Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Floral Wreath with Paper Flowers
Here it is! I can’t tell you how long I spent on this project because I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of months, collecting ideas and watching/reading tutorials, and gathering flower files. The actual cutting and assembling I spread across a couple of weeks. Inking and shaping was easy to do while watching movies in the evenings.
I’m not going to give a full tutorial on each flower, but I will give some tips and direct you to the files I used for cutting, along with links to others' tutorials at the end. It's not a quick project, but it's worth the effort!
First I made a bunch of flowers:
I bought a 13" willow wreath from my local Dollar Tree Store. Since most of it will be covered, you can use whatever kind of wreath you can find (grapevine, styrofoam, even make your own by taping rolled paper into a wreath shape). You can make this as full as you want by adding more flowers, or fill in the gaps with leaves. The shape was a little skewed, but I just compensated as I added flowers to make it look round again.
I made 28 large flowers (peonies, daisies, roses) and 25 small flowers (hydrangeas, cherry blossoms). I had a few left over, but not many. I also made plenty of leaves from two shades of green cardstock.
The daisies I cut from Bazzill "Chiffon" cardstock using the free Silhouette file flower_C02804_1. I made three sizes and layered a couple of each size. The centers are from another flower shape's center, 3d_6-petal_flower_C20090824125209_2581. I added buttons to a couple of them.
The peonies I created in Studio, and you can download the Studio file here. I used "Strawberry Splash" Bazzill Smoothies for the darker pink and another light pink cardstock.
The top two roses above are from a beautiful free rose PDF file by Ellinee. See the section labeled Paper Flower Templates for the PDFs of her paper roses and for her instructions. I opened the PDF in Photoshop Elements, erased the background, saved it as a PNG, then opened and traced the pieces in Silhouette Studio. The music-note paper and striped paper are from My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart" collection.
The pink roses are cut from Echo Park "Style Essentials" Lt. Pink pattern paper. This was sort of my design, edited from my friend Debbie's cutting file. I took the shapes she provided and welded them in the center so they would be easier to assemble. I glued four individual petals for the tight center, four individual petals to surround the center bud, and four layers of the welded flowers for the outer petals. Here is the cutting file. You really could make the whole wreath with these roses, they're so easy!
Next are the rolled roses. This was a freebie Silhouette shape a few weeks ago, which you can get here if you don't already have it. I made four roses at the default size on My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart" paper and four smaller light-orange roses with Bazzill "Arizona" cardstock. I made them smaller so I could fit 5 on a 12x12 paper instead of 4, but I really couldn't see a big difference in the finished size. The technique I mostly closely followed is shared here by Lisa Barrie.
The hydrangea shape is here on the Silhouette Store. The cherry blossom shape is here on the Silhouette Store. I resized both to make them about an inch or so in size and cut them also from My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart" pattern papers. I used a pearlized-top stick pin for the hydrangeas and I dipped the head of a regular straight pin in yellow acrylic paint for the cherry blossom centers.
For shaping the flowers, I used the Paper Blossom Tool Kit by McGill. The tweezers are great for the rolled roses. My tweezers broke, but I was able to get a replacement pair from McGill and I'm happy again! The largest McGill stylus is great for most of the shaping. Just having a large round-ended tool is helpful (I used the rounded cap of a gel pen before getting this tool kit, and I know people who are using their cake-decorating tools for these paper flowers). Actually, my most-used tool was a pointed wooden skewer stick. The biggest key is misting your flowers with water so they are soft and pliable while you work. Then, even your fingers work great for shaping. I didn't even let everything dry completely before gluing the pieces, in many cases.
I used a low-temp glue gun throughout the process and was very glad I did. It took a while for some of the glue to set when using large amounts, but I got plenty of glue on my fingers and never got burned.
Once I got all the large flowers glued on, I was able to see where the gaps were and I added the smaller flowers and "greenery" for a more realistic effect. The leaves came from the cherry blossom file, my rose file I'm sharing, and a pine branch file by Doodling Debbie.
And finally, I turned this into a Mother's Day wreath by cutting hexagon shapes and adding letters for a banner. I actually just taped the baker's twine to the back of each hexagon with clear tape so it was easier to position. Here's a view of the back, just so you can see a little of the mechanics. Here's my hexagon cutting file for you.
And the finished product:
Here are a few more tutorials that are helpful for making paper flowers. Most of them use punches or cut with scissors, but of course I had my Silhouette Cameo cut everything for me. I love being able to weld and resize as necessary in the Studio software before cutting.
McGill Rose Tutorial
Scrap a Little: Flower Tutorials
Ellinee Paper Roses: See the section labeled Paper Flower Templates for the PDFs of her paper roses and her instructions.
The Six Inch Square: Paper Flower Technique No. 1
Products and Supplies:
Pattern Paper: My Mind’s Eye "Follow Your Heart collection" (4 pgs)
Echo Park "Style Essentials" Lt. Pink (1-2 pgs)
12x12 Cardstock: 2 shades green, 2 med. pink, 2 lt. pink, 1 cream, 1 lt. orange
Buttons: My Mind's Eye "Follow Your Heart" collection
Yellow baker’s twine (approx. 1 1/2 yds)
Light pink tulle for hanging (24”)
Wreath shape—I used 13” willow wreath
Hot glue gun & glue sticks
Ink pads for edges (multiple colors)