Six rolled roses @ 72dpi

Big initial M At the end of May, I wrote a post called The Flowers of Spring, which was the first of two posts I was planning on how to add fabric flowers to your shoes. Here’s part two, on making rolled roses from French wire-edged ombre ribbon.

Peach rosette ribbon @ 72 dpi These roses are surprisingly easy to make because the wire in the ribbon does most of the work for you. And they are quite beautiful, thanks to the ombre effect. The shift in color from one ribbon edge to the other adds depth and mystery. They’re also cheap — you can buy the ribbon for as little as 87 cents a yard.

Here are some very cheap sandals I spruced up (at the same time covering up a tacky faux-crystal logo on the right one’s toe) with wired rolled roses.

Pink rosette on both sandals @ 72 dpi

To make roses like this, start with 1.5″-wide wired ribbon (also called Size 9 ribbon). You’ll need 29″ for EACH rose.  You can find this ribbon online at:

  • JKM Ribbon –  $0.87/yd when purchased in a 10-yard spool

Rather than explain in lengthy words how to roll the roses, I’ve taken step-by-step photos. Click on them to enlarge.

Rosette how-to steps 1 - 4 @ 72 dpi

Steps 1, 2 and 3:  You are going to gather one long edge of your 29″ piece of ribbon by GENTLY pulling on the wire. Sometimes a need to use needle-nose pliers to get the wire a little way out first. Usually, I gather half of the ribbon by pulling on one end of the wire, then switch to pulling on the other end. Bend the wire into a little circle to keep the gathers from un-gathering.

Step 4: Now you are going to start to roll the ribbon. I like to slide one end into the clip on a ballpoint pen to anchor it.

Rosette how-to steps 5 - 8 @ 72 dpi

Step 5: Now start rolling, slightly spiralling up as you roll. You can roll as loosely or tightly as you want.

Steps 6 and 7:  When your rose is all rolled, pull it gently off the clip, keeping the roll shape in tact. (The wire will help you do that.) Now stitch the rolled edge in place together. Don’t pull too hard on your stitches or you’ll close up the rose too much.

Step 8: Now you can shape the rose anyway you want. leave it crisp, squash it into an oval or mash it down a bit so it looks sort of vintage-y.

You can make tiny, tighter roses by using 13″ (per rose) of 3/4″ wide wired ombre ribbon (Size 5).

Tiny pink rosettes @ 72 dpi

Tiny pink rosettes on shoe @ 72 dpi Here’s what they look like on a sandal, clustered together like rosebuds.

One last tip, I found that if the ombre is very dark on one edge and very light on the other, the effect is more striking if you gather the lighter-colored edge and leave the darker-colored edge to form the tips of the “petals.” Look at the six roses at the top of this post and you’ll see what I mean.

I think one or more of the larger roses would look great on a purse, whether for the holidays or even next spring. Hmmm. I might have to try that for myself. I did all of these just to show you how!


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