Tutorial: roses (1/12 scale)

In my opinion, roses are tricky flowers to make. They are the easiest flowers to make, but at the same time, they are the hardest to make looking realistically.  I can’t say I love making roses, but they are in heavy demand in every Sylvanian town I’ve seen.

You can find all sorts of roses tutorials out there, so you should definitely experiment and find the one that works for you.  This is just what I came up with after tons of trials and error.  I still don’t think the flowers look too realistic, but I’m confident that these roses look more rose like than many store bought rose embellishments.

Photo Mar 15, 11 01 01 PM   Photo Mar 15, 9 12 42 PM

For these roses, I used FIMO oven bake clay.  You can use other kinds of clay too, but I recommend avoiding soft clay, as it is very hard to make delicate miniatures with soft clay in general.

1.   make 3 slightly different sizes of clay logs.

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2.  Cut out about 1mm thick slices from each log. To make 1 flower, I usually cut out 5 slices from the smallest log, 4 slices each from medium and large logs.

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3.  Take one of the smallest slices onto your index finger, and push it flat.  Roll it with your fingers to make the core of the flower.

I apologize for the quality of the close up photos.  It is not within my iphone’s capability…. 🙁 Photo May 13, 9 39 12 PM Photo May 13, 9 39 37 PM

4.  A small advice here….when you handle these tiny clay pieces, it is the easiest to pick them up with the tip of a toothpick.  In fact, I use toothpicks A LOT on my flowers for various purposes.

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5.  Pick up one slice of clay at a time, and roll the tip of a toothpick left and right on it to flatten. When you take the shaped petal off your finger, use the side of your toothpick from the side and slowly scrape it off.

Photo May 13, 9 40 27 PM  Photo May 13, 9 43 52 PM

6.  These petals are ready to be assembled! It is not important that the petals look like perfect circles.  The randomness in flowers is very good for the realistic look anyway.

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7.  This is probably the step people tend to miss when I see other tutorials. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out the way to show it to you in pictures, but I will try my best to explain it.

To put the flower together, you basically put each petal onto the core one by one.  When you do that, try to put 2 petals facing each other sandwiching the core.  Once one pair is attached, do another pair the same way on the side.

Also, when you attach each petal, put it slightly higher than the core, this helps the flower to ‘flower’ better.  Of course there are some types of roses that bloom in a different way, so I recommend checking with the photos of real roses.

Once your petals are all attached, below is what your flower should look like.

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8.  Let’s add some finishing touches! curl the tips of outer petals very gently with the side of your toothpick.  This make a big difference.

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9.  Poke a hole on the back of the flower for the stem you will attach later.

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10.  A lot of the time, you won’t need to make the calyx. If you must, bake the flower after step 9, then make the calyx on the baked flower, then bake again. This avoids your flower from getting squished. 😉

For the stem, I usually just use flower wire with gel type super glue.

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9 Replies to “Tutorial: roses (1/12 scale)”

  1. Mimi, your roses look breathtaking! I know you wish for more perfection, but I truly don’t see any room for improvement. The ones I attempted in Fimo about a year ago came out looking sad. They are so fiddly to make and all the fragile petals kept getting mutilated by my fingers while trying to handle something so tiny. I gave up on clay and switched to making roses out of paper. Your tutorial is laid out so well and has some new (to me) tips so now I can give clay a try again. Thank you so much for answering my request for the rose tutorial so quickly. Love this blog!

    1. Aww thank you so much! I am glad you liked the tutorial. I’ve noticed while I was working on clay flowers that it is much easier to use harder clay than soft. If you mixed colors and your clay is softer, you might want to stick it in your fridge for a while before you start making your petals. And using toothpicks to handle tiny pieces is much much easier than fingers in my opinion. Most of this tutorial is my original, so I am happy that you think it is insightful. 🙂

    1. Yes, roses are definitely not my favorite to make. They are very delicate and complicated. I hope I can figure out a way to make them perfect, but that will take a total commitment…which I’m not sure I have at the moment. lol

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