Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Have Scraps? Make Flowers!

Hi all and a very Happy New Year to you!

Well it is the time of year (for me at least) where I look at my significant stash and wonder how to make sense of it all - actually I am a neat freak and I need order. So this time, I spent some time in the plastic box named paper scraps. Yes, plastic box and, yes, labelled.

Flowers are one of the most useful and popular elements for any sort of papercraft project and they are really easy to make.

But you will need a few basic things. Firstly, some sort of die cutter really cuts down time as well as paper....oh dear, let me continue. I love my Big Shot from Sizzix and the dies are great too. Tim Holtz's Tattered Florals die is always pressed into service but I have collected a huge range (as you do) of other dies and punches too. Find the ones that you like and build a collection which works for you.

Next, you need a ball tool. This is an oversized stylus with two different shaped balls, one at each end and it is a tool beloved of suger crafters and polymer clay artists. It is also great for shaping paper flowers.

A hot glue gun is the next must have. My Dremel has made the job of making flowers a breeze. Get plenty of glue sticks in too. Running out is awful!

Finally, save your paper bits. There is no such thing as waste in a proper craft room. Increasingly smaller pieces of paper or fabric can be used for all sorts of things. Buy yourself a plastic box.....

Okay, how do we make flowers? The first thing is to cut out the shapes in whatever colours you have and whichever shapes take your fancy.

Now glue them together in various ways. Please note that although single coloured flowers are needed in many cases, it is quite alright to create your own colours and textures. Look at what is left over and try stuff. If it doesn't work, try other stuff.

Although a flat layer of progressively smaller flower shapes will look a bit like a flower, it is actually boring. Have a look and see what I mean.....

Flat and boring. This is where the shaping tool comes into its own. Place the flower in the palm of your hand and push the ball tool into the middle. Scrunch the petals around the tool and crease the petals up a bit.
Now look at the difference!

Seee what I mean? Here is another from a slightly different angle....

Now good results are obtained by shaping the whole flower at the one time but even better is to scrunch a petal layer at a time. And try this too - wet the petals with a fine water mister, scrunch them and leave to dry. Now open  them out again and you will have some really great textures. One caveat however, please remember that you are dealing with paper here and it is very fragile, especially when wet so treat it gently.

Go mad! Make fantasy flowers - they are not meant to be immediately recognisable by a botanist. They are flowers and they are all beautiful. Take a look at my garden.

As you see, variety is beautiful and these are like money in the bank when you are crafting. Remember to make different sizes too and try out some buds here and there. Put them in their own plastic box....labelled paper flowers and use them with impunity when crafting - they sell on eBay too.

Well happy crafting and thank you for stopping by.