Faded Faux Finery – Vintage Millinery Flowers

Vintage millinery flowers have always enchanted me. They have a subtle, faded beauty to them that has a very nostalgic quality.

Pink Cotton Rose

These beautiful roses are made of cotton tinted pink. They have fuzzy chenille stems! They are called millinery flowers because they were sold in dime stores for use in hat making and other crafts. They’re made of paper or fabric and have wire stems covered in bias tubing.

I was very lucky to run across a large stash of them years ago at a thrift shop. I snatched them up and stored them away for future use and we found the perfect opportunity for them in the Shower episode of my show. We used them to create the charming party room you see above for the fictional guest of honor for our shower.











The art department created nosegays like these to use for trimming the banquet table and decorating gifts.

They also trimmed up some darling decorative umbrella frames I had found at a thrift shop as well to use as a centerpiece.

Where to Find Them

You can find these lovely little decorative objects on eBay and Etsy. Search for “vintage millinery flowers” and all sorts of options come up. Right after the war they were made in occupied Japan and some of the ones I have still bear that label. They’re not outrageously expensive and are perfect for little accents in your craft projects. You can even find them new at floral supply houses, though I don’t think the contemporary ones are quite as charming.

How to Use Them

These flowers are beautiful when used in collage projects. Use them to accent an antique document or photograph displayed in a shadowbox frame. They make wonderful decorations on gift packages as well. Create small pompons of them to suspend from ribbons on a bridal bouquet, or make the whole bouquet itself from them. Do you use artificial flowers in your crafting? If so, how do you use them? I’d love to see some pictures!

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