It’s time for another round of: Learn From My Mistakes! I have recently been posting my insane nesting projects on my Instagram and gotten many inquiries, particularly about a paper flower backdrop I made to go over baby’s crib.
First of all, the template I used is from Noella Mzinza at Anyone Can Craft. She has tons of varieties available, as well as video tutorials on how to use the templates. Most of her templates can be adapted to create several different flowers, and they are all beautiful!
I am absolutely a “measure twice; cut once” personality, so I did several practice flowers before actually starting the ones for baby. Here are a few tricks I picked up along the way that might help you get going a little more smoothly.
I did practice runs on regular 9 x 12 construction paper and my final product on 8.5 x 11 card stock. The construction paper does not hold a curl as tightly as the card stock, but it still looks fine. If you are making temporary decorations for a party or similar, construction paper would probably serve you well and be less expensive. For a more permanent design, go with something heavier. In both cases, I used good old-fashioned Elmer’s Liquid Glue to assemble them and thumb tacks to mount them to the wall.
- Noella recommends attaching the petals to a hexagonal base, and in her tutorials, she shows how to create a hexagon using any circular template (such as a drinking glass). However, there are quite a few steps involved in that process, and it takes some practice. Instead, if you have a compass on hand, you can follow my quick steps to make a hexagon. This will give you a more accurate base and help you space petals more evenly. Noella also aligns the center of the petals with the points of the hexagon, but I found it easier to center each petal along an edge of the hexagon instead. Just a matter of personal preference, but experiment and see what works well for you.
- My first couple of attempts still came out a bit crooked, so I added a smaller concentric circle to my hexagon to make sure I was attaching petals the same distance from the center. That was an enormous help. If you don’t share my OCD struggles, you’re probably find skipping that.
Shaping the Petals
- How long you make the slit in the bottom of your petals affects how open or closed your final flower appears. The white flower below is an example of one made with longer cuts, while the yellow flower was made with shorter cuts. I experimented until I found a happy medium.
- You can stack your petals and cut them together or measure and cut them individually, but you need the cuts the same length to give the flower a uniform look. I used the petal template so I could cut each petal individually while making sure the length and position were consistent.
- The center of these flowers is by far the most labor-intensive step. Making all those little cuts… ugh! As you can see from the flowers above, I adjusted the size of the center as well. The yellow flower uses Noella’s recommendation, two layers, each made from 1/2 sheet of paper. The white flower uses only 1/3 sheet, and I quit on it after only one layer because I already didn’t like it. I landed on something in between that gave me a proportion I liked better.
- I also made my centers in a second contrasting color because I loved the pop it gave!
That’s it! Feel free to ask any questions you have, and if you try this project, Instagram and tag me @thishomeschool so I can see how it turned out! Good luck!