Thursday, May 21, 2020

Crêpe Paper Flowers

        As a member of Designer Crafts Connection, I was excited to receive a sample pack of DCWV Petal Paper. The quality was similar to the crêpe paper we used in the 50's; stronger and much easier to shape than rolls found at the party stores.  I love it when there's an opportunity to work with a "new" product that brings back childhood memories. I remember watching,  and sometimes helping, my parents make crêpe paper flowers in the 50's. That was a long time ago, but memories last forever.

        Techniques for making traditional roses have changed very little over the years (I still have my parents  "how to" book), so my first project is a familiar rose, perfect for a simple accent for any room in the house and easy to make, then stay for a fun technique to create a ruffle edge for a carnation, or any size decorative flower you can use to embellish gift boxes, themed party decorations and more!


Here's what you'll need to get started:

    DCWV Petal Paper (I received a pack of pink and lavender)


    Lo-temp glue gun
    Pencil with eraser tip
    Needle and thread


This is what you do to make the traditional rose:

1. Unfold one piece of crêpe paper. Cut in half to create two, 10" x 24" pieces. Set one piece aside. Fold then cut one piece in half again to create two, 10" x 12" pieces. Fold one piece in half lengthwise then cut to create two, 5" x 12" pieces.

2.  Cut each 5"x12" piece into six, 2" x 5" pieces along the grain. Note: When working with crêpe paper, it's important to work with the direction of the grain. Since rose petals are curved, you'll want the grain to go vertically up and down the petal. 

3. Create 2 petals at a time by folding each piece in half, top to bottom, then in half again, side to side. Starting from the top of the fold cut a half "leaf" shape toward the folded edge at the bottom. Make sure not to cut up to the edge at the bottom fold (see photo). The shape doesn't have to be perfect. Shapes will not be noticeable when the rose is assembled.

4.  Unfold, then working from the center of each petal, use your thumbs to push the center of each petal outward.

5. With centers aligned, layer 3 pairs of petals across each other. Secure with needle and thread, or a dot of glue. Create the center of the rose by folding the petals upward and nesting them together. Pinch together at the bottom.

6. Cut the remaining petals in half at the base. Curl each one then add one at a time around the center, overlapping about 1/4" each time and securing each one as you go with a dot of glue. Add additional petals until the rose is about 4"-5" across, cutting more petals as needed.

7. Starting with the outer petals, gently pull each one outward. 

8. I used the stem and leaves from an old artificial flower and glued the rose into the calyx at the top. Place in a simple vase, (I used an inexpensive glass vinegar bottle - see above), or insert into a small square glass filled with pebbles, with a twig from the yard and filler flower for a more updated accent.


This is what you do to create a ruffled edge for carnations, or decorative flowers:

1. Cut the 12" x 10" piece of crêpe paper in half lengthwise to create two, 12" x 5" strips.  Lay one strip flat on a craft mat, or other hard surface. Starting at one end, place your finger and thumb about 1" apart at the top edge.

2. Using either the index finger of your other hand, or the eraser of the pencil, pull the edge of the paper down to create the dip in the paper as shown.

3. Repeat along the edge of the strip. Flip the strip OVER, then repeat along the opposite edge.

4,  Fold in half lengthwise.

5. Unfold then using the needle and thread, create simple, up and down running stitches along the fold.

6.  Pull the thread to gather until the strip is about 5" in length. Fold in half again. It's helpful to fold around a pencil when the paper is gathered. Pinch the fold firmly.

7.  Pull the thread to tighten the gathers then secure the end of the thread with an overstitch. Do not cut the thread yet.

8. Coil the gathered strip around one end, which will be the center then stitch the opposite end in place. Seal the bottom with lo-temp glue then separate the layers to finish.

9. Create wider, additional layers for a fuller, larger flower then glue the smaller flower at the center of the wider layer. Squinch tightly together at the base then cover with lo-temp glue to secure.

Use this simple, ruffle technique to create flowers in different sizes by simply adjusting the height and the number of layers and mixing different colors. 

With a variety of colors of Petal Paper to choose from, the options are endless for unlimited flower fun for all seasons! For more designer ideas and inspiration check the DCWV Petal Paper post on the Designer Crafts Connection blog...

Have fun and enjoy!

Yours truly,

P.S. Here's a photo of the book my parents used. Flowers haven't changed since the 1950's so the ideas are still relevant today......  If you're looking for authentic flower patterns, it might be worth looking for this one. There are also lots of other resources available, including patterns for your favorite cutting machines, punches and dies!