Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oversized Crepe Paper Flower Tutorial

I'm going to show you how I made my centerpieces for my wedding.

I would write up a witty little intro for this but because it is going to be so huge I'm just going to jump right in:

Finished Product:

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you exactly how I made three different types of crepe paper flowers, the stems, the leaves, and how to bring it all together to get big beautiful flowers that you could put just about anywhere!

Alright, I hope you are comfy... go make some tea and get settled in. This is going to be a big, extremely image heavy post.  Even though I normally hate jump breaks, I'm putting on in so I don't crash anyone's browser accidentally... so full tutorial after the JUMP!!

Here is what you'll need:

- A Vase of some kind. I chose a tall (24 inch) skinny one, but any will work.

- Thick sturdy wire. I found mine at the hardware store. Cut the wire into strips long enough, so that when the wire is put in the vase about 2 inches sticks out of the top.  Cut at least a dozen maybe more.

For reference - My wire was actually a bit too long here.

- Wire Cutters

- Green electrical tape. Also found at the hardware store

- Lots of green floral tape. Exactly how much depends on how long your flowers are. I used about 2-3 rolls per centerpiece. 

- Scissors

- Crepe paper FOLDS. The streamers won't work. I could not find these ANYWHERE in town so I had to order online. I ordered mine from MisterArt. Since I was going for a gradient effect I used four different colors for the flowers (purple, royal blue, turquoise, light blue) and then I used green for the leaves. If you can I would try to get a green that matches the floral tape. I couldn't, so it's not a huge deal if you can't.

- Cheap box of straws. I used bendy straws, but either should work.

- Design Master Floral Spray Paint (Optional). I only used this so I could blend out the transitions between colors on my flowers.  I surprisingly found this locally at Michael's.  I didn't want to try actual spray paint because I thought it might be too heavy for the crepe paper. I figured if this stuff was gentle enough for real flowers than the paper should be fine. It worked wonderfully!


Giant Crepe Paper Roses:

This is the finished rose. It is almost exactly like my other rose tutorial only on a much larger scale.

- First, you are going to unroll the crepe paper until you have a piece that is made of four sections. Cut that piece off and set the rest of the roll to the side.

- Fold that piece back up, and now we'll start cutting out the petals.

- The first petals you are going to cut will be shaped like a tear drop. I don't use templates because I like them to be slightly different; I think it makes them look more realistic.  The first petals you cut will always be the shortest and skinniest. The next will be slightly taller (1/2 - 1 inch) and slightly wider than the last. You see in the picture above that I still have room to make the next petals a bit wider.   Now we'll cut the next set of petals...

I didn't follow my own rule on making the next petals longer... oops! I was rushing.  I fixed that when I assembled the flower, but if you're just starting out it's best to just cut them out right from the beginning!

- The next set will look like a stretched out heart. Make it a little bit longer and wider than the tear drop petals.

- Next unfold what is left of the crepe paper and re fold it into thirds.

- Then we are going to cut out one last set of petals that will be shaped like a wide heart.

- Now we'll get ready to attach the petals to the wire.  Before we do that, though, I like to cut a bunch of roughly 2" pieces of floral tape.  This is what we'll use to attach the petals to the wire.

- Onto prepping the petals....

- Start with the smallest petals. Using your thumbs (only one thumb pictured here so I could take a picture) and gently stretch the petal at the wides part.

 - The petal should now have a natural cupped shape.

Next we'll curl the end of the petal:

- Now with the petal concave towards you gently roll the round tip of the petal around a straw or dowel. You'll want to gently stretch the petal as you roll so the curl will stay. You only have to curl the very tip, not the whole petal.

It should look something like this:

- Repeat these processes on all of the teardrop petals. 

Now, take one of the teardrop petals that you just prepped and wrap it around the end of the wire. Secure the end of the petal with a little piece of floral tape. It should look like this:

- Try not too wrap it too tightly. The end of the petal (that isn't secured to the wire) should be starting to open a bit. I know this seems confusing... just try to make it look like the picture if you can, it really doesn't have to be exact.

- Next we'll start to add on the rest of the teardrop petals...

- You are going to add the rest pretty much the same way only you are going to pinch the base end of the petal before you attach it to the wire.  Check out these pictures to see what I mean:

- Pinching the end like that will help the petal keep its cup like shape. Attach the other two teardrop petals exactly like that.

- It should look something like this:

- Now we are going to stretch and curl the rest of the petals.

- Gently stretch the center.

- And curl back each "hump".  Then you pinch the base and start adding them to the wire smallest first then largest.

-  The rose should look something like this once you are finished adding the petals. You can even continue making them larger if you aren't happy with this size.

- Here is a side view. I'll show you how I finish the stems later on in the tutorial.

- To finish the flower, secure the floral tape by taping over it with a little bit of green electrical tape. 


Giant Crepe Paper Peony



- Unfold and cut a three section piece of crepe paper.

 - Fold the piece back up and cut out a shape that look like a stubby fingered stretched out paw. Eh... just go by the picture :) The number of "bumps" doesn't matter. I say 4-6 is usually a pretty good number.

- Next cut out that exact same shape only a bit wider and longer. 

- Now you'll take the remaining crepe paper and fold it in half. Cutting from the non-folded side you'll cut out the exact same shape, only (again) wider and longer. 

 - Your petals should look similar to this.

 Now it's time to start attaching the petals.

-  Like the roses you'll want to gently stretch the petals in the center to make a cup shape.  Unlike the roses, you won't have  to curl the ends or anything. You just need to stretch them.

 - Pinch the base of the petal....

 - ... and attach it to the wire using a piece of floral tape.

- Lather, rinse, and repeat until all the petals are attached. Like the other flowers if you want a larger flower you can keep adding petals until your little heart is content!

- Finish with electrical tape. 


Giant Crepe Paper Garden Roses

These are definitely my favorite, but they also take the most time and crepe paper to make.


- I didn't get a picture of this but you'll want to cut off a two section piece of crepe paper. Fold it back up and then you will just cut straight across about 3 inches up. 

 - This will leave you with a 3" tall strip once you unfold it (See above). Cut about 4 of these strips total. 

- You'll want to stretch one of the strips out and then kind of accordion scrunch the end so you wind up with a little crepe paper fan/wad. Attach the wad/fan to the end of a piece of wire.

 - Repeat with the other three strips and attach them to the wire as well.

- After you've attached all four strips we will move onto the next layer of petals. 

- You should have a remaining piece of crepe paper. Go ahead and cut that in half, and then open each one up and cut down the fold.  You should be left with four equal rectangles. 

- Now you are going to cut out a very wide teardrop shape from all the rectangles. Make them as large as you can.  You can even just round off the corners if you want. These don't have to be exact at all ... in fact on some of them I didn't even round the corners... I just stretched and attached.  So, don't worry about these petals.

 - Now all you have to do is stretch and attach them to the flower.

 -  Once they are all added it should look something like above.

- Now onto the next layers of flowers.

- Unfold and cut yourself a piece of three section crepe paper. 

- Fold it back up and cut out a teardrop shape, and two sets of heart shaped petals. (Shown below)

- Just like the other rose tutorial (scroll up to find it) you are going to stretch and curl the petals before you attach them.

- Attach the petals starting with the smallest.

- Finish with the electrical tape.

- Now that we have all of the flowers made let's move onto the stems...


How to finish the stems:

 - To start out it's best to cut a bunch of tiny strips of the green electrical tape. You'll use this to secure the floral tape.

- Get a handful of straws and one of your flowers.

- Slide the straws up the wire.  Squish the tip of the straws so it will just fit inside the straw above it. 

 - Start about 2 or so inches from the bottom and snugly wrap the floral tape down the bottom of the stem.

 - When you get to the bottom you are going to start wrapping back up the stem using the same piece of floral tape.

 - When you have the stem totally wrapped secure the floral tape with a small piece of electrical tape just under the flower.

- Now you'll want to bunch the flowers up into a bouquet. Just tape them together (as close to the flowers as possible so you won't see the tape) a few flowers at a time until you have a bouquet. For a more exact tutorial on how to form a bouquet look here.

- If you are going to spray paint the flowers now is the time to do it.  I covered the vase with paper to keep any paint from getting on it. Then I very gently spray painted to blend the colors. 

- Next we'll move onto the leaves.


Crepe Paper Leaves: 

 - Once you have the flowers bunched together you can either leave it as is or you can make the leaves.

 - Cut out a bunch of leaves out of the crepe paper. You can use any leaf shape you'd like. I recommend looking at pictures of whatever flower you are creating to try to keep it as realistic as possible.

 - Carefully hold the bouquet upside down while you secure the leaves with electrical tape.

 -  Once you have as many leaves as you want, you'll want to secure all of the leaves with one piece of electrical tape (shown below)

- Now you can hide that tape with ribbon or something if you want.  I didn't, because you can't really see the tape when the flowers are in the vase.

- Put the flowers in the vase and you are all set!!

A Few Important Tips to Remember:

- Always make the petals slightly longer and wider as you go, no matter what the flower is you're making.

-  If you start to build a lot of petals on your flower and the floral tape isn't holding very well, I like to secure petals occasionally with electrical tape. It will just give you a nice secure base to build more petals on.

- Floral tape is pretty annoying. Maybe it's the fact that I buy the cheap stuff, but I often find it doesn't stick that great. The key to floral tape is that you have to stretch it, and wrap it as tightly as possible.  Be careful not to rip it. Like I said it's annoying... just practice.

- Practice makes this process go much faster. It really isn't hard at all once you get the hang of it. Also, play around with it. The petals don't have to be exact, you can do a different number if you want... make it your own! Have fun with it.


PHEW!!! That was a massive tutorial! I hope you found it at least a little bit useful. :)

Also, I won't be posting anything next week because I'll be out of town and I don't want to mess with making a tutorial while I'm on vacation! :)

 I hope you all have a wonderful two weeks until I see you all again!

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