WIRED LEAVES ON THE BIAS
This gives a realistic leaf, where the grain of the paper runs diagonally in opposite directions from the centre of the leaf, as you often get in nature. The leaf is also strengthened because it has a thin wire running through it, and so is easier to style realistically. When attaching these wired leaves to flowers and other leaves, it is best to position the glued seam facing to the back and show off the prettiest front side of the leaf.
To create this leaf using single colour papers:
1. Take a piece of the required crêpe paper and, if using heavyweight papers, stretch out approximately one third (so you don’t stretch the paper all the way). If you’re using lighter-weight papers, then you don’t need to stretch it. Cut a square piece that more than covers the size of your template when placed on the diagonal.
2. Cut the square in half on the diagonal as straight as you can. Place the two cut triangles on top of each other, with the grain on both running 45-degrees to the left. Apply a fine line of glue to the long edge of the top piece on the inside and wipe away any excess. Glue this down, 2mm (0.08in) from the top edge of the lower piece. Pinch both pieces together, taking care to ensure they’re fully glued.
3. Once dry, open the pieces so the grain is running upwards, then push down on the right side and fold a seam along the glued edge. Cut out the template leaf shape, centring the template in the middle of the fold and ensuring the grain runs in the direction of the arrows on the template. Cut tiny notches with the precision scissors into the sides of the leaves if needed for your flower.
4. To place a wire in the leaf, open the seam at the back and place a light layer of glue down it. With your finger, spread this over the whole seam. Then take your floral wire, 24- or 26-gauge wire, and lay this three quarters up the seam, placing it right into the inner fold. Push the leaf down and then push down all the way along the seam to properly secure.
To finish, trim any excess paper at the base of the leaf if needed, to create a consistent shape.