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Saturday, August 3, 2019

FOAM FLOWERS

I'm hooked!  I just learned how to make foam flowers and I just can't stop making them.  They're so fun.  I've made hairpieces for a number of brides over the years, so being able to add another variety for my clients was my goal.  I loved how realistic these looked, and I've been working on my technique ever since I found the first YouTube video on them.
I'm pleased with what I've done so far, but I know as with anything in life, I'll only improve with additional practice!  The foamiran foam currently is a little difficult to find.  This seems to be very prevalent in Europe, but not so much here in the U.S.   Shipping costs from Europe are crazy expensive, so I was thrilled when I found a source here in the U.S.

I ordered the white foam and have been practicing/learning on it.  I also purchased some oil pastels and have been playing around with "dyeing" the petals versus purchasing lots of different colors of foam.  
In the beginning, I made my own patterns (after all, I'm a professional patternmaker!), which also meant handcutting each of the flowers with my small scissors.  Some of the flowers take 6 layers, so it took a bunch of time and as expected, each layer was not exactly the same size/shape as the other.  It didn't affect the overall look of the finished product, but it meant more time for me to make adjustments along the way.  I've still been using some of my handmade patterns, but I also invested in a die cutting machine and purchased two basic dies.  What a time saver!  I can run four layers of foam through the machine and have absolutely perfect "cookie cutter" shapes in a matter of seconds.

Again, I'm finding plenty of supplies (dies, stamens, inks, etc.) in the U.K. , but the shipping is more than one die!  So, I haven't broken down and purchased them overseas yet.  I've been making due with what I can source here locally and so far so good.  Maybe in time, I'll take the leap.

I'm also playing around with options for my clients, like combs, alligator clips, and u pins.  I'm also  making sure my finishing techniques on each of these varieties is professional.   There's lots to learn, that's for sure!  I'm tending toward the plastic variety of combs since there are lots of teeth and they're really long versus the metal combs.  I absolutely want these to be secure when they're in place!
So that's my foam flower journey so far!  I love learning new things....it's good for the mind and  the soul!  I'm hopeful that these will sell both on my shop and with my local clients.  In the meantime, I'll keep making more, I really find that I get lost in the creative process and before you know it hours have gone by and I'm still at it!

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