Tuesday, November 2, 2010

let me make you some giant paper flowers

100 Layer Cake featured our wedding last month and received so many comments on how to make the huge paper flowers that they asked me to do a tutorial for them, which just came out today. Thanks to my dear mother who showed me the ropes, I can now show all of you Lars readers as well. Above pics: this is Paul's Blue Steel and the photo on right is the centerpiece on the burlap squares I painted. Speaking of, if you'd like to buy the painted burlap tablecloths I opened up an Etsy shop where you can buy them. Right now there's only one picture, but there will be more on the way and even more products.

From the get-go, I wanted large paper flowers to create the Thumblina/Alice in Wonderland-ish effect for our garden reception. My amazing mom came up with the pattern which we then duplicated about 30 times for all the centerpieces, walkways, and stairs. The great thing about paper flowers is that we could create them with plenty of time before the wedding without worrying about the typical wilting. That said, by the wedding day we then had 30 huge paper poppies "growing" in our house so we were plenty ready to get them out! Making the flowers is as easy as pie. You'll need a large surface to work on because these puppies are massive.

  • 7 sheets of a single color for petals. Each sheet is a single petal. We used Canson Colorline Art Papers 19"x 25" from the local art supply store. Go local! Mom frequented (almost daily) the San Clemente Art Supply store and they would special order us the papers. So helpful! The picture of the colors below is not my preferred choices, especially for the leaves, but they don't have Canson near my house here in Copenhagen
  • 1 yellow or mustard color for stamen (middle of the flower)
  • 3 sheets of different greens. We used pastel quality greens because they are less harsh.
  • glue gun
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • 18" ruler to create the folded petal texture
  • If making multiple flowers, I would suggest making a template of the petals and leaves on chipboard
1. The base of the flower is 9" wide so you can start by marking the middle of the short end of the paper at the 9" mark and then marking 4 1/2 inches out on either side.

2. Create the shape of the petal. You can either copy this picture and blow it up to the right size or create your own (use your creativity!).I drew it in marker here so it would be clearer, but use pencil. It's roughly the shape of a light bulb or shell with lots of undulating waves. You don't want them too precise, they're flowers! From the 9" mark on the short side of the paper draw a 5" line up the middle.

3. Cut the shapes out.

4. Create the texture for the petal. We kept it simple by folding the paper over the ruler from the widest rim to the center of the shortest side. Space them out about every 1-1 1/2 inches. Remember not to be too precise. Then, turn the petal over and turn every other fold the opposite way like an accordian fold. It might look a little too much like a sea shell at this point, but don't worry, it gets better.

5. Overlap one of the 5" split sections by gluing one piece over the other, about 2-3". This will create a cupping shape with the petal. ( I made mine with the glue coming out to make it more obvious.

6. Repeat for each of the remaining 6 sheets.

7. Assemble the flower. Take three petals and glue one on top of the other so they are evenly spread around to form the center of the flower.

8. Evenly spread the remaining four petals around the center to create the outer petals.
9. Create the stamen by drawing a 16" circle from the yellow sheet of paper and cutting it out.

10. Create the center by drawing a 10" circle from the black sheet of paper and cutting it out. I found a 10" bowl to trace.

11. Cut 3" strips around the perimeter of the black center at every 1/2" mark or so.

12. Do the same to the yellow stamen, about 5" strips.

13. Slightly and gently use the edge of the closed scissors to curl the cut yellow strips of the yellow stamen and the black center, much like curling ribbon for a gift.
14. Glue the yellow stamen to the center.

15. Glue black center into the yellow stamen.

16. Make the leaves. Using the 25" as the width and the 19" as the height, fold the edge into the center. Do the same to the other side. This will create two leaves. Use the fold as the center of each leaf and draw a half a leaf shape.

17. Cut out the shape to reveal the full leaf. Do the same to the other side.

18. Glue two leaves together. Make as many leaves are you would like. I used 5 in a few shades of pastel and deep olive greens (not the nasty greens I have pictured here.)
19. Group the leaves around the flower and glue together at the bottom. Voila!

Easy beazy right?

Again, if you'd like to buy the tablecloths I painted for the reception, go to my new Etsy site. More on the way!


You Are My Fave said...

I was so happy you shared this tutorial. I've been thinking of those flowers ever since I first saw your wedding and know that I have to implement them in a future project.

Paige said...

Me too! I'm so torn between these and giant Martha Stewart roses for my wedding. Those are more realistic, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I wish I was as creative as you and your mom! What I'd really love to do would be to make a different kind of giant flower for each of my bridesmaids, but my brain won't tell me how!

Miss B. said...

Paige, just blow up the Martha Stewart flowers...bada bing bada boom!

Calypso Flowers said...

They look fantastic ! How did you put the 'stems' on ? I thought that you could make a padded fabric black centre on a stick that you could then slip stamens and then petals and then leaves on to, glueing each layer. Would that work ?

kh said...

Thank you! These are fantastic. And your wedding looks so fun and memorable.

Enjoy Copenhagen!

Miss B. said...

Calypso: for the stems, I found a giant silk flower at a wholesaler and then before attaching on the stamen and center hot glue gunned it through the base of the flower. Lots and lots of glue. and then attach the stamen and center. But your technique sounds like it would work too. give it a go! let me know if it works.

Maggie said...

omg, get out this is mahvelous, luv it..
such a fabulous idea..

Paige said...

I have a question. The ones you're holding at hour wedding looks a lot more full than the one in the tutorial. Did you use more petals on that one? Or do anything else differently? Thanks!

Paige said...

Er, make that "the one you're holding at your wedding," since that's kind of the point!

Miss B. said...

Hi Paige,

Nope, it's the same pattern just on a smaller scale. The one I'm holding is much smaller so it looks fuller. does that help?

Paige said...

Ohhh! Yes, that does help a lot. Thanks!

Caroline said...

Oh, Miss B,

You have made my day (and wedding). I stumbled on your wedding pics and instantly knew I wanted large paper flowers at my wedding in March. I am thrilled to find your instructions and can't wait to get started. I also plan to do a few banners, too : ) Hope you consider this imitation flattery!

Miss B. said...

oh i do, i do! I love it! can't wait to see how it goes!

Paige said...

I FINALLY ordered some Canson papers to try out and made a prototype flower. It turned out mostly well but two questions:

Do you know how long the short side of the flower you held was (vs the 9 inches you advise here for the humongous ones)? My first one was definitely less than 9 inches, but still not quite tight enough.

What did you do for the greens in your held flower? I don't see any leaves but instead some wispy green things.


Miss B. said...

Hi Paige!

I'll have to make one today to see. Unfortunately, I just made a bunch yesterday but didn't think to measure them and they are now off in customer land.

As for the greens on the flower I'm holding, I found a fake silk flower that I took the blossom off so the green wisps you see are remnants from that. Yesterday I used branches instead and it looked amazing! I'll provide pictures.

Paige said...

Oh gosh you're so sweet! I've got lots of time before I need to know exactly how big, so no worries. I made two based on the petal template on the Martha Stewart version. The first one was blown up to 1.5 size (a bit too big), the second was the 1x size, too small (but perfect for my 8-y-o "flower girl". So somewhere in the middle will be perfect. Thanks so much for your help!

Miss B. said...

paige, I answer some questions here. does it help? if not, feel free to ask more questions!

Casey May said...

Hi Miss B! All your tutorials, pictures and narratives are just absolutely inspiring! You give us artsy-crafty girls something to aspire to! I I have one question about the Canson paper. I found some at a local Art Supply store here in San Luis Obispo, CA and it was about $1.79 per sheet. I was wondering if that was about what I should expect to pay for the paper or if there was some way to get a better price (i.e. buying in bulk or online). Thoughts?

Miss B. said...

Hi Casey May, sorry I haven't seen your comment! That's a good price for Canson. Here in Denmark it's about $3 per piece. We shopped local in CA and they ended up giving us discounts because we bought so much, but yes, I think that's a fair price. You could also check out Dick Blick if you want to look online. good luck!

Anonymous said...

Did you use 150 GSM stock or 300 GSM stock?
I LOVE you wedding!

Anonymous said...

Cute, but ridiculous for a wedding-you'll regret how stupid you look in those pictures

The House That Lars Built said...

awesome. thanks for the kind words.

dawn walker said...

I don't know why people have to be critical. You're not trying to force your ideas on anyone. THANK YOU for sharing this idea and inspiring creativity in all of us.