In my last post – read it here – I talked about the crepe paper heirloom roses class I took over a month ago at Castle in the Air with Lynn Dolan. We learned to make two types of roses, the cabbage rose and the Madame Hardy. I covered the former in my last post, and today I share the second half of the class in which we made the Madame Hardy rose.
As we had done for the cabbage rose, we cut a 20-inch piece of 18 gauge floral wire in half for the stem.
Then we cut a strip of light green florist crepe to wrap around the top of the stem wire to form the carpel – or at least, that’s what I think it’s called. (Sorry, I am not a gardener, horticulturalist, botanist, what-have-you.)
As we had done in the ranunculus class, we wrapped and glued the top of the stem wire with the crepe to form a Q-tip shape.
Next, we cut out three very small triangles from the same crepe paper.
We glued these pieces around our cotton swab carpel.
Next, it was time to cut out the petals. According to Lynn, we could use either the fine crepe or florist crepe for our petals, but she had us use florist crepe.
Now, I’m not sure if I got this right, but we either used a slightly darker pink crepe for the inner petals and a slightly lighter pink crepe for the outer petals, or we used the same shade of pink for all our petals. (This is what happens when I write up this post so long after I took the class!)
Anyway, for the Madame Hardy, there were 7 different petal sizes, for which Lynn provided us with templates. We started out by cutting out a bunch of each size of petal, about 15 to 25 per size.
The actual number of petals wasn’t exact because it all depended on how large a rose we wanted to create, something that was better determined once we started building the flower, one petal at a time.
We then took 8 of the smallest petals and paired them up and glued them together to form the innermost petals.
Next we glued them on around the stem and curled the tips of the petals back with a skewer to reveal the carpel.
Similar to what we had done for our cabbage rose, we next took a bunch of the 4 smallest petals, stacked them, and glued them together along the bottom edges to create a bunch of 4-petal bundles, starting with the largest petal on the bottom and ending with the smallest petal on top, like so:
Then we glued these petals on around the first four petals, slightly overlapping them.
Next we glued on a bunch of the three largest petals, starting with the smallest of the three and gradually moving onto the second largest and then the largest of all the petals – making sure to overlap them – so that there were several layers of different sized petals.
Here’s how my rose looked after all the petals had been glued on:
When we were done gluing on the petals of our rose, we cut the sepals for the calyx out of florist crepe, using the same template that we had used for the cabbage rose.
Then we cut tiny slits along the edges and cupped the bottom half of each one.
Given how skinny the sepals were, it really helped to use florist crepe for creating them, as the stretchiness of this particular crepe allowed for easier cupping than if we had used, say, doublette crepe.
We glued the sepals onto the bottom of the flower, making sure to evenly space them out. (Sorry, I forgot to take a photo!) Then we wrapped the stem wire with strips of florist crepe.
Next we curled the edges of all the petals with a skewer to give our rose “life” and a more realistic shape. It was a lot of work, given how many petals there were!
(I didn’t do such a good job curling the ends of my petals, so when I got home, I worked on them some more, which you will see in the last photo below.)
We next cut out our petal halves diagonally across the grain of the florist crepe – six in total for the three leaves of the sprig – using the same template we had used for the leaves of the cabbage rose. We glued the halves together to create the chevron pattern of veins for each leaf. We then took three pieces of 22-gauge floral wire and wrapped each one with fine strips of crepe to create stems and glued a stem to the center of each leaf.
We wrapped the stems of the three leaves together with crepe to form a sprig and wrapped the sprig around the main stem of our rose.
I then applied a coat of glossy Mod Podge onto each leaf to give it that sheen that leaves have. You can kind of see the sheen on the leaves in the preceding two photos.
I did a better job of wrapping all the stems on the Madame Hardy than I had done for the stems of my cabbage rose. These stems ended up being more uniform in thickness, (although there was still room for improvement, but I was in a hurry to get everything done, so didn’t take the time to do everything to my absolute satisfaction.)
Here’s my Madame Hardy rose, all finished:
Lynn also showed us how to make a young rose bud, but I will need to blog about that in a future post for all the buds she’s shown us how to make, but which I haven’t gotten around to making. So much to do, so little time!
After this class, I’ve now used the three different types of crepe paper – fine, doublette, and florist – to create roses. Each type of crepe gives the flowers a different look and feel. It’s really a matter of personal preference and the look you’re going for. While fine crepe gives flowers a translucency and an almost fabric-like drape with its softness, the stiffness and stretchiness of florist crepe makes it easier to manipulate and more forgiving to work with, and the two-tone effect of doublette crepe adds a different dimension to your flowers.
A big “thank you” again, to Lynn, for another great class!
Which type of crepe paper do you prefer to work with? Which look do you like best? Please share in the comments.