Friday, January 14, 2011
Perfect Paper Poppies
The 3rd and final flower from our wedding show bouquet is a paper flower that I make frequently, usually as an accent on wrapped gifts. It can be made with any kind of paper and in any size. For this project I used handmade papers from Paper Zone. Because handmades are softer in texture, these are best for making smaller flowers.
For this project you will need at least 2 colors of paper, floral wire, scissors and tape. The Martha Stewart fringe scissors are not necessary to make these flowers, but they make the inner part of the flower so much easier to make and once you use them, you'll want to fringe everything. They are so awesome!
Start with 3 strips of paper. The strip for the inner part of the flower should be about 2 1/4 inches wide and 8 inches long. For the petals, use one strip that is 2 1/4 " wide and 24" long and the second string should be slightly wider: 2 1/2" wide and 24" long. They do not need to be cut perfect because you'll be cutting them down.
For the inner part of the flower, cut along one edge using the fringe scissors. Leave about 1/4" uncut so that you have a base for rolling up the fringed piece. Once this piece has been fringed, roll up tightly along the uncut side and tape.
Next, cut petals out of the other two strips. You can make squares any way you like out of the strips, but for ease, I just fold the strips over and then cut off both edges of folds so that I have a neat little stack of cut squares of all the same size.
I freestyle cut the shape of a petal into these squares. The best part of this flower, is that it doesn't really matter how precise the petal shapes are because all of the pieces will be scrunched together and will pretty much look great no matter what. With these squares you will get about 6 or 7 petals. Just be sure to leave about a half inch "stem" in your petals so that you can assemble the flower with ease.
Cut 6 or 7 petals of a slightly larger size out of the second strip of paper.
To assemble the flower you will start with the inner flower (fringed piece) as your base and the smaller petals. Using the floral wire, TIGHTLY wrap the stem of the petals to the base of the fringe, adding petals evenly around the base. It is very important to wrap the wire tightly so that the petals stay secure. I usually add 1 petal per go around with the wire. Add the larger petals in the same manner until all of your petals are tightly attached at the base.
Next, flip open the flower and let it bloom. Spread the petals with your fingers, opening it up and shaping the petals as you like. Working with paper is great because your can bend and shape the petals into pretty much any direction you like. I sometimes even do a little "gardening" and cut down larger petals if they seem out of place.
I like to change up the color patterns in my flowers when making a bunch so that each flower is unique, but in the same color scheme. And you can use any color!
To complete the bouquet above, I used some leftover of the blue handmade paper to line a square glass dish that I got at the supermarket and ended up with a pretty cute little centerpiece.
I have also seen these flowers used with a string of white Christmas lights, which makes a pretty cute decoration for any party or event. Happy Paper Gardening! --Kim