HOW TO MAKE… A PAPER FLOWER GARLAND
⬛ Crepe paper in dark pink, light pink, pale yellow, white, dark peach, light peach and dark green
⬛ Watercolour paint in yellow
⬛ Floral wire
⬛ Green wired cord
⬛ Wooden skewer
⬛ Glue Did you know British peonies only bloom for three weeks or so a year? It’s usually sometime between April and June, and frankly, that’s not long enough for us. If your petal-loving heart (and Insta feed) can’t wait for a floral fix either, take matters into your own hands with paper and scissors.
Draped on a mantelpiece or rambling across a spring tablescape, these blowsy wild roses and peonies will look every bit as fresh and delicate as the real deal, and they’re wilt-free.
Peonies (make two)
01 For the inner petals, using the templates on page 97, cut 20 of petal 1, 20 of petal 2 and 20 of petal 3 from the dark pink paper. Always cut with the grain of the crepe paper, not against.
02 Taking three petals at a time to avoid ripping the paper, use your hands to give the crepe paper a stretch either at the top or middle of the petals to shape them. Lay all the petals out and, using the wooden skewer, spread glue to a height of 1-2cm ( 3/8 - 3/4 ") at the base of each paper petal.
03 Pick one of the cut petals and secure it against the floral wire, with the end of the wire reaching the end of the glue on the petal. Close the petal against itself so the glue will hold it in place. Now add the next petal, gluing it onto the previous petal, not directly behind but at a slight angle. Add the rest of the petals in the same way, in any order, making sure the peony is evenly weighted all the way around. Once you start adding more petals, the flower will slowly spread open into a half orb shape, as shown. Pinch and fold the petals in half along the length as desired for a more natural layered look.
04 For the outer petals, using the templates on page 97, cut two of petal 4 and four of petal 5 from the light pink crepe paper. Using a cupping motion, open the petals so they spread into a soft open curve. Apply glue to the base of each petal and secure to the base of the half-orb of inner petals. Continue with the other outer petals until you have surrounded the inner petals.
Wild roses (make 10)
05 Take a 4 x 30cm (1 5/8 x 11 7/8") strip of pale yellow crepe paper and cut vertically along the length to make a fringe, making sure to only cut to halfway. When you have a fringe running all across the strip, dab the yellow watercolour paint on the tips of the fringe, making sure each piece is covered. Leave to dry.
06 Lay the fringed strip out and lightly dab glue along the base
below the fringe. Place the floral wire at one end of the strip on the base, secure it, then wind the fringe around the wire, keeping it at the same height. Once at the end, secure again with glue and, using your finger, lightly rough up the fringe by pressing your finger down and letting the fringe bend inwards on itself. This forms the wild rose centre.
07 Using either white, dark peach or light peach paper and the template on page 97, cut out 10 of petal 6. Holding three or four petals at a time, use your thumbs to slightly stretch the upper left and right corners and middle of the petals to shape them.
08 Apply glue to the base of the petals and begin with one layer of five petals stuck at overlapping intervals around the fringed centre, where the fringe meets the base. Repeat with the second layer of petals, placing them just to the side of the first layer of petals.
09 Using dark green crepe paper and the templates on page 97, cut 15 of leaf 1 and 15 of leaf 2. Use your fingers to slightly spread the sides of the leaves so the grain of the paper spreads out.
10 Gather all the finished flowers and snip any bare wire so you are left with only a small stem. Tie the wire rope around each flower as shown, spacing the flowers as you wish in your preferred order. If necessary, use glue to secure the wire rope to the flower base.
11 Gather the leaves. Apply glue to the base of the leaves and spread it around the wire, wrapping the glued paper around at a diagonal angle. Repeat with another leaf, wrapping on top of the previous leaf’s base. Place the leaves along the wire, either in pairs or singularly, and in whatever order you prefer. Leave to dry.
01 02 03 06 07 08
04 05 10 11