Friends and family always ask me the same thing after they see my flowers: “How do you do that?” Hopefully, some of those questions you will find answered here. Thank you for your interest and your support.
How did you get started making crepe paper flowers?
I saw an article online featuring the artistry of Tiffanie Turner and her amazing larger-than-life paper flowers and thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if I could do that.” I began looking for tutorials online and on YouTube and joined any group on FaceBook as I could find. I have been making flowers and botanicals ever since.
Where do you find your inspiration?
From nature, of course! I love being able to look at a flower or specimen up close and I have been known to pick flowers and branches only to pull the petals and leaves apart just to get a sense of size, shape and proportion. I have hundreds of photographs of dissected flowers.
What’s your favorite flower to make?
I would have to say any of the old fashioned roses. They are complex yet forgiving in the arrangement and number of petals. And, oh! the colors! Dying the paper in various shades of peach and rose is one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.
How long does it take to make a flower?
Ah, that’s a tricky question. It depends on the flower. An elaborate rose complete with leaves and hand coloring may take up to two or three hours. A branch of Japanese or Southern magnolias can take up to a couple of days. Since they are all handmade, they are labor intensive.
How long do your flowers last?
Crepe paper flowers should last for several years given the right conditions. Keeping them out of direct sunlight will preserve their colors and, whatever you do, don’t water them! Moisture tends to wilt the crepe paper so I would recommend keeping them indoors and avoid humidity when possible. However, if you are using them for an outdoor wedding, they should be just fine for the day of the wedding – and what a joy it is that the flowers will live far beyond the celebration!
They seem expensive, why?
Handcrafted botanicals are labor intensive and some take longer to make than others. A full bouquet or arrangement containing several different types of flowers and greenery can take up to two weeks to produce. However, if you compare the cost to a floral arrangement of real flowers that last – at most – two weeks, they are worth the expense because they will last for years.
What kind of paper do you use?
I use a couple of different types of crepe paper. My favority is a double sided crepe paper made in Germany and I also use a variety finely made crepe papers from Italy. Both come in a various colors and it depends on the flower or leaf I am making which paper I choose.
Some people use card stock, do you?
No, I’ve never made flowers from cardstock although there are many flower artists that do with beautiful results.
What do you use to dye your papers?
I use a variety of techniques to achieve the color I am looking for. Sometimes a solid color paper requires only a little shading and for that I use PanPastel chalks. I also have used watercolors (going easy on the water) and alcohol inks. I think my favorite way to dye papers is by using pieces of richly colored crepe paper in water and then using that as a dye to either paint on the crepe or dip dye it.
Do you cut every piece by hand or use a machine?
Although I have a beautiful Cricut Maker and it absolutely will cut crepe paper petals and leaves very efficiently, I only use it for large orders of multiples of the same flower. I find that cutting each petal, stamen and leaf by hand works for me because I work to achieve a realistic look. So, I most often use a good pair of scissors and will spend a good deal of time cutting petals and leaves while watching a movie.
What other supplies do you use?
A very sharp pair of scissors reserved only for cutting crepe paper, quick setting tacky glue, a glue stick, finely ground pastels, a metal awl for shaping petals, a hot glue gun and, of course, floral wire stems in 3 different weights. For more details, I have a list of favorite brands and items I use on my resources page where you can find all those items online for purchase if you choose to venture into flower making.
Is this art form crazy expensive?
When compared to most art forms, creating crepe paper flowers is relatively inexpensive. The only costly part is trying to refrain from buying too many beautiful rolls and folds of crepe.
Do you offer tutorials or classes?
I do not currently offer online classes but I will be sharing some techniques and tutorials on the blog so be sure and sign up for my newsletter so you will know when I post one.
Have a question I haven’t answered (yet)?
Please send me a message through my contact form and I will be happy to answer anything I haven’t covered here. Thanks for visiting!
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