Sunday, 24 April 2016

Making Tattered Flowers

I love flowers and anything botanical, I think that's because of the herbaholic in me, recently I've found myself being drawn to creating paper flowers of my own, I've seen projects by some very talented ladies on the Docrafts forum over the past 12 months that have paper and vellum flowers as part of the designs, and they look stunning.

After playing with the Starlights paint to make flowers for some cards I made recently to send to friends, I realised that I wanted to create something a little more florally dimensional. I wasn't sure how to do it, and started to look on the internet and discovered some pretty stamp and die sets that can be transformed into 3D flowers, but it required me to spend around another £40 to get what I want and as I'm saving up for my holiday in July and then the November Hobbycrafts show, that's not something I want to do at this time.

Then I remembered that I had the Tim Holtz Tattered Florals Bigz die by Sizzix on the shelf and I hadn't got round to using it yet, I think I was scared that I'd mess it up. But a very wise lady over the on the DC forum said we learn from our mistakes, and that we expect to get professional results straight away and get put off when we don't achieve them. She was talking about stamping and colouring, but I think that I hit that hurdle every time I feel like having a go at something new. We only get better if we practice and what's the worse that can happen, you lose some time and effort and it goes in the bin! I keep having a go at colouring and I get better each time and the more I do it, the better I'll get.

So I took the die off the shelf and cut 3 large flowers, 2 medium and 1 small out of pale pink paper, I lightly inked the edges with a finger sponge using 'Spun Sugar' Distress Ink. Then used a balling tool I picked up cheaply at the NEC in March, I shaped and moulded the paper in to more life like petals on the back of my 'Stampers Secret Weapon' board.

I did hit a snag in that the paper creased as I applied the pressure and at that point I almost gave up, but I decided to press on - pun intended - and used the balling tool on all the paper pieces. I glued them together and added an adhesive gem to the centre, and used a clear Spectrum Sparkle pen on the edges of the petals to give it a little shine, the finished flower wasn't perfect but for a first attempt I was pleased, thank you Emma :)

I showed the first paper flower to Simon and pointed out the problems and he said it didn't look that bad, and reminded me that nature isn't perfect. So I decided to have another go, Si offered the suggestion that maybe a thicker paper would help prevent creasing? So I painted some A4 sheets of white card with Starlights paint in 3 different shades: - Dried Rose, Dark Orchid and Cyclamen and waited for them to dry.

Once dry I cut out all the pieces I needed to make each set of flowers, From one A4 sheet of paper/card you can make 3 flowers. A 2 layer daisy, a large 5 layer rose and a small 3 layer rose. On the three cyclamen coloured large rose pieces I decided to stamp them with some Hero Arts 'Intense Black' permanent ink using the WOW De-Vine stamp I've used on a few projects recently, once layered the rose has the look of a baroque paper, and I kind of like it.

By the time I'd finished I had 3 sets of flowers and my initial tattered rose. I love the effect that the Starlights paint has given to the card making the flowers look almost metallic. I'm going to make more in different colours, but I think I may give the centres of the flowers different colours, I chose centres that matched the petal colours and in hindsight a contrast would have been better.

I'd like to use some of those fancy decorative brads, but I don't have any on my stash yet. I did find that using the balling tool got to be a little hard on my fingers after a while, so had to take a break, so heads up in you have problems with finger joints for any reason.

For the future, I think I'll measure the shapes and cut squares of paper/card to go over the area corresponding to the shape I want to die cut. Placing the card over the die meant I ended up with a few incomplete flowers that weren't needed. However if that paper/card hadn't been wasted it could have been used for other projects somewhere down the line. The downside to these kind of paper flowers is the dimension, to attach to a card and post the card would need a box of some description and I'm not currently tooled up to make boxes yet.

I think I may also try inking the edges of the petals to make them a little more defined.  All in all though, not a bad exercise and I can see a lot more paper flowers on my crafting horizon, I have more dies to cut foliage and greenery as well! That just gave me an idea... I could make lots of the flowers in matching colours and make my self a rosy floral wreath and if I create some pockets for dried rose petals in the back I could make them scented!


  1. Hi Debs all your flowers are gorgeous. I have that die and I use it a lot. It cuts fabric really well too and leather. So much fun. Take care. Hugs Jackie

    1. I hadn't thought of using things other than paper! Thanks Jackie :) I have lots of felt in a box, I'll get some out and have a play :) Debs x

  2. These are stunning, really love the colours x

  3. Hi Debs....just love your beautiful flowers....great colours...Joolsx

  4. Beautiful flowers Debs, I have this die and used it bad is that!
    I prefer a smooth flower most of the time, rather than creases, I use my bone folder! I drag it towards me from the petal tip..
    Pam x

  5. Great flowers, I like to make my own as well.

  6. what a fabulous set you have made, love them!


Thanks for your comments on my cards and posts, they are very much appreciated, I'll get back to you as soon as I can if a reply is required. Hugs - Debs x