Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Handmade Paper Blooms Tutorial

Interested in making your own paper flowers? This is a much simplified version of Lisa Yuen's lovely paper blooms in my previous post. It really is really easy and goes together pretty quickly. Edited to Add: Beth, one of my new readers, is absolutely brilliant. She pointed out that you can skip the reinker step by just using cardstock in the colour you want--Had to add that! :0) Thanks Beth! (You can also just wet and wrinkle whole or punched flowers (or leaves) and heat gun them for a super quick variation.)

Other flower projects & templates here


Card stock (2 shades-- 1 sheet pale (for petals) & scraps of green /other colour (center & base)
Petal template (or do freehand cutting)
Ballpoint pen
Craft scissors
(good sharp ones)
Optional Reinkers (craft ink and classic, but you could leave that step out or experiment)
Plastic wrap or non-stainable surface
Beads (or Glitter or little paper balls)
Crystal Effects (or strong glue of your choice)


5 petal flower punch
(or cut a circle)
Heat gun
(or air dry)
Baking tray (or heat proof surface)

Simply wet a piece of card stock with warm water. Be sure both sides are wet, but be wary of over-saturating (paper may tear if it's too wet.) This is "Blush Bloom" coloured card stock. A lighter version coloured card stock (of the colour you want your final bloom to be) is perfect for achieving attractive colour variations. But, as Beth pointed out, :0) you can save some steps by just using the colour cardstock you like. :0)

2nd. Wring the paper out a little and crumple into a ball.
(You want to be a little gentle, but do it a couple of times to get tight wrinkles. If it seems like it's tearing, let the paper dry a little.)

3rd. Flatten the paper out on your work surface.
(Don't worry about little tears, just avoid that part of the paper in this next step.)

4th. Place the template on top of your damp card stock. Using a ballpoint pen, trace the petal template onto the damp paper. Free hand a different frilled edge tot the tops each time you trace for a natural look.
You'll want to press fairly hard, as this "embosses" a white line onto your damp card stock. The paper may tear a tiny bit, but you should be able to trace each template twice without ink getting on your damp paper. You'll want to cut the petals out right away. This is the only step that is time sensitive. You'll need 10 SMALL petals * 5 EVEN SMALLER ones to make this particular flower. (Let me know if you'd like a template; I'll get my scanner up and runnin')

Warning! :0) This picture (above) is a little deceptive: I gave up on the large petal template and switched to the medium peony petal template<---from this link) And I made a freehand small one. The ink on my picture is not how you want it it's just to show you where the white-ish lines show up. The camera just VERY faintly captures it on the left there; click on the pic to see.)

5th. Following that faint white line, cut the petals out. It requires a wee bit of gentleness, but any little tears will just give the petals a natural appearance. Just huck out any petals that don't work. :0) To cut quickly, if you're confident free-handing it you can fold the paper over and cut 2/3 petals at a time--or you put the template on top of your folded layers and cut out the template as you go.

6th. You can skip this if you like... Mix approximately 3 tablespoons of water with 3 -4 drops of craft ink and 3-4 drops of classic ink and dip the petals in it taking off the excess on the side of the dish. Lay on a plastic wrap covered baking tray or work surface. For mass-production you can dip a few petals at a time. They are delicate at this stage, and I accidentally pulled off tiny bits of the petal points, but the center covers that. (I've used 3 fair-sized drops of "Pixie Pink" S.U. CRAFT reinker and 3 fair-sized drops of "Purely Pomegranate" S.U. CLASSIC reinker.)

7th. You can wait for the petals to dry, if you have no heat gun or unlike me you have patience. To heat dry just place in a clean baking tray on a heat-proof surface (stove top) and give 'em a blast of the heat gun. The underside, for some reason dries lighter than the top, but it worked out just fine.) I found I had to flip em a wee bit and a tiny bit stuck, but it was okay. When they are almost dry, shape them a little with your fingers.

8th. Simply punch out a 5-petal flower punch from green card stock and glue the petals on (or just use a circle , since it gets covered anyhow.) I like the flower punch as I wet it and scrunched it for texture--and it's shape helped me to space the petals out. Crystal effects works very well, but glue dots, double-sided tape might work too (the paper is very delicate; though, and the bond between layers may break. Crystal effects seems to hold them together.) You'll want to just glue enough of the center to hold, but not too near the outsides of the petals (so you can still shape it.)

9th. To finish your beautiful bloom just shape as desired. (it will shape when dry, but slightly damp is the best.) Add a center made out of a little circle cut from card stock. I added little teeny scallops (freehand with scissors) to this one. Then using Crystal effects glue your center on; top it with more glue & add beads. Glitter or tiny paper balls would work too. You can trim any fibers that look out of place (or oddly shaped petals--though irregularity makes it look real.) I touched up a little spot that was too pale with my aqua painter and some of the reinker dipping solution.

This really is easy and fun. (I just make it sound complicated 'cause I want to cover all the details for you.) The flower looks better in person too, and has a really nifty textural feel to it. I can't wait to make some leaves to go with it and put it on a card and show you!

Thanks for checkin' this out. If you try it, please post me a link I'd love love love to see what you make.

:0) Mel


Michelle said...

Oh wow, Mel. I HAVE to give this a try. I promise I'll show you what I make! This will be perfect for an ATC swap I'm in!! Thanks!

Margaret McDonald said...

that's a great tut! lots of stop & starts. does it make ya feel like Martha?!

Meli Palmer said...

That my friend is what they call AMAZING.

~* Tracy *~ said...

Fantastic tutorial Mel!!

Sherry said...

I love your tutorial!! You make it look so easy! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I am a first timer here and am glad that i came.. loved the tutorial and will definelty try it out ... thanks for it! :)

Tiffany said...

omg these flowers are amazing!! Your tutorial is great!! thanks so much! this is old i see now!! I googled handmade paper flowers...... I was looking for flowers made from handmade paper but this is better!! thanks! ..........

Sheri@childmade.com said...

Very well done!! I've posted a link. Thanks for sharing.

Nany said...

Darling you can't imagine how many times I googled "handmade flowers" too.and here I am at your fabulous and super easy tutoria.. Thanks, Thanks, Thanks and Best Wishes for the new year also...Hugs from Puerto Rico

Ps. I'm gonna link to your post too.

Alice said...

Your tutorial is great. As a hint I wet and crunched up a few sheets, flattened and let them dry since I didn't have time to do them right up. I just re-wet them once I was ready. This gave me time to fiddle with making a template.

Missing_Pieces said...

These are great!!! Fabulous even!! I can't wait to get going on my own versions of these! They would look terrific on greeting cards!

*following* :)