Friday, March 29, 2013

TUTORIAL : Starch Flowers using Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Die and Distress Inks (and Cheap White Cardstock)

I've seen many versions of Starch Flowers in books and on the net and for me this method works the best.  I've been doing it for decades sadly I don't recall where I originally got the idea from, whether a friend or book (cuz I know I was doing it before the internet was popular).

Starch Flowers are a little stiffer and seem to last a through a little more wear and tear than normal paper flowers (at least to me).  Plus ... who doesn't love a scrunchy crunchy mess? Some of these are stamped some plain, some have buttons, crystals, gems, feathers, pearls ... just add stuff to embellish to your heart's desire. I made these for more of a vintage shabby chic project so they're in the mauve range of hues but any water based ink works to make the colours wick through the paper.  You can also use water based markers and go around the edges of the cardstock instead of using inkpads.  I've used Distress Ink Markers and Stampin' Up Markers and they both work amazingly!
FIRST - a few photos of a couple of finished flowers
  Glitter the edges - I used GlossyAccents and then dip in glitter after you've formed the flower.  Info below on how to make them.

A single flower can be lovely.  They don't all have to be layered.

These have mica chips Glossy Accented around the base of the stamens. 


Tutorial Part !! :D
Pick your method - either cut the flower shapes out of cardstock and ink - or ink the cardstock then cut the flowers out -- inking the cardstock first seems a little wasteful, but it's faster, whichever method you choose, the result are about the same.  For these flowers I used EXTREMELY CHEAP white cardstock.  shhhhh I bought this in the packs at WalMart where you get a ream of white cardstock for around $6.
 Like many of you I have "crafter's nails" :)

For these flowers I used Tim Holtz, Ranger Distress Inks in Tea Dye, Milled Lavender, and Victorian Velvet

 Stamp them with any image you desire in a waterproof / permanent ink before applying Starch.  I used Bronze StazOn for these.Put flowers in a dish or pan

Using Heavy Starch that you find in the laundry isle of most department stores ...Spray a HEAVY layer of starch all over

Gently move them around making sure each flower gets coated - you may have to spray more starch depending how many flowers there are.  You'll want to leave them in the starch until you can tell the inks are starting to wick through the paper.  Usually this doesn't take very long, remember, you need a good thick coating of starch.


Add some Distress Ink refill directly to the pan or directly to the flower.

 With your fingertips smoosh each flower by grasping the middle and pinching.  Then smooch the "Petals" against the table, your fingers, whatever you want, each flower  will be a little different.

DID YOU BREAK OFF A PETAL? or like me ? BREAK Off a LOT of petals ?? No worries, just save them - they're still useable.


                                                                            If petals seem too saturated, just dab off on a paper towel

You can still add more colour by adding Distress Inks before and after you smoosh, if you desire. Make them the way you like them before they dry.

Put all your smooshed flowers on a wax paper sheet to dry for several hours/overnight or if you're impatient like me, put in a heat proof container and blow with a hair dryer or heat gun -- just don't catch them on fire!

 After the petals are dry, gently unfold the flowers (or broken petals that you dried :)  )


Punching a hole ( I used the Big Bite) makes it much easier to put them together if you're going to use stamens, but if you just want to hot glue them together you can skip this part)

Glue flowers together to make different shapes and styles of flowers.  Using hot glue makes it fast and easy.  Remember, if you get glue webs (the strings from hot glue, just run your embossing heat gun or hot hair dryer over the webs to melt them).

 Here I just glued on one of the petals that broke off, just a speck of hot glue and no one will ever know!

 Stick stamens in the hole or just add a button, bling, or tule and glitter, decorate like crazy and when you're finished, PUTTHEGLUEDOWN and admire your creations!!  Make a bunch of extras so you have these to put on gift boxes, cards, or to give to friends who want to know how you made them :) 
If you have any questions or comments make sure you leave them below!  If I missed a part or something doesn't make sense I want to fix it!!




  1. Great tutorial Lisa!Very pretty flowers gonna try this. Loooove the face drawings lol, tty soon,

  2. I got to see the startch in use. LOL!
    Pretty awesome job. Gotta craftlift.
    Doesn't look like there are any cameras.
    chadeau secrets /:~)

  3. Loved this well photographed tutorial! Lots of tips about the technique are so helpful. I've made starched flowers...made the mistake of using dye inks...ran colors like crazy! Not what I wanted, but still attractive. Next time, I'll follow your advice to use pigment ink. Thanks!

  4. I like the pigment inks and the way they react with water ... hmmmmm ... might be fun to try Tim Holtz' new Distress Paint too, next time the $$ allows I'll give it a try

  5. Wow. These flowers are lovely. Thanks for the tutorial too. Karen.x