As I mentioned in my last post, I have been lagging in my blogging. Proof of that comes with this post for a crepe paper flower class I took over a month ago at Castle in the Air, with Lynn Dolan, crepe paper artist extraordinaire. Over a month ago!
Anyway, this class was for heirloom roses, and we made two kinds – the cabbage rose and the Madame Hardy. Today, I’ll go over the cabbage rose.
We started out by cutting a twenty-inch piece of 18 gauge floral wire in half for the stem of the rose.
Then we cut a strip of fringe out of florist crepe for the stamens. I curled the fringe in between my fingers to round out the stamens.
We glued and wrapped the fringe around the stem.
A few of us, including myself, chose to add glitter to the tips of the stamens for the pollen.
Most of the petals of the flower was made using fine crepe paper.
We used creamy white crepe for the petals. (Sorry the color is a little off in my photos)! We free-hand cut out a succession of rectangles, gradually increasing in size.
I ended up cutting five each of eight different sizes.
We then rounded the top corners of each rectangle.
Then we shaped the each petal by cutting away the excess crepe to get a tapered look on the bottom half. We added glue to the bottom edges of the petals and stacked and glued the layers of crepe, placing the smallest one on top and the largest one on the bottom, creating five separate stacks, each one eight layers deep.
Next, we added glue along the bottom edge of each bundle of petals and folded the stack of crepe to form partially folded petals.
After the glue had dried, we glued each bundle of petals to the stem wire, around the stamens, varying how we positioned each bundle to give our rose a more varied look.
Using a template, we cut a series of petals out of the fine white crepe and glued them around the stem to fill out the rose, overlapping the petals as we went.
To finish up the flower, we cut another series of petals, this time out of yellow doublette crepe, cupped them with the yellow facing out, curled the edges, and used these for the last layer of petals.
Next, we worked on the calyx, which was composed of five sepals, which we cut out individually, using a template, from florist crepe, instead of in a strip like we had done for the blushing roses.
We made little slits along the sides of each sepal and cupped the wider bottom half.
Next we glued on the sepals to the underside of the rose, spacing them out evenly.
If I were to do it again, I would cut the sepals slightly longer on the bottom to make it easier to glue them on to the flower. As it is, there was just a few millimeters of crepe where we could add the glue.
Next we wrapped the base of the flower and the entire stem with strips of green florist crepe.
To make the rose look more real, we took a skewer and curled the edges of each petal, varying how we curled each one, to give variety to the overall look of the flower.
Then it was time for the leaves, which I ended up making at home. The technique to make them was the same as it was for the blushing crepe paper roses. I only had green doublette crepe instead of florist crepe, so I cut six halves of leaves using the template Lynn had provided us out of the doublette. I glued the halves together so that the striations in the paper formed a chevron pattern, forming three leaves. Then I wrapped pieces of 22 gauge floral wire with fine strips of green crepe and glued the wires onto the centers of the leaves. I gathered the three wired leaves and wrapped them all together to form a leaf sprig and wrapped the sprig to the main stem of my rose. I coated the tops of the leaves with glossy Mod Podge to mimic the sheen on real leaves.
I usually do a better job of wrapping my stems, but for this cabbage rose, you can see the varying thicknesses of the stems.
I’ve learned the key to wrapping a stem is to build up the thickness of the portion above the spot where another stem will be added, stop when you get to this spot, add the additional stem, and continue wrapping where you left off. That way, you will end up with a stem that is of an even thickness throughout.
Here is the crepe paper cabbage rose, all finished:
I think using the fine crepe gave this cabbage rose a softer, more feminine look than would have been achieved with either the doublette or florist crepe.
Since it’s been over a month since I took the class, I probably left out some details in the making of this cabbage rose. Hopefully, I got most of it, or at least, the gist of it, so that I can replicate it on my own!
Thanks again to Lynn, for another great class!
Do you prefer the softer look of this rose made with the fine crepe, or the more structured look of the rose made with doublette? Please leave a comment.