bending 3 dimensional flowers feature

Tutorial of the Week: Bending 3-Dimensional Flowers

Good morning, everyone!  It is Thursday…and time for another tutorial!  Last week we worked on folding box corners, so I thought it fitting that we look at different ways you can bend your flower filigrees to add originality and pizzazz to your projects 🙂

I know alot of the flower filigrees I sell in the ButterBeeScraps shop already have some shape to them, but sometimes I want a little something different.  As we learned last week, bending the same filigree differently can really give it a different look.  So, if you’re on a budget or just don’t have many different flower designs, this is a good way to add variety to your projects while maintaining cohesiveness.

Just to be thorough, I’m going to start with some obvious ways to bend your flower filigrees, and we’ll move onto a couple of not-so-obvious ways in a little bit.

Method #1

This first method requires but one bend.  If your filigree has any dimension to it to start, you may want to flatten it by running it through your die cutting machine first.  Then all you do is curl the tips of the petals up.  You can do this using a pair of bail forming pliers, a ball point pen, or even just your fingers:



Method #2

The second basic method involves two bends in opposite directions.  Depending on the length of the petals, you may need to snip the petals apart to give yourself more petal to work with:

flower bending tutorial

I then start by curling the petals up, but much closer to the base than with method #1:



Now just curl the tips of the petals down, making an “s” shape:

flower bending tutorial

Method #3

This third method is more free-form, and would only apply to very few flower shapes.  I absolutely love the Bronze Flower Metal Filigree Embellishment (#538-B), but it is soooo flat.  So, why not do a little snipping of the leaves and bend and fold the leaves to create a little dimension?  I curled some of the leaves down, some up, and others I just bent in half.  Look at the difference it made:



Method #4

Okay, so why not build on method #1 and instead of having an open flower, create a little bud?  …these look ultra-cool, but I must admit that I can’t take full credit for this idea…one of my former design team members, Amador, used a little flower bud he created on one of his projects, so I thought I’d show you how to make it here 🙂

You will want to work with a filigree flower that has an even number of petals for this one…I used Bronze Flower Metal Filigree Embellishment (#294-B).  I also made a flower bud using the same style of filigree in a smaller size (#067-B), and I must say that I preferred the smaller sized bud.

Start by cutting the petals apart, just like method #2:

flower bending tutorial

Then, with the back of the filigree facing up, curl one of the petals up until the tip of the petal is directly above the center of the flower.  Remember, you can easily use just your fingers to do this, too, so don’t fret if you don’t have the pliers like I do.

BONUS TIP:  Try to maintain a flat spot on the petal closest to the flower center…it will make it alot easier to glue this puppy down after it’s completed 😉



After the first petal is finished, curl every second petal up in the same way to form the center bud:



There are a few things you can do from here:

  1. you can cut the remaining petals off,
  2. you can form the remaining petals tightly around the center bud that’s already formed, or
  3. you can do what I did and find a happy medium 🙂

I first bent the remaining petals back so I had more room to work the pliers.  I then bent the petals up like I did to make the bud, and bent them up a bit to cradle the bud.  Hmmmm…I bet it would look really cool to bend those outside petals out instead of in, too…consider that your homework 😉



Method #5

This is the last, and most difficult, method of bending a flower…but the result is an absolutely stunning metal rose…yum!  I’m not saying this is the only other way to bend flower filigrees, but it will be the last one I cover in this tutorial…I don’t want to remove ALL of the fun for you!

It is quite important to choose the right kind of filigree for this method, and Copper Flower Metal Filigree Embellishment (#635-C) is perfect for the job!  I start with the center of the flower, which I will admit is the most difficult piece to bend, so if you make it through this first bit, you’ll be laughing the rest of the way 🙂

I start by trimming the tips of the petals down a bit, otherwise the center bud of your flower will stand too tall.  I just used the extra detail around the edges of the petals as a guide as to where to cut:



Now…this is VERY important…PLEASE file the edges of the petals after cutting them, otherwise your petals are like working with razor blades!

Ok, now that’s done, it’s safe to curl one of the petals from side-to-side…make the bend as tight as you can:



You are going to need a pair of pliers for this next part, I am afraid.  I used a pair of bent chain nose pliers…I just prefer the angle on the tip.  Now, bend a narrow ridge around the edge of the petal down.  The petal WILL uncurl when you do this…after you’ve created your ridge, just pinch the sides of the petal back together to re-create a tight curl…this is the hardest petal to bend…promise!  …you can also bend your finished petal so that it is standing straight up, too 😉



Now, curl the second petal from side-to-side, but not quite as tight as the first one…you want this one to wrap around the first.  I like to bend the second petal up at this point, just to make sure that I have the right curve on it:



Bend a narrow ridge down around the edge of your second petal using your pliers.  You should be able to use your fingers to tighten the side-to-side curl because it will want to uncurl as you bent that ridge:

flower bending tutorial

Repeat for the last petal to form the center bud of your rose:

flower bending tutorial

Set that piece aside for a bit, and grab a second filigree.  Bend a ridge around the edges of all three petals.  Now, cup each of the petals and lift them up towards the center of the filigree so that they will cup the center bud nicely.  You shouldn’t need pliers to cup the petals, and you may have to overlap the edges of the petals a bit:

flower bending tutorial

You will need to make two more layers for your rose.  The only thing you need to do is bend a ridge down around all the edges of all the petals…no cupping or lifting required.  You should end up with four pieces that look like this:

flower bending tutorial

All you need to do now is stack them and alternate the petals from layer to layer…E6000 is a must for this flower.  It’s gooeyness will help hold the layers together while the glue dries.  Your finished rose should look like this…BEAUTIFUL!

flower bending tutorial

Method #6

The last method was definitely the most difficult, so I thought I’d dial it down a notch and show you how I like to fold my leaves.  I’m using the Silver Leaf Metal Filigree Embellishment (#400-P) for this method, and start by bending the leaf up along its spine…I use a pair of nylon jaw pliers, but you can use your fingers or a ruler just as easily:

flower bending tutorial

I then curl the edges and tip down…this leaf already has some dimension to it, and I do not flatten it.  I just want to add a bit of shape.

flower bending tutorial

Finally, I bend the base of the leaf up to form a subtle “s” shape and give me something to glue to:

flower bending tutorial

Here’s a look at the bent leaf alongside the standard leaf before bending, just so you can see the difference:

flower bending tutorial

…don’t think this is the only way you can bend leaves…why not do a tight curl up on the tip instead to add a bit more interest:

flower bending tutorial

Method #7

So, I thought I would play a bit more…this time with the Silver Square Metal Filigree Embellishment (#068-P).  Although this filigree is square, each of the quadrants makes for a fantastic leaf.  I chose to bend one “petal” just like the first leaf above:

  1. bend up along the spine,
  2. curl the edges of the leaf down, and
  3. curl the tip of the leaf down.

For the second “petal”, I chose to do the opposite:

  1. bend down along the spine,
  2. curl the edges of the leaf up, and
  3. curl the tip of the leaf up.

Here’s a picture showing the results:

flower bending tutorial

The difference is subtle…but if you’re anything like me, you really don’t like pairing two identical leaves behind a flower.  Just bending the leaves in opposite directions solves that problem!

Another thing I want to point out is how great your bent flowers look when layered with some silk flowers from your local craft store, or some fabric (or even paper) die cut flowers…remember way back to that layering tutorial?  Well here are a few pictures of some fun I had doing just that:

flower bending tutorial

That flower on the left uses flower filigree (#294-B) on the bottom with my smaller flower bud made from filigree (#067-B) as the center.  The flower on the right uses filigree (#168-B) on the bottom with filigree (#420-B) on the top with an SS30 Clear Flat Back Crystal Rhinestone in the center.

My last thought of the day…don’t feel like you must only used flower shaped filigrees for making flowers.  Why not try using a square filigree like (#068-P) above to make a flower bud?  …or stacking two square filigrees with there corners alternating to create an 8 petal flower?  Just remember…your only limitation is your imagination 😉

I hope you found this tutorial helpful and (more importantly)…INSPIRING!  Thanks so much for stopping by and supporting my blog.  I’ll see you next week when we start to get messy…bwahahahaaaaah!  Cheers!

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  1. lee says

    I am loving your tutorials and all the different ways you can change up the metal pieces; however, a lot of the pictures on this one do not show up… 🙁