I’m always experimenting with different ways to use up scraps of good fabric, and these DIY denim flowers are my new favorite.
With a few random scraps of fabric, I’ll show you how to assemble these DIY fabric flowers and then give you some ideas for how to use them. Best yet, this is a sewing machine-free project, so you can take it just about anywhere with you. These are great for making while you’re binge watching a series or waiting for kids’ soccer practices to end!
By the end, you’re going to want to make a whole bouquet for yourself to use as a statement embellishment on your next project.
Supplies for DIY denim flowers
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Cutting the flowers
After you’ve printed out your DIY denim flowers pattern, cut around the petal pieces and the center.
For every flower that you want to make, cut 1 center and 4 of each of the different sizes of petals. So in total, you’ll have 13 little pieces for each flower.
Get your thread ready
I like to work on a doubled thread. It makes tying the knots a little easier, and it’ll give some extra strength to the heavier denim.
Cut a length of thread. When I’m working with doubled thread, I’ll roll out about 3′ at a time. After this, thread your needle and bring the eye to the middle of the thread. Bring the ends of the thread together so they’re even and tie a good solid knot.
At any point as you’re making your DIY denim flowers you run out of thread, tie a knot as you’re getting to the end and repeat this threading/knotting process. Now you’re ready to put these fabric flowers together!
Make the flower center
Make several little snips on the long edge of the flower center piece about 1/8″ apart. End each snip about 1/4″ before cutting through the other long edge.
Roll the center piece in your hand. The snips will open up on the right side to make the flower’s middle.
Flip the center over to the wrong side. Stick the needle through the middle of the flower and work it through all the layers of the flower center to the outside edge. Wrap the thread around the raw edge of the center’s top and bring the needle back through the middle.
We’re using a hand overcast stitch here to secure the layers of the flower together and also make a finish on the raw edge.
Work all the way around the little circle to secure the edges of the flower center. Now it’s time to start adding petals.
Add the first row of petals
Find the smallest size of petals. Hold the base of one of these so the edge is even with the backside of the flower’s center. Use the same overcast stitches to connect the petal to the center.
You don’t need to work all the way from the center of the flower. It’s totally adequate to grab 2-3 layers of fabric from the center with each bite of the needle.
Also, don’t feel like you need to stitch every last available millimeter here. 4-5 stitches will do. The most important thing is that both ends of the petal are connected to the flower’s center.
When you’ve finished adding one petal, add the next one, and so on until all 4 petals are connected and surrounding the center. It’s about this time that I find I run out of thread. If this happens to you, make a knot, cut off the thread and add a new piece of thread to your needle.
And on to row 2 of the petals
Our DIY denim flowers are taking shape now. It looks like a proper bud, but let’s keep adding more petals.
Grab the middle size of the petals that you cut. Next, connect them one by one to the 1st row of petals just like you did with the first row.
You’ll notice that the edges of the middle size (and the largest size in a bit here) will overlap each other more as you connect them around the center. That’s okay–we want that for the final step. Just keep making sure that the petals are securely attached around that center, using the overcast stitches.
Last row of petals
Add the 3rd row of petals, using the largest size. Overlap the edges of the petals as you go around the center with your overcast stitches.
At this point, you could be finished with your DIY fabric flower if you wanted to, but we’re going to take it one step further to really give this flower some dimension.
Add shaping stitches
You can do this part after every row of petals, or you can do it all at once. It really makes no difference. If you do decide to do it all at once, fold up the other rows of petals when you’re not working with them so they’re out of the way.
Bring the sides of 2 petals together, overlapping them slightly.
Tie a knot and bring the thread from the wrong side through both petals in the middle of that overlapped edge to the right side.
Take a tiny tiny stitch on the right side and bring the thread again to the wrong side. On the wrong side, take a large stitch–a little bit longer than 1/4″. Repeat this process. You’ll need about 3-4 little + big stitches to get to the end of the petal.
Before you knot the thread, pull on the thread to gather the petal slightly. You’ll notice that this will curl the petals closer towards the flower center. See how flower-like this is getting?! In this slightly gathered state, tie a knot right at the end of your stitching.
Cut the thread, make a new knot and repeat this process for all of the petal edges.
Tada! You finished your DIY denim flower!
Read on to see what you can do with them.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.