UPDATE: click here to see the new video tutorial
Hello everyone! I previously blogged about how I was going to attend a paper flower making workshop on April 11th, so here I am today to show you want I learned. Although the class was three hours long, we unfortunately were only able to learn how to make one flower, a paper peony. Since we made a paper peony in class, today’s tutorial will also be on creating a paper peony. Since Mother’s Day is right around the corner, this would be a perfect long-lasting handmade gift!
These flowers are made out of crepe paper. If you haven’t seen crepe paper before, it is a type of paper that is crinkled. Streamers would be a type of crepe paper, but the crinkles in streamers are much bigger so it is not as stretchy or sculpt-able. When you work with quality crepe paper, it allows you to stretch and sculpt the paper. The advantage of crepe paper over regular paper or tissue paper in flower making is that you can create curves and cups with the crepe paper to closely resemble the natural curves of real petals. Here are the supplies you will need: 1) floral wire 2) wire stem (if you don’t have this, you can always make a stem with the floral wire3) floral tape (alternatively, you can also cut strips of crepe paper and use some glue) 4) crepe paper – I used 180 gm Italian crepe paper. There is a significant difference in quality crepe paper vs cheaper ones. The less heavyweight crepe papers do not stretch nearly as much. First you will need to cut your crepe paper into three different types of strips. You’ll need: 10 strips of narrow paper for the small petals – roughly 2.5″ long and .75″ wide 10 strips of wide paper for the large petals – roughly 2.5″ long and 1″ wide 1-2 strips of green crepe paper for leaves of varying size The petals should be cut like an oval with a neck. Leaves should be cut with a pointy top. Once you have cut all your petals, it is time to shape them. Begin by using the pad of your thumbs to stretch the petal where I have drawn arrows. Make sure to use the pad of your thumb and avoid using your nails, which may cause streaks/lines. The petal on the right is what it will look like after stretching. In the previous step, you just stretched the petal where the blue arrows are. Now, you need to move closer to the top and stretch where the red arrows are. Finally, you want to create a ruffled edge on the top of the petal. Do this by holding the top of the petal between your thumb and forefinger with both hands, and twist away from each other, almost as if you were trying to rip the paper. The purple area notes where you should twist away from yourself while the green arrow should be twisted towards yourself. Once you have done this, your petal should look like Petal #3. Here is a side view so you can see how curved the petals should be. Repeat this will all 20 petals. Now line up your petals with two rows of five small petals each, and two rows of five large petals each. This will help you keep track of your layers. Begin to wrap your petal around the wire stem and securing it into place with the florist tape. This is how it should look when you have wrapped the first petal. When you add your second petal, wrap it so that the petal covers the seam/opening of the first petal. Your peony will consist of the following layers: Layer 1 – 1 small petal Layer 2 – 1 small petalLayer 3 – 3 small petals Layer 4 – 5 small petals Layer 5 – 5 large petals Layer 6 – 5 large petals Make sure that your layers overlap each other with one side of the petal inside of another. This way, the petals can support each other. Once you have finished your last layer, pull and stretch the petals apart to make the peony bloom to your liking.