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
- 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!