Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Paper Flower Technique No1


Papers and thicknesses of paper can can other peoples techniques...but this is how I do mine to suit this type of paper that I use and it's quite a basic to follow so you can further adapt, colour, ink up, distress and add embellishments etc to your requirements.

1. Select your paper. Here just a few examples of what I use. I try to use a good heavyweight paper and one that is printed both sides...preferably with a good contrast. These particular papers already have a lovely distressed design, are plain on one side and patterned on the other so no further stamping, inking up required. If you are thinking of colouring and preworking your paper, bear in mind it may be affected by the water and run or smudge.2. Tools required - paper, flower shapes (templates, die cuts etc), scissors, pencil, brad, water in a spritzer and a waterproof craft sheet and heat tool are also useful. Select your flower design - There are a number of ways in which you can get flower shapes - ready made and purchased, die cut (by hand machine or electric such as a cricuit), punched or... in my case drawn using templates and cut out by hand. I wanted a specific design so I drew out the shapes onto scrap paper in three graduating sizes. I will at a later date transfer these designs onto Doeflex to make more permanent templates. I then drew out two of each size.3. Draw out shapes then cut them out. Because you are soaking the paper in water, and scrunching the shapes up, there is no real need to be precise with your cutting. As long as you don't deviate too much from the basic shape...the randomness adds to the shabby chic look.
4. Place all the flower shapes together, layer them up with largest pieces at the bottom, graduating down in size so that the smallest are on the top.

Then pierce a hole through the centre and secure all the pieces together with a brad.
5. Turn over and open out the brad to secure the shapes together. You can see in this photo that I've used paper with a nice contrast to the sides in colour and pattern. 6. Take a moment to organize the layers, turn each one to space out the petal shapes and make it look more like a natural petal formation.7. Place on worksurface and spritz with water. Go easy and lightly at first...depending on how absorbant the paper is you can always add more as you go along...but overdo it you can not take away the water. You may end up over saturating the paper and ending up with a sodden disintergrated mess! 8. Taking the first top layer, gather up the paper petals into the centre, up over the brad and pinch firmly but gently. Take care not to twist the paper or it will tear.9. Repeat with each layer...lifting up towards the centre and squeezing together.10. The wet layers might stick use a pointed tool, tweezers or something like a cocktail stick to gently ease apert the petals.11. Keep lifting and squeezing together the layers...and if any feel too dry, lightly spritz with more water. 12.Squeeze and gently manipulate all the petals together into a tight bud shape.13.Now the flower bud is ready to bloom! Place it base down on the worksurface. It may start unfurling itself...but more often than not it needs a little encouragement. So use your fingers or a cocktail stick etc to start pulling open each layer of petals.14. Open up to the level that you require. I left this one not quite fully opened and still with quite a tight centre of petals so the brad remains hidden. If you have set in a decorative brad, you may want to open out the petals further to expose it.
15. You can leave the flower to dry out naturally in it's own time but the danger of that is that during this phase it might open out further than you want. To speed up the process and 'set' the flower more quickly give it a blast with a heat tool, taking care not to over heat or singe/burn the paper. Here's another one I made in a plain colour.
It is opened out much more than the first you can see here with them side by side.

The lovely thing about this flower making technique is that you don't necessarily have to use flower petal shapes to create one. So if you haven't got any flower shaped dies, or punches...and don't feel confident enough to draw and cut out your own....

You can make them with basic circle shape...and the result is just as pretty!

1. Here I used a technical drawing stencil to draw out three different sized circles....two of each.
2. The graduating sized circles were assembled just the same as in the previous instructions...and set with a brad. 3. Four basic cuts were made around the piece with scissors.4. The technique above was then followed, with the paper spritzed with water, and each layer drawn up and pinched together to form a bud then opened out.And here are all three together. As you can see I made a very small flower using the circles. The largest circle being just 1 inch diam...but there is no limit to the size you can make these. I would also suggest that flowers made bigger would benefit from more layers...but it really depends on the type of flower and effect you wish to achieve. The particular paper that I have use soaked up the water well and the fibres started to relax and seperate, giving a lovely soft look and texture to the paper...almost like fabric. The green flower looks like velvet!

Once dry, these flowers are ready to use...and you can embellish or decorate them even further. In a previous blog post, the three shabby chic flowers I attached to a card were rubbed over with a bit of diamond glaze, then some antique gold gilding paste, just to highlight the petal edges. You could rub in inks, add glitter, dip in UTEE...spray with shimmer sprays etc.

I hope you found this tutorial interesting and useful....and if you make some yourselves I'd love to know how you get on.


  1. oh Ange i just loooooooove these. gonna have to have a go tomo....
    looks like you've got my mojo going at last
    many many thanks for the tutorial. xxx

  2. You'll love making them Margaret and they'll suite your style. Add them to all the lacy stitched pretties that you make and they'll look fab! Glad I could help if but in a small way XXXX

  3. Fabulous flowers Ange,they remind me of the old victorian blooms,have to save this and have a go,just stunning !thankyou for sharing x

  4. Wow a great tutorial and a different take on the normal grungy flowers, will have a play when I have time - thanks for sharing xx

  5. love this..thank you so much for this tutorial! paper flowers are so expensive..and these really are so much prettier than any i could buy!!

  6. Lovely shabby's Will have to try it now. Thankyou x

  7. Aw i absolutely love how these turned out, there so shabby, guess i'll be digging out some of my memory stor papers. Thanks for sharing this fab technique xx

  8. Fab flowers Ange! Will try and make a couple(once i get all the pics back on my blog.......). Great tute as always. x

  9. I've missed your tutorials Ange! Love how your flowers have turned out, will have to have a go myself too.

  10. Gorgeous flowers, what a great idea to spritz them after you use the brad, love it xxsue

  11. had a play at making flowers at the weekend - loving these thank you for your tutorial loving Tatty Button

  12. Absolutely brill!! Am constantly on the search for different ways to make flowers and can't wait to try thisone!

  13. Ange, you make this look so doable - thank you for sharing your technique once again!

  14. and they are doable - i made a few yesterday and just wanted to pop back and say thanks and i posted a link to your blog from mine.

  15. Hi Ange,
    Just saw this on Renee's blog. Great tut and fabulous flowers. Just made one and they are fun!!! Thanks so much for this really clear description!!

  16. Fabulous!Can't wait to try it.

  17. These flowers are fabulous Ange! will have to have a go myself!