Paper Flowers, Reloaded
This past weekend, between watching the runners in the marathon from the warmth and safety of my bedroom window and bothering Nick, I made a couple more paper flowers. This time, I tore myself away from all-white everything and worked in a soft pastel palette. Soft grays and peaches worked really beautifully with tie-dyed green leaves, and now I’m reconsidering my ban on color for the wedding decor.
The garden rose was constructed with help from The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers by Livia Cetti. While Paper to Petal instructs primarily in sturdy, structural flowers in crepe paper, Cetti’s book has a softer approach. Almost all of the flowers in this book are made with tissue paper, which the cheapskate part of me likes, but the messy hoarder does not. Tissue paper is economical and somewhat easier to find in a multitude of colors than crepe paper, but it also makes for extremely delicate, crushable flowers. I’m going to have to find a really safe spot to keep the flowers I make- our storage unit a mile away might be a good move.
A nice feature of tissue paper is the way it takes color, both in direct painting and discharge dyeing. Crepe paper expands when wet and loses many of the shaping features that make it so perfect for flower-making- the above photo is the effect of very delicate bleach painting on peach crepe paper. It’s still pretty, but it did make the petals trickier to form. Tissue paper has no such problem- the slight rippled effect simply makes for a more realistic petal.
The garden rose took a LOT of cutting. There are 60 petals in this sucker, each pleated and gently curled with the edge of a scissor. But it’s SO pretty in real life- it really does almost look real. I just kept shoving it in Nick’s face saying, “It is seriously so beautiful. Look. Look. Do you see how beautiful it is?” The subtleties of the color shading are lost a little in the picture- but it’s actually made from light gray tissue paper that has been dipped in bleach. I was originally hoping that the gray tissue paper would bleach to something a little whiter, but the subtle purple-y pink shade it results in is really beautiful, too. And it looks great with the cool gray and gold flowers I made:
Ok, so I now have, like, 10 flowers. I’m about 0.1% done!