Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Vintage Corsages

I discovered this collection of 1950's French corsages at a local flea market. They were completely squashed and looking rather sad, but I felt I could do something with them. I would like to share with you the method that I use to revive these lovely old flowers. Firstly, set your steam iron to 'steam'. Lay the flower on your ironing board and hold the iron a few centimeters above it so that the steam touches the petals. The flower appears to grow in front of your eyes! Do this for just a few seconds at first, stop, and manipulate the petals back into shape. You can use the steam of the kettle, but this risks the flowers becoming wet and spoiled- also if you open the petals too wide they will never return to the shape they once were.
The iron method can also be used on vintage hats, to open flowers, reshape a distorted hat, or to bring back the crushed pile of old velvet- like magic!
Once my rose corsages were looking wonderful again, I put them to use. They were in stunning summer colours, so cheerful, so I thought it would be nice to keep them out on display. I painted some old wooden coathangers with 'Farrow and Balls' Green Blue #84 eggshell. Then twisted the corsage stems around the hook of the hangers and held them in place by tying antique lace bows to them. They would look wonderful hung on hooks in a bathroom, to hang clothes whilst taking a bath. Or on the back of a bedroom door for your dressing gown.... The flowers can be removed at anytime to be worn on a jacket lapel, sewn to a hat or clipped in your hair, as they were once intended.


  1. This is a wonderful tip. I have some squashed corsages somewhere and never knew quite what to do with them so thank you ;-)

  2. Hi
    I found your blog through reading another.

    Love it, love all your collections and your house looks fantastic. Great work!



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Niki xx