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Saturday, 1 April 2017

Free PDF Tutorial: Designer Paper Flowers

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
My second crafting salute to Canada 150...
I struggled a bit with the topic of today's post.

Why? Because this is a paper crafting project and up to now, I've managed to stick to a self-prescribed rule not to veer into any non-sewing crafts on this blog.

Is that silly? (As in, who cares?)

Well, I decided that — in this particular instance, anyway — it was silly. Because it's been my intention to feature some crafting projects to celebrate Canada 150 and I fell in love with the idea of these giant flowers as being one of them. (My first project on this theme was the Maple Leaf neck warmer.)

Canada Day is now only three months out as of today, so if you're looking to do some decorating for the occasion, here's an idea that's sure to draw attention. (And if the weather cooperates, my flowers are going to hang from a tree in our front yard on July 1.)

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Place two flowers back to back for an impressive display...

This particular application is not meant to leave out anyone from any other country, because — as you'll soon see — you can apply whatever theme you want to this project. In fact, from sports parties to weddings, these flowers can fit the bill. (Which apparently savvy Craftsy members understand, because none of the first ten people who downloaded this PDF were from Canada.)

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The complete instructions are in the free PDF, and for once I'm not going to replicate the whole thing here. (It's not like it's complicated; whatever I gloss over can essentially be guessed at.)

Here is what you'll need to make one 15.5" (approximately 40cm) flower:
  • 5 sheets of scrapbooking paper in assorted red and white solids and/or patterns for flower petals
  • 1 sheet of standard letter size white paper for the middle of the flower
  • 1 sheet of green solid or patterned scrapbooking paper for leaves
  • Glue gun (a low temp one will work fine) and glue sticks
  • Scrap paper to make templates for tracing the petals
  • Stapler & scissors, pencil and eraser
I used both card stock and patterned scrapbooking paper for my flowers. (The solids are card stock.) Card stock is obviously heavier, but it's also coloured on both sides, whereas the patterned sheets are white on the reverse.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
A giant flower made out of scrapbooking paper...

I got all of my paper from Michaels. They were part of the Recollections collection, from the Red and Royal White Linen to the other sheets identified here:

Scrapbooking paper from Michaels
I used Red Pindots, Red Tent Stripe and Green Faux Canvas for my flowers...

Each flower is made up of six large petals, four medium petals and six small petals. Measurements are provided in the PDF for you to sketch out your own templates, which should look like this.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
You'll need to make your own templates for the petals...

As described, you will be able to fit two large petals onto a standard 12" x 12" (30.4cm x 30.4cm) sheet of scrapbooking paper, so you'll need three sheets for those. Each group of four medium and six small petals will fit onto a single sheet. (The PDF illustrates how to lay out your templates to accomplish this.)

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Overlap the split ends of the petals in a gradual fashion so that
the inner (smaller) petals stand up more than the outer (larger) ones...

Once you have the petals cut out, make a slit in each one at its base. The two resulting ends are then overlapped and stapled together to make the petal "stand up" a bit, while the top edge is curled to mimic a real petal.

The centre of the flower is made by taking a standard sheet of letter size paper, folding it in half lengthwise, and then fringing it along the folded edge.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Cut slits into the folded sheet about 3/4 of the way down at 1/4" or 6mm intervals...

This sheet is then unfolded, flipped right side out and wound around itself (and hot-glued) to form a frilly centre for the flower. Patterned scrapbooking paper can also be used for this (as you can see below), but regular printer paper actually yields greater volume and costs less.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Petals all curled, stapled and ready to be turned into a flower!

Once you have all of the above, it's time to give your glue gun a workout.

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You can start with the outer-most layer of petals or the inner-most. In either case, arrange and work with the petals in pairs for best results. (If you're using a mix of patterned paper, pay attention to what order they're in, if it makes a difference.)

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Hot gluing the six small petals...

Here, I'm starting with the small petals. Hot glue them in pairs first — be consistent with how much you overlap them — and then glue the pairs together to complete the entire layer.

For the medium layer, hot glue a pair of opposing petals first and then add the other two on top.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Hot gluing the four medium petals...

Now that you have three of the main components ready to go, you can start the assembly process by gluing them together.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Hot glue the three pieces together...

Make the outer-most layer of the large petals in the same way as the small petals, working in pairs and then gluing the pairs together.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Hot gluing the large petals together...

Again, be mindful of how the petals are arranged if they have different patterns on them.

Complete the flower by hot gluing the previous assembly on top of this outer-most layer of petals.

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Now it's time to add leaves. Cut the scrapbook sheet for the leaf in half. Take one of the pieces and fold it in half lengthwise, with the patterned side in. Draw a couple of curves at the ends and cut away.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Create a leaf shape (fyi, the folded edge is on the bottom in this photo)...

Take the folded sheet and make five fan style folds on it as shown to create faux veins on the leaf.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Make folds to simulate veins...

When you open this up, a leaf will appear!

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Tada! A leaf...

Repeat the process with the remaining half sheet to create a second leaf and then hot glue them onto the bottom of the flower.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Attach leaf...

If you're making two flowers, you might want to attach one leaf to each, like I did here.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
An inexpensive way to create a big impression for any occasion...

And there it is. It's not sewing, but since it's been packaged up as one of my designs, I decided it was worth sharing here on the blog. (By the way, if you want a sewing project for fabric flowers that you can make for Canada Day, check out this "fabulous" post from April 2016.)

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
To give you an idea of size; that's an 18" cutting mat in front...

But before signing off this week... let me say that I'm also releasing a paid version of this PDF that's not Canada Day specific.

Canada Day Designer Flowers by eSheep Designs
Close-up of a mini flower...

It includes a set of templates that can be printed out (i.e., you don't have to draw them yourself), as well as bonus templates for making the mini designer flower that you see above. Not to mention that it addresses the potential challenge of how to display your completed works.

Designer Paper Flowers by eSheep Designs
Two PDF tutorials for making designer paper flowers...

I don't intend on making a habit of posting about non-sewing projects, so enjoy these for what they are!

You can grab the free PDF here.

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