Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chronicles Of A Shoe-Obsessed Bride, Part 5 (Ribbon Flower and Shoe Cuff Tutorial)

So I know my over-the-top flowered shoes aren't for everyone (but I love them, so that's what matters, right?). However, the ribbon roses my mom made for them could be used for a ton of other projects too! For bouquets, boutonnieres, on a dress sash, in your hair, grouped together to adorn pews... there are a lot of possibilities out there!

A while ago I searched the Weddingbee blog for a tutorial on ribbon flowers, but could only find clay and fabric flowers, so I asked my mom to take step by step pictures of her making the flowers.

Here are the instructions:

Cut the ribbon to desired length. We used 1-1/4 yards of 1-1/2” ribbon. For a smaller rose use 3/4 yards of 1/2” or 5/8” ribbon. Thread a needle with matching thread and knot the end. Fold down one corner on the ribbon and sew a few stitches. If you are using a ribbon with one “good” side, start with the “good” side down. Or you can use double sided satin ribbon, so both sides are "good."

Roll the ribbon five or six times and sew a few stitches to secure it.
Fold the ribbon at about a 45 degree angle.
Roll the ribbon along the fold until the fold disappears.
Secure with a few stitches. Be sure the stitches secure all the layers. Stitches at just the bottom of the rose will not secure all the layers.

Fold again at 45 degree angle.
Roll again along the fold until the fold disappears.
Continue folding and rolling to the end of the ribbon. You can change the look of the rose by varying the angle and the tightness of your rolled rose.

Fold under the end of the ribbon and secure with stitches, and your flower is done.

The ribbon roses are now ready to decorate with!

You might also find this YouTube video helpful if you're planning to make ribbon flowers yourself.

Now, on with the actual making of the ankle cuff on the shoes. You could definitely do something similar if you wanted to spice up inexpensive ankle strap shoes, or even use feathers, or ruffles, or some crystal bling. There's so many ways you could decorate your own custom cuffs to make a statement on your wedding day!

I ended up using the purple Thai silk shoes I bought last summer as the base, and I believe they were about $36 from FlyJane. What was great about them was that not only were they a perfect shade of purple and inexpensive, I know they'll be relatively comfortable on our wedding day because I've worn them to work several times already.

This is what they looked like before any alterations:

To make the ankle cuff, hold your cuff material up (we used grosgrain ribbon because it is pretty sturdy) to your shoe, so one end is lined up with the clasp of the shoe strap. Cut the ribbon off at the other end, right before the hole you would put the clasp through. Do this twice, so you have two lengths of ribbon that are the correct length for wrapping around the ankle of your heels.

One of the strips of ribbon will go around the outside of the strap, as shown in this picture.

For the inside piece of ribbon, hold it up to the inside of your ankle strap, and make marks where the strap connects to the back of the heel. You will then sew button holes on the inner ribbon, where you made your marks.

After your ribbon is cut to the right length, and button holes are sewn in the inside layer, sew both layers of ribbon together with two rows of stitches, leaving a "pocket" in the middle where you will thread the strap of your shoes through. Depending on the width of ribbon you used, you may also want to stitch together the ribbon at the outer edges as well. Then you're ready to put the ankle cuff base on your shoes and decorate it!

Here is a look at the inside of the ankle cuff on my shoes, you can see where the button holes are on the inside layer of ribbon, and where the ends come out of the cuff at the strap clasp and strap end. As you can see, since the ankle cuff isn't sewn to the strap, it's not hard to remove it to change the shoes to a more casual look.

So there you go, that's the end of the tutorial!

But before I conclude my posts about shoes, I wanted to quickly address something.

Fashion and shoes are a very subjective topics, often times you either love or hate something. So the negative comments on my last post didn't bother me; people are allowed to have their own opinions and criticisms (even if they weren't solicited for them).

But one thing that did disappoint me was that some people didn't read what I'd written, and felt the need to criticize the look of my shoes with the dress I was wearing in the photos I posted. Even though I clearly stated in the post that it was my After Party dress.

To reassure you all, I will be wearing these shoes with my wedding gown, not that dress, so it really doesn't matter what the two looked like together! I simply included pictures of me wearing the shoes because I knew if I didn't someone would ask for them, and I thought it would be nice to show off another dress at the same time, since I don't have my wedding dress at my house.

So for those of you who were concerned that the thick ankle cuff shoes didn't work with a knee length dress (duh), here is a better representation of how the shoes will look on my wedding day, with a long dress (this isn't my actual wedding dress, but you get the idea).
And at the risk of getting more critical comments (Hey, it's ok, I feel like my shoes walked the red carpet and Joan Rivers bashed them but everyone else praised them. And I know if I had DIY'd shoes after the fab feathered Loubs, someone would have told me it looked like I kicked an ostrich or something!), here is a photo of the shoes up close on my foot, as requested by Miss Chirpie.(Sorry for the awkward angles in the last three pictures. It's hard to shoot shoes while they're on your feet! Also, unless otherwise noted, all photos in this post were taken by my mom or I.)

Have you made any flowers for your wedding, out of fabric, clay, ribbon, tissue paper or another material?


  1. The shoes are amazing, and this tutorial is great. You have a great attitude about some of the weddingbee comments made on your last post. I was seriously appalled at how rude people think they can be just because they're on the internet. Your comment about the Loubs and kicking an ostrich had me laughing out loud!

  2. i love these roses. they make a great adornment for shoes or a clutch or even a purse.

  3. Oh wow! Gorgeous! You are so talented!

  4. These are Gorgeous! people are just jealous!

  5. I WANT THESE!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome job and just my style!!!!

  6. Fantastic post, love the clear step by step instructions. The roses are so professional looking! Well done!!

  7. i really love it !! fabulous ♥♥♥

  8. Saw the flowers-had to look. Gorgeous and I love it all.Thanks for the instructions.