Thursday, October 26, 2017

Foamiran or Silk Foam Rose Shortcuts


So I keep seeing references to foamiran or silk foam flowers everywhere and I had to find out about it so I did some looking around, watched a couple videos and sourced it out.  It's basically a really thin, mold-able sheet foam that folks are using to make all sorts of flowers from. There aren't many tutorials about it and the videos I've seen usually require you to use many, many steps to make a flower I thought of a couple really easy shortcuts that I want to share with you today.

I wanted to make a rose because they are so very pretty when finished.  I do have a few comments at the bottom about other flowers.

CUTTING THE FLOWER PARTS


The first thing I noticed is that most people are using stencils to trace petals then hand cut. Now you can make this process much quicker by doing one of two things - the first you could of course use dies to cut several petals very quickly. I'm a bit cheap (o.k. a lot cheap) and the foam is somewhat expensive so I nixed this idea...I may use it on more complicated flowers that I have dies for but I'm not sure yet.  OR you can wing it and free-hand cut them which is what I did. 

I started out by cutting 2 strips of the foam - I actually fold the foam up so it was about 4" wide and just snipped through it once to make a strip. I cut 2 strips - one 1.5" wide and a strip 2" wide. I then took the folded up strips and cut them into petals which yielded as follows:

1.5" strip - cut into 1.25" rectangles (yield - 16 petals)
2" strip - cut into 1.5" rectangles (yield - 12 petals)

Once all of the petals were cut I simply rounded the edges as shown above.  By doing it this way there is very little waste as you can see from the photo above.

Note: I cut the foam in 4's to make quicker work of this step.

ADDING COLOR


I didn't want to go the red rose route, I wanted something a bit different so I googled roses and saw a pretty rose that was yellow in the center with pink edges. It looked lovely so I went with it.  This foam can be colored with lots of different mediums - oil pastels, pan pastels, ink, etc. I choose to use VersaMagic ink by Imagine. It has a matte finish and the colors are softer and a bit muted which I thought would create a more realistic finished product.


So I used sponge daubers to color the centers of each petal with Thatched Straw (a medium butter yellow), I surrounded the yellow with Pixie Dust (light pink) and edged each petal with Pink Petunia (a darker dusty pink).   You don't have to use so many colors but I figured if I was going to do it I might as well go all out.

SHAPING THE PETALS

I saw lots of people pressing the petals against a hot iron then rolling the petals up into a really tight wad - letting it cool then unrolling then shaping. Don't get me wrong, this is fine but it's VERY time consuming. 

I thought about it and came up with an easier way to get realistic looking petals in a snap....what's the secret...veining molds!!!  What are veining molds?  They are a nifty tool used by bakers to make fondant flowers. Usually a 2 part silicone mold with a positive & negative piece. You place a leaf or petal on one part and the second piece is placed over top and pressed together. The result is a realistic double sided petal or leaf. It gives amazing detail and looks so realistic after it is pressed.

These puppies cut the shaping time down by 75-80%. 


Most veining molds are usually made from heat resistant silicone so it's perfect for this process...  All you do is place a petal in the bottom part of the mold, hit it for a few seconds with a heat tool to soften the foam then cover with the second part of the mold, press and you're done!  The whole shaping process takes just seconds!!!

You'll notice that this mold is much larger than my petals which is perfectly fine. You just place the petal in the area that you want the petal to look like.  I used one of the curved areas for the smaller petals and varied the location with the larger petals to get several different looks.  You can do this with all of the molds/petals/leaves.


It is wicked fast and the petals come out looking amazing!


You could leave the petals as is but since I was making a rose I choose to add one more step where I rolled some edges (the heat from your fingers will help hold it's shape) and stretched other areas to give that wavy look that some rose petals have.

Above show the progress of each petal - bottom cut & inked; top left - pressed in the mold for a couple seconds and top right - edges were rolled &/or stretched.  An amazing transformation don't you think?


Don't worry if some of the petals get folded over a bit in the press. I had one that did so but it looks cool and you know nature isn't perfect - there are bug holes, bends, tears, etc. It's life - this happens.

FLOWER ASSEMBLY


Now that I have all of the petals ready to go (I also made a few leaves) and a stem to build my rose around we're ready to start putting it all together.  You need something to build the rose around - some people just start gluing petals together but I saw a Russian lady (sorry don't have a clue what her name was because it was in Russian) who had a piece of floral wire with tin foil wrapped in a ball. It worked for her so I did something similar but wrapped my foil in a tear drop shape which lends it's self better to the rose (IMO).


So I started off and wrapped my first petal and affixed it to the foil with hot glue. I then turned the stem a bit and wrapped/glued on the 2nd petal. It looks like a great beginning for a rose.


I continued to add petals making sure to over lap the petals just a bit.  This is after 5 petals have been added.


And just continued from there until I was satisfied with the look.  I ended up using 12 of the small petals and 7 of the larger ones.  I think I may have enough petals left over to make a smaller rose bud.


And here is my finished rose.....
it ended up measuring approx.  3" wide and 2" tall (minus the stem).


I added the leaves then wrapped it with bits of floral tape to finish it off.  You don't have to leave the stem on if you want to use it on a collage, barrette, head piece or whatever.  I left mine on because I was just messing around and made it with no particular project in mind.


I just love how it turned out...it looks so real it's amazing!

I can't wait to get a bit of time to make more and different flowers. I will probably use my die-cuts for some of the more complicated or shapely flowers.  

WHERE TO BUY

Please note, I'm not getting anything in return for these links...they are simply where I've found the best deals that I want to pass on to you. I have personally ordered from all 3 of these places and had great luck but as always unforeseen things can happen so please don't complain if you have an issue.

I found a good source for the foamiran on Etsy here - HandmadeMateriCrafts (FL USA) (full size sheets for $2.00 each) and if you want LOTS of colors you can find it here - (Ireland) 14CraftBar - the sheets are smaller in size and you have the exchange rate to figure in as well so please keep that in mind when ordering. 14CraftBar has lots of other flower needs as well.

As far as the veining molds, there are tons on Amazon you can buy individually if you want to try them out.  I found a really great kit that is an amazing deal - AK ART KITCHENWARE - Leaf & Flower Tool Kit.  It has 12 different molds (normally about 7.00 each) plus a whole slue of other goodies in the kit for $50.00 - if you just figure in the molds that's a little over $4.00 each with everything else thrown in for free.  A really great bargain and you know how cheap I am - LOL!!

So there you go...foamiran and my very first flower!
I love it and I think I'll be making many more in the near future.

SUPPLIES:

Foamiran - white
Imagine - VersaMagic - Thatched Straw, Pixie Dust, Pink Petunia, Tea Leaves, Key Lime, Aloe Vera
Veining Mold - Rose Petal, Leaf
Wire, Tinfoil, Hot Glue


10 comments:

  1. I love it, I read your instructions but honestly I am better at learning seeing a live video. I love these foam but it is a little expensive like you I'm cheap. lol and with that being said I still spend a lot on my crafts. Thank you for sharing I will look into this technique a little more

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    1. Thanks!

      I'll see if I can't come up with a video for you Luz. I'm so very shy which is why I stopped making them.

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  2. How gorgeous and so realistic! I’ve not heard of this material before, is it new?

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    1. Thanks Wendy! It's not new, it's been around since 2014 (in Russia) but it's just now making it's way to the US market. I just saw that yesterday Heartfelt Creations announced that they are going to start carrying the foam.

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  3. I am blown away! These are great...better than the "professional" flowers. I want to give this a try. Thanks Roni.

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    1. LOL...thanks Debby! Hope you have fun with it!

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  4. Fantastic stuff Roni! Love your first attempt, very impressive!
    So my question is, are you doing this for fun, or are these flowers going to have a purpose? They are so soft and real looking. Great work!

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    1. Thanks Julie! At the moment they are just for fun or practice. I love making paper flowers so I thought these would be something I would enjoy creating...and I do! Now that I know I CAN do it, I need to figure out what I want to make - LOL!! Sort of like women who find a dress to go with a pair of shoes they got on sale ;)

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  5. Awesome Roni. I've seen Foamiran posts, but this is terrific.

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Thanks for your thoughts and comments!