I have been in a tissue paper flower mood lately, partly because of the class I took last week at San Francisco Center for the Book with Courtney Cerruti, which I blogged about here. In light of my success with my punched lace book paper wreath, which I made for my friend, Eva, I decided to make another wreath for her, using some of the techniques I learned from Courtney’s class. This time I decided to make a floral butterfly wreath in pastel colors to welcome spring. Spring has yet to sprung, especially in most parts of the country, but here’s my attempt to hurry it along :0)
The materials and supplies you will need for the wreath are:
12-inch MDF wreath form
Acrylic paint in the color of your choice
Paint and foam brushes
Ribbon for hanging your wreath
Tissue paper in the color(s) of your choice
22-gauge green floral wire
Jewelry pliers (optional)
Flatback gems in the color(s) of your choice (optional)
Hot glue gun
Wired feather butterflies in the size(s) and color(s) of your choice – I used 5-inch wide ones that I purchased from FloralTrims.com
I had originally wanted to make my flowers using different colors of tissue paper, but eventually decided to go with a single color, yellow, because I was already going to use butterflies in five different colors and didn’t want there to be a major color clash by adding additional colors with my flowers. However, I did not decide this until I had painted my MDF wreath form – in pink. But at least I still had pink butterflies.
Paint all sides of the wreath form, including the inside and outside edges, with several coats of paint, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly before proceeding on to the next coat.
After everything has dried, loop and tie a piece of ribbon around the top of the wreath for a hanger.
Now comes the flower-making. Stack five layers of tissue paper on top of one another. Cut the layers approximately 4 inch wide and 7.5 inch long. Do this by first cutting width-wise with a pair of regular scissors.
Then using a pair of pinking shears, cut out the long edges.
Then using both hands, gather the stacked layers of tissue paper along the length, so that the pinked edges end up on the left and right sides.
Next wire the center of the stack with the floral wire.
Use a longer piece of floral wire than you need when you wire the center. Twist the wire tight and snip off the excess with scissors. If you are having trouble twisting the wire tight, try using jewelry pliers for this step. You may want to fold the tissue paper stack in half to find the center, as I did in the photo above.
Fan out the wired tissue paper.
Slightly bend the layers of tissue paper towards you so that they are slightly cupped.
Pull the top layer of tissue towards the center of the flower, as far as it will go without tearing.
In the preceding photo, I did not pull the tissue paper close enough towards the center, which left the wire center exposed. But I corrected this with my subsequent flowers.
Next, snip the edge of the lifted layer of tissue, every quarter to three-quarter inch.
This gives your flower petals a more realistic look than if you were to leave the edges uncut.
Continue lifting each layer of tissue paper and snipping the edges until you end up with a carnation-like flower.
(I tried making the snips along the edges of the cut stacked layers of tissue right before I wired them in an attempt to save time, but doing so made it difficult to lift the delicate layers of tissue without tearing them).
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of two flowers I made, one with an exposed wire center and the other with the center hidden:
The further up you lift and pull your layers of tissue towards the center of your flower, the less the wired centers will show. If you find that your wired centers are exposed, no worries. Just hot glue some flat back gems onto them to hide them.
Continue making the carnations until you have ten flowers.
Hot glue the flowers onto the wreath form. You may want to play around with their placement first before gluing.
Now come the butterflies!
The wire on these feather butterflies tend not to be glued on very tightly, so I like to ensure that the wires are secure by adding a drop of hot glue onto the back of each butterfly, where the wire is attached to the body.
Wire each butterfly onto the wreath in between the flowers, angling them as you choose. I used five butterflies for my wreath, spacing them two flowers apart.
You can choose to hang your wreath using the loop of ribbon or on its inner edge.
What crafts are you working on for spring? Please share in the comments.
Please note: I have not been, nor will I be compensated in any way for mentioning any of the individuals, organizations, or websites in this post. All thoughts expressed are completely my own.