Big, bold, beautiful blooms are a huge trend right now, and not just in mixed-media art. You’ll also spot them in fashion, accessories, fabric, home décor, and tableware. Even if you’re not a trend follower it’s difficult to ignore the vibrant color combinations and captivating shapes that flowers offer. Bring that appeal into your studio by making handmade paper flowers that offer endless opportunities for fun variations and techniques.
The Paperology column “Artful Paper Flowers” in the May/June 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine has complete instructions for creating paper flowers and for incorporating them into a stunning collage. I love the paper flowers created by artist Chantal Larocque, author of Bold & Beautiful Paper Flowers, and I asked her to be part of the issue and share her great techniques. Lucky for us, she said yes!
Spring offers tons of inspiration for making flowers, but these blooms are fitting any time of the year. I decided to do a variation on Chantal’s tutorial, and started with some decorative cardstock that I didn’t mind covering with paint. The paper design offered a great base pattern, and I stenciled over it with an abstract script pattern using three shades of pink acrylic paint, including a bright neon.
When that was dry I stamped over the pattern, with the stencil still in place, using a text stamp and navy blue ink. Quick tip: If the stamp isn’t printing well enough through the stencil, flip the inked stamp over and press the paper onto it, rubbing well to ensure contact.
Next was another layer of stenciling, this time some random dots with white and turquoise paint. So many options are available for decorating cardstock: gel plate monoprints, mark making, doodling, drawing, collagraph printing, and collage. Any style, any design—anything goes.
As that dried I patterned one more sheet with stencils; this piece of cardstock had a turquoise and white pattern on one side and a distressed solid orange on the other. Here are the two finished sheets:
Chantal’s article includes all the information you need on how to shape the petals after cutting them out using the templates, and how to stack them. The templates are included in the article, so all you need to do is copy them at 200%, and you’re good to go!
Fun fact: shaping the petals involves using a half-teaspoon measuring spoon! If working with paper as a sculptural material is new to you, I recommend making a flower with plain cardstock first to get the feel of the technique. Also, using cardstock is a must, since it has the body and heft needed to maintain its shape.
I decided to add the paper flowers to tags, which I painted and stenciled to coordinate with the flowers. This project is the essence of what Paperology is all about—showing how a humble piece of paper can become something extraordinary with just a few techniques and tools. Get a preview of this article and the May/June 2018 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors in our exclusive lookbook!
Make yourself a whole bouquet of these flowers and put them around your workspace. They’re bound to add lots of cheer!
Here’s a fantastic tutorial from Diana Trout on how to create flowers from paper cloth.