Hand Made Flowers and Me

My last post had such a lovely reaction from my few faithful readers and also brought a couple of questions via email from my non-Wordpress readers – that I thought I’d try a brief explanation of the different types of flowers I make and especially how I make hand rolled flowers.

I make so many flowers – mainly due to the absence of mojo – that last Easter I put some into a bowl and made a little centrepiece for my table.  It still survives, mainly as Orlando has no interest in it due to the fact that these flowers don’t smell pleasing to him.  They don’t smell at all.

Bowl of flowers

This is a good example as it has lots of different kinds of flowers made with different kinds of paper.

Some time back when YD and I made a trip to the local junk shop, we scored big time in the book section.  We picked up some big books – almost A3 size – a cook book, a Kaffe Fassett knitwear book and a travel book.  All glossy pages and fully and colourfully illustrated.  The books were 50 cents each.

I also scored an old Brittanica Encyclopaedia [B] which is the mother-lode really, for 20 cents!  These books were made to last forever, they are made with high grade paper and high quality inks.  The pages don’t discolour or bleed or degrade with time.  I use this book paper for all my pages that want to have words somewhere in them and I have not made a discernible dent in the density of the book yet.

The other three books are my suppliers for the ready coloured flowers.  I have to admit that as a book-o-phile I was quite challenged at the thought of tearing pages from a beautiful book to make flowers, but once the first page was torn and the first flower made, I was on the road to hell!

The pic below stars a suitably autumnal flower made from the cookbook.

Bowl of flowers 6

These glassine flowers are made with a die, nothing to it really just cut out and layer up:

Bowl of flowers 3a

But today we are primarily concerned with these little blue beauties:

Bowl of flowers 1

You will need:

Book pages

Scissors

Tweezers or quilling tool

Pokey tool 🙂

Glue gun

Colouring agents: water based inks – I use Distress Inks; glimmer spray of some kind works well too, glitter if wanted

A favourite TV programme – and off we go!  [Just fyi – I’m a late comer to Grey’s Anatomy.  I’ve been watching for about a month and am up to series 3 – hooked!]

Cut your book pages into circles.  The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower.  I tend to make circles somewhere in the vicinity of 6 -8 cm [2 – 3 inches]  Next you will spiral cut into these circles.  It’s important to understand that the narrower the gap between spirals the flatter the flower will be.  And it depends on how you want to use them – a high standing flower doesn’t work well on a card for instance, but looks great on a canvas……  I like to make my cut slightly wavy as it gives the top of the petal a more natural look.

The following blurry photo is my attempt to show you the cutting and rolling process:

BP flower unrolled

There will be a small circle left at the end of your spiral cut, this is the base of the flower.

Using the tip of your tweezers grasp the outside edge of the spiral cut, with right side facing roll up the paper keeping the bottom edge as level as possible.  I roll quite tightly then let the flower unroll a bit to find its happy place.

I make a big pile of flowers up to this point – and I maybe cut out a few dozen petal/leaf shapes as well.  For the next step I retire the TV and return to the play room.

I hot glue the spiral cut flower to the base.  Hot glue is best, it sets quickly before the flower can escape the shape you have chosen.  Lately I have learned to add an extra layer of ‘petals’ to the outside edge.  I flip the flower over and, making a pleat in the bottom of each petal, I hot glue an odd number onto the base, overlapping as I go.

Now I add colour.  Sometimes I colour with a product like glimmer mist, but typically I use water based inks, swiping the pad along the top edge of the flower and outside petals quite strongly.  Then I spritz with water.  The ink will bleed and spread the colour.  Don’t use too much water or you will have a soggy pile of wet paper pulp [yes, I’ve done it!]  While the flower is still damp I like to use the tweezers and roll back the petals, especially on the outside of the flower.  Denting, stretching and making little tears is all okay, it adds to the natural look.   Leave the flower aside to fully dry.

The flower on the left has had the extra layer of petals added, you can see the difference, right?

BP flowers 2

Now I make leaves.  I forgot to photograph this part.  But it’s pretty easy.  The left overs from the petals you glued on in the last step will now become the leaves.

BP flowers 3

I swipe some green ink on.  Draw a centre spine and some veins with a green water based pen – I use Marvy’s but anything will do – then go back in with my water brush and bleed the colour out.  I scrunch them up to and make a pleat before gluing one or two or even three to the bottom of the flower.  The pleat is important as it makes the leaf stand up and have body:

BP flowers leaves

Next is the fun part.  BLING!  You can never have too much bling, even on book paper flowers…..

I inserted half pearls into the centres and employed the wipe on – wipe off method with some glitter on flowers and leaves:

BP flowers bling

And then, because I could, I made a card, just for you!  🙂

BP flowers card best

As you can see from the photo, it’s dark and past my bed time.  Orlando has already gone…………

So, wherever you are in the world, I wish you a good night – or a good day!!

In bed

Any questions, please do ask ’em.

Thanks for dropping by, love that you did!

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12 thoughts on “Hand Made Flowers and Me

    • Isn’t he though! Thanks for comment and for dropping by – always lovely to see you! 🙂 This morning I’ve just had a moment of inspiration while doing my yoga exercises – going to try some dryer sheet flowers using mists too – if it works, I’ll post!

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  1. Brilliant! I really want to try this. I’ve been curious about those newsprint flowers. You’ve done a great job with the design and the tutorials. I like the idea of a center piece, too.

    I’m going to give this a try. I’ll report back.

    Goodnight, Orlando (since kitties sleep 18 hours a day), this should apply most any time.

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    • How wonderful – my first attempt at a proper tutorial and you got it – I’m thrilled! Please do let me know how it goes. And yes, ‘goodnight’ applies any time – he’s asleep again – but it is usual for him to sleep where I am, beside me, on me, whatever is the most comfortable for him – When he takes himself off to bed it is a sure sign that I have kept him waiting too long for his nightly cuddle …..

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