HOW TO MAKE… PAPER FLOWERS & A CONCRETE VASE
For the flowers Pink, coral, green and yellow crepe paper Green floral wire, 22-gauge Glue gun Watercolour paint Paint brush For the vase Craft concrete Large plastic bottle Small plastic bottle Craft knife Petroleum jelly Forget waiting for peony season – start early this year with Lana’s vibrant oversized paper flowers. Contrasting lifelike paper peonies against a simple concrete vase, Lana’s given the trend for all things industrial a softer edge that feels both feminine and contemporary at the same time.
Easy to make, and purse-friendly too, there are so many ways you can adapt this project. Add a drop of food colouring to the concrete mix before pouring to colour the vase, place small leaf shapes around the base of the flower, or add a few tones of paint to the petals for a realistic finish. Making the flowers
Photocopy and cut out the templates on page 98, then cut eight of each small petal and six large petals from the pink crepe paper. Cut one stamen from the yellow paper, cutting down the thinner lines to create a fringe.
Using a clean wet brush, dampen the petal, then paint a few drops of colour at the pointed end – we used a shade slightly darker than the crepe paper.
Repeat Step 2 with the remaining petals, then leave to dry – don’t move them while they’re still wet, as the paper may tear.
Take one of the smaller petals and hold it between your thumb and index finger. Gently place both your thumbs in the centre of the petal, then pull it slightly, stretching out the centre and indenting it to create a cup shape. Repeat with all the remaining petals.
Heat up your glue gun, then add a drop of glue to the bottom uncut corner of the stamen piece. Stick it onto one end of the floral wire, then tightly wrap the length of paper around the wire as shown. Secure the end in place with another drop of glue.
Add a drop of glue to the bottom point of one of the small petals, then press to the bottom of the stamen to secure. The petal should wrap slightly around the wire and stay upright.
Repeat Step 6, rotating the wire a small amount each time so the petals are evenly placed around the outside, slightly overlapping and layered on top of each other. Once all the small petals have been added, repeat to add the larger petals around the outside.
To cover the stem, cut a long strip from the green crepe paper. Add a dot of glue to the end of the paper and attach it to the bottom of the wire. Wrap the paper along the length of wire, adding dots of glue as you go, until you reach the base of the flower. Secure the end in place with another dot of glue.
Repeat Steps 1-8 to make a selection of flowers from both the pink and coral crepe paper. Making a vase
Clean the plastic bottles, removing the labels, then cut the tops from both using a craft knife or scissors. The smaller bottle will need to fit inside the bigger bottle, with enough space around the outside for the concrete, as these will form your mould.
Mix the concrete with water as per the manufacturer’s instructions, then grease the inside of the larger bottle and the outside of the smaller bottle with petroleum jelly.
Fill the large bottle halfway with the concrete mixture, then shake it, or knock it against a surface to remove any air bubbles. Slowly push the small bottle inside the large bottle, taking care to keep it central, and stopping before you reach the bottom.
Shake or tap the bottle again to remove any air bubbles and to even out the top of the mixture. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.
Once the concrete has set, carefully cut away the plastic, taking care not to mark the concrete. Remove the small plastic bottle by pulling it out, or leave it in and cut away any plastic showing.
Arrange your crepe paper flowers inside to finish, trimming the stems shorter if necessary.