You will need a very lightweight synthetic material, I used the lining from an old bridesmaid dress. Why synthetic? So that it will melt when you singe the edges of the flower petals rather than burn. The lighter the fabric, the more it will curl when you singe around the petals. Thicker fabrics singe, but retain more of a flat shape and aren’t suitable for this type of flower. You won’t need more than 1/8 yard of fabric though, so if you’re not sure, just buy small amounts of a variety of synthetics. Once you’ve experimented a little at home, you’ll have a better idea which fabric to use in the future.
I am loving the warmer weather and beautiful light for taking pictures this spring. It’s always a challenge to photograph one of my children, trying to coordinate their mood with available time, perfect lighting, cooperating weather, and a great location. Spring weather definitely works better than winter weather! However, it’s not always possible (rarely, actually) to get the pictures I need at exactly 1.5 hours before sunset outside with the right backdrop. My main living area has direct light coming in from the west all afternoon and evening. It’s my favorite place to be and it provides great lighting for a longer period of time than if I’m trying to take pictures outside. BUT, I don’t have any empty walls where the kids can stand and pose. I have been contemplating various solutions and have a few ideas for DIY backdrops. Today I thought I’d show how I made a backdrop for several of my recent photo shoots. It is so simple!
I picked up a cheap clothing rack from Home Depot – just $17 – to use for hanging the baby layette at my cousin’s shower last fall. I was able to come up with a more decor friendly solution for the shower, but I held on to this rack for experimenting. I spent some time looking at vinyl backdrops online, but they are pretty pricey and they all looked so nice, I couldn’t decide on just one that I’d use forever. I like the idea of being able to switch out the backdrop and have some variety. Then I looked at my stash of fabric.
With a couple yards of fabric and two clamps out of the garage, I just clamped up the fabric that I want in the background and I have an instant backdrop behind the girls. So simple! And then you can change out your background however you want. Use a sheet, use a curtain panel, use a fun quilting cotton design. Since the clothes rack can be expanded about 5 feet wide and 6 feet high, it really gives you quite a bit of space to work with. You can also drape your fabric out on the floor in front of the clothes rack if you wanted your subject to stand on the fabric, too. And you can snap your pictures no matter what the space looks like around/behind the backdrop. Here are a couple recent pictures I took with my instant fabric photo backdrop:
Then, there are days like Monday when the weather and the kiddo did cooperate and the perfect backdrop was waiting just outside. Head over to Alida Makes today to hear all about Grace’s photo shoot and her new skirt I made for the Calling All Kids series. Go here!
I’m also over at Project Run and Play today answering a few questions for the designer introduction interviews. Fun!! Come say hi!
I have been waiting to get my hands on a baby to photograph and my sweet cousin let me play with her precious little girl for hours last week! I was making the drive toward the Bay Area and the skies got gloomier the further I drove – what would we do without light?? I used my new, handy 50mm 1.8 lens for all of the pictures. That, and the dining room table pushed up to a nice, little window provided enough natural light for some gorgeous shots.
We had a chance to put this cutie in the tiny newborn ruffle jumper that I made her as part of her baby shower layette. So cute!!
These parents were nice enough to oblige when I tried to recreate another photo I had seen. I like how this picture makes me feel like I’m peeking in on their newborn bliss!
If you follow me on instagram (girlinspired1), you know that I decided to take up knitting. Knit or Crochet have been on my “try that someday” list for a long time – so far I’ve knitted a couple straight stitch scarves and this baby pod. At 7 pm, the night before this photo shoot, I decided that we needed a pod – you know me, when I get an idea in my head….
The sweetest family picture ever. The sweetest family, too.
Mel asked me to bring the lace crowns. Why, of course!
Awwwww, cute squishy happy baby. i love her.
I made these great flower headbands for a photo shoot last year and I finally made another one last week so that I could share the tutorial with you! I absolutely love the drama and sophistication that these flowers add for a special occasion. Ready to make one?
Okay, so you’ll want to cut a good number of “petals” in 3-4 sizes, progressively increasing in size. Try cutting a few petals and then singe the edges to see what the finished size will be. I set my petals next to a ruler to give you an idea of my sizing (prior to singe). You’ll need approximately 4-8 tiny petals, 10 small petals, 15 medium petals, and 10-15 large petals. They don’t have to be exact.
Now, you will need a flame to singe the petal edges. It’s easy to light a candle, so your flame is at the ready. But, a little kitchen torch works really nicely, too. Pass the flame near the edge of the fabric until it melts and curls. Singe all the way around each petal.
Stack your prepared petals in groups by size.
To make the flower, I like to use a needle and thread to sew the petals together. This gives me a lot of control over how the petals are arranged.
Start with four small petals (not the tiny ones, those can be added to the center at the very end to cover your stitches). Point each of the smaller ends in toward the center. Poke your needle up from the bottom through all four layers at the center and then stitch back down, up once more and down again to make a little x. Now you have your center foundation for your flower.
With your needle and thread through the top of the flower center, place a couple more small petals below your center foundation. You’re just going to start adding petals, moving in a spiral, spacing each subsequent petal so that its center rests below the space between the two petals above it – does that make sense? Once you have used all of your small petals, start adding your medium, then large, adjusting the number of each size petal for your desired fullness. Each time you add a couple petals around the base, poke your needle down through the center and back up again to catch the new petals and secure them in place. Cup the flower in the palm of your hand as you add petals to make sure they are placed where you like. Finish your flower by poking the needle down through the bottom, tie off in a knot, and clip the extra thread.
This is how the bottom of your flower will look when you’re about done. See the spiral of petals?
Now you can finish the inner center with a button or by gluing a cluster of the tiny petals to cover the stitching inside.
To attach the flower to a headband, you will need a small circle of felt and a matching headband.
Use hot glue to secure the back of the flower onto the topside of the headband (figure out where you want the flower positioned by holding it up on the model). Glue the circle of felt on the center back of the flower with the headband sandwiched between. Done!!
This is my friend’s daughter, Maddy, by the way. Isn’t she gorgeous? I got to take some pictures of her and her brothers last year – such an honor. I love it when my friends humor me and let me photograph their families. These pictures kind of take my breath away, still.
This is also the way that I made the Christmas headbands for Addie last year – you can see what the picture perfect flower headband looks like in red, here.