So, this year the most amazing thing happened….one of my besties, Dora, got married!! it was an amazing affair, a weekend wed-fest in the depths of Devon at a farm which also happens to host the oldest cider press in Britain. Middle Coombe Farm is a fantastic wedding venue, with a tent town, marquee, farm house, barn house, it’s own woodland with a massive Oak Tree which doubles up as the ceremony location, oh and a bar, pool and hot tub!!! One thing that also made this wedding fabulous was that for a change I was not the photographer. Dora had kindly asked me and Charlie to be her bridesmaids, what an honour!
Now, Dora loves colour…her wedding was basically going to be an explosion of the colourful imaginings that occur in rapid succession in her mind. This is where we bridesmaids got in…a few craft weekenders at our houses culminated in many creations (and a few dodgy duffer experiments), curious beverages and some epic dance moves! It is on this post that I will share with you how to make the giant paper flowers that adorned the wedding.
Firstly, the paper. As you can see from the picture above there is quite a selection of colour. This is ordinary standard sized sheets of tissue paper sourced from Paperchase. The central London flagship store has rolls and rolls of the stuff in a variety of colours. Dora had chosen 3 different shades of green for the leaves, and a few shades of yellows and whites for the centre of the flowers. The rest was a vibrant selection for the petals.
To start crafting the flowers we needed the following:
3 sheets of green for the outer leaves;
3 sheets of colour for the outer petals
3 sheets of alternative colour for the inner petals;
2 sheets of yellow / white for the centre.
Stack your greens together neatly and fold them in a concertina fashion with the width of each fold being approximately 5cm (2 inches). Repeat with the remaining 3 colour selections so you end up with 4 neatly folded piles. (N.B. in the pic above I had already cut the yellow in half to get the desired length). Place your coloured piles in the order you would like them to appear in your flower. In the pic above, the greens were the leaves, the fuschia the outer petals, the light pink the inner petals and the yellow being the centre.
Keeping the green at its original length, cut the other selections approximately 5-7 cm (2-3inches) shorter than the previous in it’s order. as you can see in the pic, the length decreases the closer to the centre of the flower.
Now make the following cuts:
The leaves (Green): Triangle tip;
The outer petals (Fuschia): curved tip;
The inner petals (Light pink): pointed semi circle;
The centre petals (Yellow): 5 straight incisions of about 3 cm
Starting with the green, unfold the paper so each colour layer sits on top of the other, finishing with the yellow. Please try to keep the edges as neat as you can and each new colour layer central to the previous.
You are now going to concertina fold the whole pile together (again to a width of about 5 cm / 2 inches). Start the fold so that the green is tucked beneath the yellow…so the yellow is the first colour you see.
This should result in you having a concertina stack of all your colour segments with the yellow centre being the outer edge….this is the front (above)
Twist a piece of garden wire around the centre…not too tightly, but tight enough to hold it together. I left a few inches of wire hanging at the back so we could use it to affix the flowers once opened.
Fold each side from the centre tie out so it meets the other side. It looks like two semi circle fans meeting to create a full circle.
Now you are going to unfold and open each colour, layer by layer. Be gentle as tissue paper can tear easily. Start with the first top sheet of yellow at one end, gently tug the paper up and towards the middle. Go around in a circle until that first top sheet of yellow is opened out. Repeat with the second sheet of yellow. Here you have your flower centre.
Repeat with the next layer of tissue and the next, gently tugging and drawing each layer to the middle . You will see your flower really start to take shape.
Once you have opened and stretched out the leaves at the back you should have a vibrant looking flower that is about 50cm in diameter. It is ready to attach using the wire that is hanging at the back. That is how to make paper flowers…well, one way anyway!
You can obviously experiment with colours and layer quantity combo’s. Just a small warning, tissue paper is not colour fast….I had dyed fingers from all the folding and opening! It does come off!!