Ok, confession time. I nearly TORE MY HAIR OUT making this particular craft. At one point, I looked at it and thought, “Well, I guess I can submit pictures of it to that craft fail blog.” Yep. That’s how bad it was. You see, I had found this tutorial on a blog on how to make these pretty flower brooches out of zippers and when I saw the ones that were in the envelope from www.dollarstorecrafts.com ‘s Super Secret Stashbusting Challenge, I wanted to give it a try. The blog said that they were really easy to make and that they took only 15 minutes each. Several hours later, I was beyond frustrated. Hmmm, this doesn’t sound like a particularly good way of encouraging you to make your own does it?
Actually, once I found the right method, or at least the right method for me, they WERE quick and easy to make. The first thing that I found incredibly difficult was the method of assembly. The blog I was referring to showed these flowers being held together with hand stitching. Maybe I’m not coordinated enough for this or maybe it’s because I have a permanent injury in my hand that made this method more difficult but it seemed that every time I made the stitches, they weren’t holding things together securely enough. The flowers looked sloppy and the stitches all showed.
After trying this many, many times (hey, can’t quit after it fails the first time right?), I decided it was time to see if I could find another tutorial that was perhaps a bit clearer to follow. The first big change in the second tutorial was that they did NOT use hand stitching; they used hot glue instead. This worked SO much better for me. The rosebud like centers were quite easy to do. I used the second nylon zipper that was in the envelope for the center. I opened the zipper, cut off the plastic tabs at one end and the zipper pull at the other. I folded the end over, securing with a dab of the glue, and then took a couple turns, wrapping the zipper around this fold, gluing as I went along. As I did this, I angled my turns a bit up and down – I didn’t want to make a perfect coil out of this; I wanted to make the heights of each “petal” in the bud to vary to make it look more like a rosebud.
When I completed the bud portion, I began to work on the outer petals ( the part that I think is kind of daisy like). This was where I encountered difficulties again. I used a zipper I had in my own stash – one that has metal teeth in it because I felt that this would add some visual interest to the piece as it would be a variation from the nylon teeth in the center bud. The instructions I saw had you making a loop that had a bit of a twist in it. To me, they resemble the types of bows you can buy to put on gifts. (I’ll try to find you some pictures to show you just what I mean…in the meantime, here’s the link to the video tutorial I was attempting to follow from the Martha Stewart Show: http://www.marthastewart.com/article/zipper-flower-pins) I don’t know if I just couldn’t get the knack or if I wasn’t using the right type of zipper (mine just didn’t seem to want to lay nicely when I tried to fold it in the way that the instructions called for).
Because the zippers included in my envelope were fairly small when it comes to making these brooches, you’ll note that I made them in two pieces. One was the bud I described above, made out of the small nylon zipper. The other was this daisy petal portion, made out of the longer zipper with metal teeth. Because I couldn’t get the hang of the idea described in the Martha Stewart (and several blogs I consulted), I decided to try something a little simpler. To make the “loops” for the petals, I simply folded the zipper back and forth, kind of in a zig zag. Or you can think of it as creating “pinches” along the zipper and then securing with glue at each pinch. Once I reached the end, I glued both ends together to form all these loops into a circle of loops. More hot glue secures the bud to the top of the daisy part and a pinback to the back of the flower.