Country Living (UK) - - Craft -

This is a sim­ple way to make a pretty and re­al­is­tic bloom to dec­o­rate a straw hat or to use as a brooch or cor­sage.

YOU WILL NEED Pen­cil Small fab­ric scis­sors Quar­ter to half a me­tre of white pure silk (such as Chi­nese Silk Paj avail­able from Sheets of scrap pa­per Medium paint­brush Pe­beo Se­ta­color fab­ric paint in cherry red, gar­net red, but­ter­cup, light/leaf green and corn­flower blue (avail­able from Old plate (for paint) Fine paint­brush Sheets of kitchen pa­per Small wide-area brush or medium hog-hair brush Fray stop (avail­able from hob­by­ Wooden skew­ers Jam jar Yel­low sta­mens (avail­able from hob­by­ Tape Fab­ric glue Cot­ton sheet­ing

Draw on and cut out seven cir­cles from the silk – two 12cm in di­am­e­ter, two 10cm, two 8cm and one 6cm. Draw­ing around the edge of right-size cups and small bowls may help with this. 2 Fold each silk cir­cle into quar­ters and, with the point at the bot­tom and start­ing 1cm up from this, trim the two long edges to look like the sides of a petal. Cut the top curved edge in a wave mo­tion to cre­ate the top of a petal. Once opened out, you should have four con­nected petals in a flower shape (as seen above) for each cir­cle. 3 Place the open silk flow­ers on scrap pa­per on a flat sur­face and brush a lit­tle water over each petal. 4 Us­ing a medium-sized paint­brush, water down a lit­tle of the cherry red paint on an old plate and add colour to each petal from the cen­tre out­wards, leav­ing the tips white. 5 To add de­tail to each petal, us­ing a fine paint­brush lightly cov­ered with gar­net red (not watered down), lightly brush lines of paint out­wards from the cen­tre. Make the colour more in­tense on the smaller petals, which will be­come the cen­tre of the flower. Soften any hard lines with a lit­tle water. Place on kitchen roll to dry. 6 Once dry, turn the flow­ers over on a wi­peable sur­face, cover the backs with a thin layer of fray stop us­ing a wide

paint­brush. 7 Hang these, glue side up, so they re­sem­ble closed flow­ers, over the end of wooden skew­ers, which are stand­ing in a jam jar to dry. 8 Once dry, make a hole in the cen­tre of each flower us­ing the end of the skewer. 9 Fold a bunch of wired sta­mens in half and wrap a piece of tape around the folded end to se­cure in place. Push this end through each flower, start­ing with the small­est to the largest to as­sem­ble the lay­ers. 10 Once all the pieces are in place, ap­ply fab­ric glue around the in­side hole of the last flower, pinch the back of the flow­ers to­gether to se­cure and leave up­side down to dry. 11 For the leaves (you will need four for each peony), mix the light green paint with a blob of but­ter­cup yel­low. Water this down and paint leaf shapes onto a piece of cot­ton. 12 Add a small amount of corn­flower blue to the green to cre­ate a darker tone to use for the vein de­tails. Al­low to dry. 13 Once dry, cut out the leaf shapes, cre­at­ing in­dents along the edges for a more re­al­is­tic fin­ish. 14 Paint the backs with fray stop and drape each one over the top of a closed bot­tle of fab­ric paint so they dry slightly curled. 15 Once dry, at­tach the leaves to the back of the flower us­ing fab­ric glue. 16 Sew to a piece of rib­bon to at­tach to a hat or a badge pin to turn into a brooch.

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