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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tutorial: Loom Flowers (without the loom!)

So, a while ago, I fell in love with loom flowers. They are such a cute accent, and you can use ribbon, raffia and all types of yarn and string to make them. I love them layered with other flowers to make accent pieces that can go in hair, on sweaters, on purses, anywhere you can clip them (Aubrey and I share and we have a ton of these things, we both love them!).

A few weeks ago, we had Recognition Night for Activity Days (this is a basically like Cub Scouts for girls at our church). I'm an assistant leader and our theme was DOTS which stands for Depend on the Savior. It was totally cute, with a dot garland, dot cupcakes and dot everything. We wanted to do something fun the girls could wear to remember the night, so I came up with these bows:

I wound a bunch of loom flowers, had some of my scrapbook flowers and buttons, and a the large polka dot flower I sewed. The girls got to layer them, then I helped them hot glue it all together and add a clip. They turned out so cute and the girls picked great color combinations! I was seriously impressed with their creativity and taste. My pink and green was sort of boring compared to the teals and oranges, or blues and purples.

Anyway, I have some looms that I bought off Etsy that work really well, but my kids broke off some of the prongs from the size I needed, so I had to improvise. One of the looms I bought (notice the circle inside the circle, also something you can do with my improvised method):

First, you need a piece of styrofoam. You could also potentially drill holes into a piece of wood for a more permentant loom, but the stryofoam works great, since you can pick any size (from about 1" to 5") and number of loops.

First, I used a cup in the right size to make my circle. I actually found this particular cup really useful, since I used the lines to space the nails. You don't have to be exact on this, which is another nice thing. The flowers are pretty forgiving. I pressed the nails fairly far into the styrofoam, and angled them just slightly toward the cup.


Ok, once you have your circle made, it's time to start winding. I secured the end with a pin. Then wind around the nails, going across the circle. I've numbered the nails in this photo so you can get an idea:
 

Wind loosely, not pulling on the nails, but using them as a guide. Once you get going, it will look like this:

Keep going until you've gone around at least three times. I choose to do five rounds for this flower. You can check to make sure they are all even by counting the loops on each nail.

Cut your yarn, leaving at least 18" tail. Thread this on a needle. Pulling it across the flower, as if to make another loop, place the needle under all the yarn loops on that nail.

Pull taut. Go around the opposite side of the loop, down underneath two of the loops, then pull up through the top. This will secure a loop around each "petal."  Repeat this step until each petal is secure. You can also do this step in a contrasting color or with a different type of material (thin ribbon, raffia, etc) for a very cool effect.
 

Once that is finished, stick the needle into the middle.

If you have more flowers to wind, gently pull the petals off the nails, leaving them behind. If you are done, pull the nails out of the styrofoam.

Pull the tail through the middle to the back. Gentle tie the ends together (don't pull to hard or the loops will pull through) in a square knot. Trim ends.
 Finished flower:

Another view of the finished flower and the bow:

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