Thursday, January 24, 2013

Flapper Faces

You may be aware that I have a soft spot for items dating from the flapper era. Understandably, original pieces command high prices these days, even with condition not always the best. I have often created my own items in the style of the 20's, such as these hat stands. I like to use old materials to make them, re-purposing 30's wooden candle sticks, old doll faces and feathers, as here.
I have long been on the lookout for some flapper buttons, similar to these that sold on etsy last year by Puffadonna
Photo courtesy of Puffadonna.
There are some other examples on a Pinterest board here. I've had no luck so far finding buttons within my price range, so yesterday I decided to make some of my own. 
I used an old self-cover button kit from my stash, covering them in plain calico. I then carefully hand painted the facial features using acrylic paints. 
I used a short piece of velvet ribbon salvaged from a c1950's hat to make the little cloche hats, with the addition of a jaunty feather glued to the back! Then to use my newly made buttons in a way that would have been typical during the 20's - I decided on powder puff wands. Rosettes were created from a gathered braid that I had saved from an old French curtain pelmet. The puffs themselves were made from cream velvet (previously an (unworn!) vest from Marks & Spencer's) - A circle of velvet, gathered, and then softly stuffed with polyester filler. The wand handles were made from short lengths of wooden dowel which I covered in vintage 'hug snug' seam binding. 
The powder puff wands were then assembled using a glue gun, by sandwiching the dowel between the puff and rosette. The button added the authentic look as the final embellishment.

Here they are finished. Not sure why Blogger has decided to turn my photos on their side, as I had saved these pics as portrait, but hope you get the idea. 
I was thinking of making some more and perhaps taking them to the next fair - The Vintage & Handmade Textile Fair, Chipping Sodbury, is on February 23rd. I'm not sure what visitors will be looking for...Will they want hand made goods, or will they be looking for textiles to use in their own projects? As always, a crystal ball would be useful! 
Anyway, hope you like my latest makes,
Have a lovely day,
Niki x


  1. These are gorgeous Nikki, clever you! As always with customers, you will get those that can make and those that can't. I have found those that CAN make will have a good look at your stuff and go away all puffed up with thoughts of I can do that. But hopefully those that can't make will buy something! Wish I lived nearer. X Joan

  2. So CUTE - and you have a great steady hand for painting. I hope they go really well. x

  3. I always love to see your flapper girls,they have such cheeky faces!
    Your little trio of powder puff girls are very beautiful indeed,you are so creative!

  4. They are really lovely Niki, you really are so talented and inspirational.
    Jo xx

  5. I think these are brilliant!! I so wish I had your making abilities and originality Niki!!

    Keep warm my dear. xx

  6. These are fantastic !

    You have so many great ideas

  7. so stinking adorable

  8. I love these little faces. There is something pretty sweet about the '20's era. Also, changed your profile pix. You are so young - you must have had your girls when you were about 9 - wouldn't believe you are a g-ma. Love your blog, thanks for sharing.


Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx