With the arrival of spring and seeing the spring flowers starting to poke through the ground, I wanted to make a bouquet of something to put in my office. I love the bouquets of calla lilies that are made for brides. That is my inspiration for this bouquet of burlap calla lilies. It turned out to be so easy to make these that I made enough for a whole bouquet.
One of the nice things about this project is that you can adapt some of the materials and supplies to whatever you have on hand or whatever suits you. Read through what I did then decide how you want to make them for yourself.
Materials and Supplies for the Burlap Calla Lilies
- Fine-weave white/ivory burlap — I tried using coarse-weave burlap and they did not look as nice as I wanted. I also tried with laminated burlap and a combed cotton cross stitch cloth. I’ll show you pictures of all these at the end.
- Skewers or thin dowel (bamboo skewers are less expensive)
- Florist Tape
- Turmeric (for dying the stamens)
- Burlap fibers — I used the ones I pulled out and saved from the burlap flowers post. I’ll talk about other options later in this post.
- Hot glue gun (low temp will work) — You can also use a regular glue but it will take longer for you to make these flowers
- Pattern for the flower shape — The pattern is available in my Resource Library
- Spray-On Fabric Stiffener — I used Aleen’s Stiffen-Quick
Step 1 – Dye the Burlap Fibers for the Stamens
Turmeric is a spice I always keep in my kitchen because of its anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce my arthritis pain. It also makes a beautiful yellow dye. If you do not have Turmeric in your spice cabinet, you will find it at any grocery store and it is not an expensive spice.
Measure out two teaspoons of Turmeric into a glass or ceramic microwave-safe container. Do not use a plastic container. It can stain your plastic. It will also stain your clothes. Pour in a cup of water and stir. The Turmeric does not dissolve into the water.
Pre-wet your bundle of fibers in water then squeeze out as much of the water as you can.
Stir your Turmeric and water mixture then lay your fibers into the Turmeric water. Be sure the fibers are completely covered by the Turmeric water. Use a spoon to push the fibers down into the yellow water to get them completely soaked.
You may need to add more water if you have a lot of fiber. I used enough fiber to make a dozen burlap calla lilies. Let the fibers sit in the Turmeric water for five minutes. Because the Turmeric does not dissolve into water, the spice will settle to the bottom. Gently shake the container or stir the fibers. Place the container into the microwave and heat for one minute. Give the container a shake (or stir) and microwave for another minute. Repeat the shake or stir and microwave for a final third minute. Set aside to cool for five to 10 minutes, until it is cool enough for you to handle.
Pour out the Turmeric water and rinse the fibers until the water runs clear.
Allow the fibers to dry completely. If you are eager to get started, you can squeeze out all the water, separate the fibers and iron them between layers of paper towel.
Step 2 – Cutting the Burlap
Print and cut the pattern from my Resource Library.
Trace the pattern onto the burlap. Burlap can be a bit shifty as you try to draw on it. I use a felt-tip pen vs. a ball point pen.
Cut the burlap just inside the traced line (so you don’t have any ink on your finished flowers).
Step 3 – Making the Stamens
I’m using the burlap fibers that I pulled out and saved from the burlap flowers post.
You can make the stamens however you want and with whatever goes best with your decor. I am using the ivory colored burlap fibers from the other burlap flower project and dyed them yellow using Turmeric. I tried a few stamens for the calla lilies with the natural colored burlap but I prefer the yellow stamens.
Below are some alternate options for the stamens:
- Twine or string
- Pipe cleaners
- Dyed cotton swabs
The fibers are 10 inches long. Pull out one strand of fiber and make a slip knot close to the end. Set it aside.
Lay out six of the fibers and align the ends. Fold the bundle in half then in half again.
Place the slip knot over one end of the folded bundle, close to the end, and tighten the slip knot.
Wrap the bundle with the long end of the slip knot strand. You do not need to have the wraps close to each other. You want to wrap about 1 to 1-1/2 inches of the folded bundle. Secure the end with a small dot of hot glue.
With your scissors, trim the opposite end close to the slip knot. You can secure the slip knot with a small dot of glue if you are concerned about any unwinding.
Note about the “skewers” — I used 10-inch bamboo skewers because that is what I had on hand. Real calla lilies have pretty thick stems. You could use dowels or chopsticks to achieve a thicker stem. It will mostly depend on what you plan to do with the flowers after you make them. If they need to stand on their own or if you plan to use them in a bridal bouquet, you may want to use something thicker than the skewers.
Place a small dot of glue on the pointed end of a skewer.
Insert it into the fringe end of the stamen.
Step 4 – Making the Burlap Calla Lily Flower
Lay the stamen and stem along one side of the burlap petal at the base of the petal and secure the stamen to the petal with hot glue.
Roll the stamen across the petal, wrapping the burlap around the stamen.
Secure again with hot glue.
The flower is now ready for the florist tape.
Step 5 – Wrap the Stem
Using florist tape, start wrapping close to the base of the calla lily. Florist tape sticks to itself and sticks best if you give it a slight stretch as you wrap.
Wrap at an angle and continue down to the bottom of the skewer.
Step 6 – Shaping the Calla Lily
In my first experiment with making the burlap Calla Lilies, I used hair spray as a fabric stiffener. That was okay for an experiment but not really a good idea for a final project. Hair spray is flammable. Use a spray-on fabric stiffener for crafts.
Spritz the flower with the fabric stiffener.
Curl back the sides a little and roll back the tip.
You can also add a little twist to the tip.
You can trim off any loose ends or pen marks.
Looking into the flower, you can see the spiral that real calla lilies have.
Step 7 – The Burlap Calla Lilies Bouquet
Repeat the above steps for as many flowers as you want in your bouquet.
I created a video making one of the burlap calla lilies. You may find it helpful to watch how I did some of the things I described above.
My Experiments with Other Types of Cloth
I told you earlier that I tried these flowers with some other fibers. I used all the same steps and techniques described above. Below are my comments about the other three fabrics I tried followed by a picture of all three next to the ones I made in this tutorial.
Coarse-Weave Ivory Burlap
Because of the coarse weave, these were not as tidy looking. They seemed too messy to me after I started shaping them. The coarse weave allowed them to unravel a bit.
The laminated burlap does not ravel and has a finer weave but did not want to hold the shape I gave it. It also has that lamination layer that I did not care for. I wanted the burlap look to be visible on both sides.
Combed Cotton Cross-Stitch/Embroidery Fabric
Finding fine weave ivory burlap is hit-or-miss for my local craft stores. I found it one day I was in the stores but not there another day. That’s what made me decide to try some other fabrics that would be more consistently available. I actually like the look of the flowers with this fabric. They are whiter and the cloth is finer. Some people will like this look much better. Others will really want the more rustic look of the burlap. It’s totally up to you and the look you want for your flowers.
I hope this inspires your to make some spring flowers to brighten your home.
I would love to see your burlap calla lilies when you make them! You can post pictures of your calla lilies in my Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TracyLynnCrafts