Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Made It: A Paper Flower

Hello! We've been enjoying spring-like weather lately, although it sounds like winter will be returning soon. So, with the two seasons battling it out (a common March theme in these parts), it seems fitting to pay homage to one of the earliest blooming flower, the snowdrop. 

Not sure why, but we haven't put in any snowdrops on our property, and no previous owners had either. To enjoy the real thing, we  stroll by the front yard of one of the nicest gardens in our neighborhood. But recently I thrifted a book that I thought would at least help me pretend I have this flower myself:

Making Flowers In Paper, Fabric And Ribbon, by Steve and Megumi Biddle. This book was published by a British company in 1991, but both Biddles have a Japanese crafting background. Mr. Biddle studied in Japan with top origami masters, while Mrs. Biddle received a Japan Floral Art Teacher's Certificate. 

With such artistic backgrounds, you'd expect this duo would have created life-like flowers, and the cover above is proof. Those peonies looked pretty realistic to me! So when I took a peek inside the book, I assumed the directions would be quite intricate. But to my surprise, the patterns and instructions for each flower were clear and not all that complicated.

And since I'd been collecting vintage crepe paper (dirt cheap) at rummage sales and thrift stores, I had the "paper" in the book title covered. So I bought it.

Here's the page that shows the pattern pieces for the snowdrop:

I began by copying the patterns onto tracing paper. There are three leaf patterns of varying lengths, but since I decided to practice by making just one flower to start, I used one of the lengths. Overall, this was an easy flower to craft, since I only needed to cut out crepe paper for three leaf pieces, three petal pieces, one of another petal piece, and one calyx. 

Besides the crepe paper, this pattern also called for some typical floral craft supplies: green floral tape, floral wire and a white stamen - plus a green marker (to color the inside of the rectangle-ish petal piece) and glue for affixing the wire to the leaf petals. I had everything but the white stamen (another reason for buying the book - I had the majority of the supplies already on hand. Like the crepe paper, most of them were purchased secondhand).

This kind of craft may seem a bit fiddly, since you're working with rather small pieces, but I found my snowdrop pretty easy to put together. I think I did pretty well for a first effort:

Looks close to the real thing, I think! 

A close-up:

Of course, with such a close-up you can readily see that the petals, stem and leaf are made from crepe paper. But our daughter, who came home from college for a visit after my snowdrop had made its debut on our dining room table, didn't realize it was artificial until I told her. So my effort passed the eye test, at least with her. 

This is the only snowdrop I made. However, there's 25 more types of flowers in this book I can assemble, and I look forward to doing so. Daffodils will be nice to create, as will tulips when the local annual festival devoted to that flower comes around. 

We have planted daffodil and tulip bulbs on our property, but don't have enough to cut many for indoor enjoyment. So instead, I can make some and display them around the house for more signs of spring. 

Now, if only spring weather will stay here, rather than allowing winter to return this weekend!


  1. Very nice! Just glancing through the photos at first before reading, I thought they were real flowers as well. You did a great job and I like your arrangement too. It has a real Japanese look to it.

  2. Thanks! It was fun to try my hand at this craft. I've seen paper flower workshops mentioned online, so maybe it's regaining popularity? This book was a nice find!