The rain is official here. Yesterday we woke to a roaring deluge, entirely unlike the usual misting dampness that generally assails the Seattle area. By noon, streets were underwater. By the evening, we were bailing out the basement, and cursing the leaves that had clogged the ancient drain. Ah the joys of homeownership.
These soggy days leave me itchy for crafts. So what better time to work on the paper flowers I’m making for a bit of wedding decor? Fun and relatively easy, I thought I’d share a quick how-to with you today. I’ve adapted this from the original Martha Stewart Pom-pom tutorial to create a flower rather than a sphere. I’m scheming to make some colored ones as well, so they’ll look even more like peonies!
Materials (per flower):
- 8 sheets of 18″ x 20″ tissue paper
- 1 18″ piece floral stem wire (I use 22 gauge, white)
- A ruler (optional)
It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have some good music to help you along. Here’s a song to get you started:
Begin by lining up the sheets of tissue. This is the most fiddly part, so don’t rush. Orient the paper so it is vertical to your body (ie. the 18″ side is in front of you), and begin folding it in accordion fashion with 1 1/2 to 2 inch folds. I like to use a ruler to tuck behind each fold, making sure all the layers are snugly down into the crease.
When this is complete, fold the accordion gently in half to find the middle. Fold your wire in half as well and slip it over the paper, lining it up with the middle crease you’ve just made. Gently twist the ends of the wire a few times to secure.
Now, you can cute the ends of the the tissue to your desired shape. This can be a soft arch, a steep arch, a point…really whatever you like as these will be your “petals”. Just make sure to mirror it on both sides.
Once the ends are cut, gently fan out the layers so they look something like this:
Now comes the tricky part. Working from the top, gently grasp the first layer of tissue and peel it upwards. It will seem like you are ruining the folds, but trust me, it all works out in the end. The important part here is to coax the layer up and all the way to the center. I find it most effective to grasp the lower layers with one hand, and gently tug at the bottom (center) of the top layer, working from one edge to the other. Repeat on the other side. When you look down into the center, ideally you will not be able to see the wire at all.
Continue unfurling the layers in this manner, working from one side to the other to insure uniformity.
Experiment with how you draw the layers up. I like to bend some of the “petals” over a bit, to make them seem more natural.
As I get towards the bottom, I draw the layers less and less towards the center.
You can always mess with the look once you have pulled up all the layers as well.
And voilą! A lovely flower! I have even bigger plans for these, but that’s for another day…