petal to achieve the exact curve, curl, and wrinkle we were going for.

5.  Stacked each layer of petals, and sewed them together using pearls as “stamens”.

Here is the result!  I made this super simple ivory flower with freshwater pearl center especially for my friend Kim to wear on her wedding day.  I’m so honored that she wore one of my first hand-pressed creations on her big day!

Image courtesy of Orange Turtle Photography.

Here is a more complex peony flower that I made for one of my dearest clients to wear next weekend on her wedding day.  The lace bits compliment the rustic Spanish feel of her wedding perfectly.


These flowers are so much effort, but they are infinitely more beautiful than some silk flower you’d buy from a craft store, chop off the stem, and glue to a hair clip.  I’ve been experimenting with different fabrics, fabric dyes, and iron tips to see what comes of it.

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11 Responses to “Hand-Pressed Petals”

  1. christina Says:

    kris they are so beautiful! so amazing how much love & attention goes into them…it’s like little works of art!

  2. Trista Lerit Says:

    Beautiful Kristin!!! You are so freaking talented it’s unbelievable..and not fair!!! :-)

  3. Rachel (heart of light) Says:

    It’s gorgeous! Do you have the mini iron with the flower making tip? I’ve been playing with it a lot lately.

    • thetreasuredpetal Says:

      Hey Rachel! I have my own little electric iron with 3 tips, but I like Montita’s iron a lot more. It doesn’t get nearly as hot, and hers comes with 10 tips so we can do a lot more with it. I’m torn- I think the flowers are beautiful, but I’m not sure if I have the patience to be making these all the time. What’s your experience with this process?

  4. Beth Says:

    Gosh, the peony flower is gorgeous!

  5. loveandsplendor Says:

    you already know i loooove them!! <3

  6. Cynthia Aguirre Says:

    My flower is SO GORGEOUS! I loved it, and it just made my hair for the reception look great! thanks again so much!!!

  7. soochern Says:

    Hi Kristin,
    This is an awesome flower..
    I start learning to make fabric flower too..
    I’m wondering where do you buy the tip iron?
    Thanks for posting this project.
    Cheers!!

  8. thetreasuredpetal Says:

    Hi Soochern!

    I purchased the iron on etsy from this seller: http://www.etsy.com/shop/dearfellow?ref=seller_info

    but I think she must have closed down her shop :( Keep looking around online for millinery irons- I know they are out there! Check ebay!

    Have fun!

  9. H.J.Delight Says:

    For the last few years, I have been making reproductions of Victorian Millinery Irons. Pls. contact ArleneBkr@aol.com for photos and pricing if you would like to purchase these unique tools.

  10. soochern Says:

    Hi Kristin,
    thanks for your reply…thought i’m suppose to receive a alert email once you reply.
    I manage to get a DIY tip iron.

    H.J.Delight, thanks for your suggestion too.

    cheers

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