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How to Make Nylon Flowers

The homemaker of the 1950’s was nothing if not frugal, and I’m sure Mom thought this clipping interesting and resourceful.  

I couldn’t wait to be old enough to shave my legs and wear “Nylons”, or “hose”.  There were usually worn with a garter belt (for practical reasons, not exotic) because they were stockings that came up to about three-fourths of your thigh.  They had a seam up the back and you had to make sure your seams were straight.  By the time I was a junior in high-school, you always wore them with a girdle (on my skinny little 110 lb. body!!!) because you didn’t want to “jiggle”.  Panty hose didn’t become a part of my wardrobe until several years after marriage.  Who knew we would come round to 2010 when wearing hose is out of fashion.

My first recollection of artificial flowers would be tiny papery buds on a hat.  Since Catholic women needed to cover their hair when going to church, we used that as an excuse to wear a fashionable hat.  However, the instructions in this clipping are geared towards making flowers for a corsage.  If a woman wore a corsage like this, it was likely an adornment on a suit she wore to church .  I doubt Mom or any of us girls ever really tried to make one, but I might try to now.  In 1979 my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary.  Craft stores were a new idea and Frankfort had one.  My oldest sister and I used packages of petals, centers and stems from the craft store to make the corsages for the celebration.  It was only then that the general population would debate whether to use artificial or fresh flowers for a celebration.

This clipping has some damage.  Of the three recipes on this page of the cookbook, the one for Cream Puffs looks the most familiar to me….so likely, those spills occurred while making them.  Some words either aren’t there or are hard to determine, hence the parentheses.  It likely came from the Drovers Telegram and is one where the author’s name and address are listed at the end, but no zip codes. Although zip codes were first introduced in 1944, they didn’t become mandatory until 1967.

How to Make Nylon Flowers

Mrs. L.J. Sayre asked for directions for making nylon flowers recently.  I sill send them in as they were given to me.

For the hose use a color remover that requires no boiling.  They dye with all-purpose dye.  (Cut) a (nine) inch strip of copper screen and (then) unravel. Use the wrinkled wire (for) shaping petals and leaves and (make)  nine-inch lengths (stems).  Cut nylon in three to ten-inch squares depending on the desired size of petals.  Place crinkled wire across square from corner to corner; fold nylon (half) over wire and gather base of petal, twist wire to hold in shape of a circle.

After making the desired number of petals, assemble them with a straight piece of wire for stem and space and shape petals evenly.  Wrap hanging ends of nylon with florist’s tape, wrapping it to end of stem. Make as many flowers as desired, then shape into corsage and add green leaves made the same as single petals.  Buds made by wrapping nylon over a bit of cotton make a pleasing addition.  For centers use bought stamens, pretty buttons, beads, or short lengths of floss or crochet cotton with ends dipped in paraffin or sealing wax or a tiny ball of cotton covered with nylon may be used.  Each corsage needs a yard of ribbon, half to three-quarters of an inch wide, in harmonizing color.  __Louise Schaber, Route 3, Wisner, Neb.

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