Home » How to make DuhBe fabric roses

How to make DuhBe fabric roses

I made up this method for making handmade fabric roses based on what I know of rolled fabric roses, and the organza flowers from  Reese Dixon.  Rather than keep all my secrets to myself, I want to share this method with others.  Some crafters will think I’m crazy for sharing my secrets for an item I sell in my Etsy shop, but I believe that sharing information contributes to the creativity of others and that is more important than me selling stuff.  That’s just my own personal philosophy on creativity.  Share it – don’t hoard it!  :lol:   Making roses in 5 simple steps – after the break…

DuhBe roses color chart

One note before I get started with the instructions…You must be able to follow instructions very well if you attempt to make these!  Many of the steps have some leeway in them, but the part with fire requires MUCH caution.  I can not be held responsible for any harm you incur while playing with fire.  So attempt your rose making at your own risk. I am only sharing my own method, not every single safety precaution.  This craft is for responsible adults.  If you are not a responsible adult (or if you had to stop and ask yourself if you qualify) then this craft is not for you.  Honestly, this is no more dangerous than cooking on a gas stove.  :-) OK, carry on then…

Choosing fabric for the roses

Big important point here – you must use synthetic fabric!!  Natural fabrics do not work.  Polyester is what I choose.  You might pick something different based on this fabric burn test chart.  I’ve had the best results using 100% polyester lining fabrics.  Lining fabrics are generally cheap ($2 – $5 per yard) and plentiful at local fabric stores in many colors.

Step 1 – Cut fabric into strips

I fold the fabric by matching the selvedge edges, then folding again into quarters.  This gives me a long skinny strip that is easy to cut with rotary cutter, clear ruler and cutting mat.  If you do this with scissors, that works too.  It just takes longer.  My fabric is 45″ wide so after folding it is around 11″ wide – an easy size to manage with my cutting tools.

For this sample I cut the fabric into 3″ strips.  I think 2.5″ is my personal preference.  Try your own sizes to see what you prefer.  After cutting you’ll have a 3″ by 45″ strip.  Cut off the selvedge ends.

DuhBe handmade roses - cut the strips

Step 2 – Shape the strips into petals

Fold the strips into 4ths, then 3rds again so they are around 4″ wide, then cut the corners off 2 top edges to shape like a wide rose petal.  This will give a more realistic look to your rose.    I also like to cut the first 3 petals off the end which will be the inside of the rose.  This keeps the flower center from protruding up too much on the finished rose.  You can also shorten the first few petals near the center if you like.

DuhBe handmade roses - shape the strips

DuhBe handmade roses - strip after shaping

Step 3 – Melt the edges

Here is the secret step.  Melting the edges of polyester seals it from fraying, and also creates a little curl and darkening on the edge of the rose petal for a realistic look.

Just hold the fabric strip near the candle flame and melt all edges of the strip – including the bottom and sides.  I could wax poetic for an hour about all I’ve learned about this step.  But it’s easier if you experiment a little bit yourself and see what works best for you.  Here are a few tips from my experience – use them or create your own preference:

  • I like using a candle stick best, and quickly run the fabric through the flame.
  • turn off any fans – air flow in the room will make the flame dance and just frustrate you
  • if the wick gets too long the flame will dance – same frustration as above
  • each fabric melts differently – experiment until you like the results.  Be aware that light colored fabrics might get black if held near the flame too long, so work quickly.
  • be sure to melt the inside corners between petals to prevent fraying there
  • The bumpy edge looks best curled, but the straight edge which will be the base of your rose just needs to be sealed and not melted into curling

DuhBe handmade roses - melt the strips

DuhBe handmade roses - strip partially melted

DuhBe handmade roses - strip after melting

Step 4 – Gathering the strip

After the strip is cut and melted, you just gather the bottom edge, that’s the side that doesn’t have the bumpy petal shapes.

I’ve done this 3 ways.  All of them work.  Choose the one you prefer

  1. Using a pleater foot on my machine (shown in photo)
  2. Increasing the top thread tension on my machine, then baste.  This makes the fabric pucker and gather on it’s own.
  3. Baste the edge by hand or machine and pull the thread to hand gather

DuhBe handmade roses - gather the strip

A note on gathering and bloom size

Gather that 45″ strip down to anywhere between 10″ and 20″.  The more you gather, the more open your rose would be.   Below are photos of the same 45″ strip next to a ruler.  One is gathered around 10″ and the other is more like 20″.  After rolling them up, the 10″ gathered strip makes the open bloom on the right.  The 20″ gathered strip makes a more closed bloom on the left.  Play around with different gathered sizes to see what you like best.  I have found that leaving the center side of the strip loosely gathered gives me a nice “bud” for the rose center so it looks more like a real rose.  As with the other steps – experiment to find what you like best.

DuhBe handmade roses - different gathered lengths DuhBe handmade roses - different bloom sizes

Step 5 – Roll and sew

Now you just roll up the gathered strip and hand sew it together at the base.  I usually roll the strip around my finger and just keep the basted edge lined up as I roll it.  Be sure the fabric doesn’t slip around and make the center part too high.  Use a strong thread to tack several stitches at the base which will hold the rose together.  To make the rose more realistic – look at how the petal edges curl, then roll the rose so the petals curl towards the outside.  You can always do some touch up melting if you find any fraying edges, or if you want to curl some petals.  You can also use your needle and thread to “soft sculpt” the rose and position centers if you are feeling ambitious.

DuhBe handmade roses - roll and sew

Finishing up

That’s it.  You have a rose!  After practicing it should take around 15-20 minutes per rose.  The melting steps and the hand sewing steps are good for putting on the telephone headset and chatting with friends and family.  ;-)

Here are some ideas on what to use these for:

  • Make a brooch by sewing or gluing on a pinback
  • attach to clothing, purses, shoes
  • make hair accessories – ponytail holder, headband, barette or bobby pin
  • decorate your home – attach to lamp, fill a bowl or vase, sew onto curtains, bedspread, etc.
  • perfect for giftwrapping – use a rose instead of a bow and use a strip of matching fabric for the ribbon
  • They make nice favors for parties, showers or weddings.  Incorporate them into placesettings.  Make napkin rings.

These are just some uses I could think of.  There are many, many more.   I would love to hear what you are using them for.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this tutorial and how you plan to use all the roses you are going to make!

DuhBe roses in merlot

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215 Responses to “How to make DuhBe fabric roses”

  1. Jessica says:

    These flowers are my favorite!!! I have purchased several large orders of these to make hair accessories with them. Some are available for purchase in my shop at http://www.jeckaboutique.etsy.com and featured on my blog at http://jeckaboutique.com/blog/.
    DuhBe has been such an inspiration! I am anxiously awaiting a huge order in many of the new colors…My mind is spinning with new ideas, especially for brides. Stay tuned…
    THANK YOU, LUCI!!!

  2. BrendaLea says:

    Thanks for the awesome tute! Great instructions an I look forward to tying my hand at making some of these… they are beautiful.

  3. Madelyn says:

    Very nice! Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. Liz says:

    I love these – thanks for the turorial. On a more personal note, it is always great to find other crafty science geeks. I’ll be back.

  5. How beautiful these roses are, and how very generous of you to share your method! Thank you!

  6. Pharpha says:

    Love your easy tutorial. I have fooled around making roses since a child, but making dolls is my hobb now. I sometimes require smaller things and although I use the candle to burn fabric hems, I think trying a wood burning tool is safer and perhaps will accomplish the same thing but one can be more precise. I do like the black sometimes, but sometimes not. You can also put holes in synthetics with the tool which look like lacy things. Some grape leaves look just like that outside as the Japanese beetles have been dining with vigorll making them look like lace.. What fun that might be to print those lacy leaves on fabric…Off the subject, but still in the flora etc….Thanks for sharing. Your ideas are like yeast…they grow! pharpha

  7. Pharpha says:

    try a wood burning tool instead of the candle for preciseness and safety issues.
    Also, a wire zigzagged works well and fast for the gathering and is easily twisted to finish before you stitch by hand. This is more sturdy for some uses.

  8. duhbe says:

    Thanks for all the encouragement. I’m so glad people have found their way over here from the CRAFTzine blog.

    As far as using a woodburning tool, I have actually used a soldering iron for that purpose but it only seals the edges and you don’t get the same curling and darkening of the petals. But people should experiment with their own tools and creative flow to see what works best! I had some options like that at the end of the tutorial, but decided to leave that as a follow up post later on. :-)

  9. mub says:

    These are SO pretty! Thanks for sharing your technique =)

  10. carole says:

    How beautiful. I am making a quilt for each of my daughter in laws and needed some kind of decoration. I have it now. Roses. thank you

  11. Damia says:

    These are fantastic. And your Tutorial is very clear and easy to follow. Thank you for your generousity

  12. Emily says:

    Thanks for this! I ran across this at Craft, and it happened to be just the thing I needed. I whipped up a couple in black and added some stems and fake leaves to use as accessories for a mime costume (Quiet Riot bar crawl in Pittsburgh!). Totally perfect! Thanks!

  13. brigitte68 says:

    how fabulous is your tutorial!!!
    thanks a lot for these fantastic roses

  14. Rachel says:

    How beautiful! I saw the link on Craft and just had to click over. i would love to link to this in the Daily DIY if you didn’t mind. Off to explore the rest of your blog…

  15. I SO appreciate your tutorial b/c I can really make & use these with my cards! Once I get around to buy fabric this weekend & finished them, I’ll be sure to post & link back to you on my! AWESOME! Thanks so much!!! Cheers, Julie

  16. sigrid says:

    Hello thank you so much for sharing not to many people like you out their . Your step by step is very detailed good job thank you again i will enjoy making them with my pre teen mom and daughter time. thank you for the memory’s we will have

  17. » Projects says:

    […] I think I’m going to add at least one more to the mix:  I am dying to try to make these fabric roses.  But I want to make them GIANT size, attach them to sticks, and place them in a huge vase in my […]

  18. reese dixon says:

    What a great tute Luci! I agree with your sharing creativity philosophy 110% and I’m thrilled to see it bearing fruit (or roses) right here! Yay us!

    • duhbe says:

      What a great compliment from you Reese, since it was your gorgeous blooms that inspired me in the first place!!!

  19. […] DuhBe shares a tutorial for making these gorgeous ribbon rose blooms.  Use an individual bloom as a brooch or a group of them as a mini bouquet.  Go to the tutorial. […]

  20. Anne Weaver says:

    Stunning!!! I posted a link to your tutorial (and your Etsy shop) on Craft Gossip Sewing:
    http://sewing.craftgossip.com/tutorial-ribbon-rose-bloom/2009/07/26/
    –Anne

  21. Darlene says:

    Your roses are beautiful!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

  22. […] of projects.  It is actally almost done – I just need to cast off and block.  I tried those roses, but they are a lot more difficult than they look!  I tried basting them and pulling the thread to […]

  23. LUBY says:

    c’est magnifique, bravo pour cette réalisation, j’adore
    amitiés, karine

    (edited by Duhbe for the English translation: “This is great, bravo for your idea, I love it. Friendship, Karine
    Now if I could only translate those comments I’m getting in Turkish, sorry!)

  24. Nazima says:

    Hey thr thanks a lot…really nice and easay…i knew how to make the roses but dint knw i cud burn the edges to keep it from fraying…i have a fashion show lined up and m gonna use these for my models shoes…thxs god bless.. :)

  25. Ruth Ann says:

    thank you so much for these clear directions and the pictures are wonderful bonus! . Thank you for sharing your ideas.. I am looking to make roses to put on bridesmaids dresses.. and these will be perfect! I cannot wait to get started!

  26. […] einer Kerzenflamme verschmolzen habe. Im Internet gibt es einige Anleitungen dazu. Ich habe mich an dieser Beschreibung orientiert, Lucy hat schon diese andere Fundstelle für die Methode erwähnt. Natürlich […]

    German –> English translation via Google translator

    […] A candle had melted. On the Internet there are some instructions to do so. I have been guided by this description, Lucy has already mentioned this other reference to the method. Of course, […]

  27. […] A super easy way to jazz up an outfit, bouquet or the ceremony/reception decor, this amazingly easy tutorial on how to make fabric roses is an inexpensive way to put your DIY mark on your wedding without breaking the bank. Etsy seller […]

  28. Thank you so much for sharing how to make these roses. They are so pretty and I can’t wait to give to a try. You did a fantastic job of explaining step by step, thanks again for your generosity!
    Peace to you…. :-)

  29. Alexandra says:

    Waouw. Thanks for sharing, can’t wait to try it out.
    (I love Science and art to!) I’m in my last year of High school and hope to become an orthodontist, but I still like crafts. As a matter of fact, i’m making rings now)

    • duhbe says:

      Hi Alexandra, glad you found me! Just remember that science and creativity are not mutally exclusive, they should actually be best friends!

  30. Ana Rô says:

    Sou apaixonada por rosas! Obrigada por compartilhar com a gente essa maravilha.
    Beijos e até mais…

    (Duhbe translated this from Portugese to English using Google Translator:)

    ‘m In love with roses! Thanks for sharing with us this marvel.
    Kisses and even more …

  31. KLauren says:

    I’m so glad I found this tutorial! I’m a costumer and want to use this technique to make some rose petal skirts for fairie folk in a show I’m doing. Thank you for being so generous with your instruction. Knowledge is a good thing and can be so useful. I’ve been trying a woodburning tool, doesn’t seem to get the same curl to the edge as the candle. That makes all the difference.
    Thanks again so much for this tutorial. Blessings!

  32. […] you’d prefer a little more realistic rose, then check out this how-to from DuhBe.  They use a technique of cutting fabric, shaping it with a candle and then gathering it to create […]

  33. Tiffany says:

    We love this! Thank you so much for sharing. We will be making mention of this project and your blog on this week’s Sunday’s Inspired at Home Radio show. http://www.inspiredathomeradio.com

    Creatively,

    TIffanyT

    • duhbe says:

      Tiffany – that’s great news! I’ll be sure to listen, and I plan to hear some of your older podcasts while I work in my studio today. Thanks!

  34. Lucy K says:

    WOW! Love them! And you have a great “personal philosphy”!

  35. Angie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I agree with your philosophy. I used to have a craft company where I recycled maps into jewelry and ‘stuff’. I’ve been sharing this process with many people, no charge. I love recycling and crafts!
    I will make the rose tomorrow. Looking forward to your technique. I’ve tried others but these roses look the most authentic.

  36. leyya says:

    its wonderfull:)so so so thank you for these rose:))

  37. […] Click here to learn how to cut and fold your way to your own gorgeous lotus flowers made of silk…great to adorn hair clips, bags and clothes! For a tutorial on making fabric roses, go here. […]

  38. Jan says:

    This is yet another stunning way to create one of nature’s most beautiful flowers and you do it so much justice.. absolutely beautiful!

  39. This is so great! Thanks so much!

  40. Kandi says:

    Thank you so much for your generosity .
    I have my own furniture and furnishing store .
    I do not have a lot of time to experiment when I come up with an idea for something . You have saved me loads of time . I plan to incorporate these into my wedding also . I will be back to your place !!!!
    Amazingly easy to follow.

  41. I can’t thank you enough for this tutorial.
    You use many of my techniques I use everyday.
    I’m an alternative fashion designer who does both garments and accessories and I will sure experiment with this technique to make roses for the garments, hats and hairclips.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Lots of karma to you!

    xXx

    Ingela Lordsdotter

  42. Hannah says:

    I came across this website while searching how to make fabric flowers- I love your instructions, especially with pictures- and the roses are beautiful. Thank you!

  43. Barbara says:

    LOVE this tutorial! I am going to start making roses for my custom Stevie Nicks hats and clothing in my store next week, and am DEF. going to try out this method, thank you so much!

    Barbara

    http://www.StevieNicksClothing.com

  44. Kath says:

    thanks so much cant wait to try …from nz

  45. Dora says:

    Thank you Duhbe for the instructions on how to make a rose, and I totally agree with your philosophy, sharing your idea is so unselfish. The roses are beautiful. I will be making roses.

  46. Le says:

    This tutorial is GREAT. I’ve been doing a lot of research on flower making and I’m so excited to have found your tutorial. I’m attempting to make my bridal bouquet and this is perfect! Thank you for sharing! I’m headed to JOANN’s tomorrow for my fabric. =)

  47. Stephanie says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I’m getting married this year and want to make one for my hair. I’ll be using these in projects for a long time. It is very kind of you to share your technique — again, thanks!

  48. Missy R says:

    i’m using it for an american beauty design for college fashion show :)

  49. esma says:

    anlat?ml? olu?u çok güzel deneyece?im sizinle tan??t???ma çok memnunum türkiye istanbul agva’dan selamlar