HOW TO MAKE… A PA­PER FLOWER GARLAND

Mollie Makes - - Living -

MA­TE­RI­ALS

⬛ Crepe pa­per in dark pink, light pink, pale yel­low, white, dark peach, light peach and dark green

⬛ Water­colour paint in yel­low

⬛ Paint­brush

⬛ 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.

Fin­ish­ing

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.

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