Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Promised Instructions on Tissue Paper Flowers

Ok – this post is also coming a little bit after the fact. Not that I’m already finished with this project, but I’m over the halfway point! Yea me!

No seriously, YEA ME! My parents think that all that I do is make tissue paper flowers because of this project, but it’s been SO worth every minute of hard work that I’ve put into it. The good thing? I started early. In reading other posts about this DIY project, I knew that I would need time to complete it all. So, since I finished the fourth pomander last weekend, here’s the tutorial.

First of all, a finished product snapshot so that you know what you’re working towards. Our venue has a fantastic arbor located at the ceremony site which will need just a little bit of dressing up for our wedding. For the most part, we don’t want to do a lot of extravagant decorating of the ceremony site –think soft, simple, rustic elegance. On a budget. Which for me, these tissue paper pomanders are just a lifesaver for my budget! Talk about bang for your buck! (On this one I tried to take it further away - more like the actual angle that it would be viewed from...)

So the process is actually not that difficult. You can buy tissue paper that measures 20”x30” and it works best. You can do any color that you want to use, but I read several posts during my research on this project that all stated that the lighter, softer colors seem to look more real. Since I wanted to construct 6-8 of these pomanders, I knew that I was going to be making LOTS of tissue paper flowers, and I went to papermart.com and purchased some tissue paper in bulk. I would highly recommend this if you’re making more than two or three of these. (Each ball can take up to 150-200 flowers depending on the size that you’re making.) And while I may not need all 400+ sheets of tissue paper that come in their standard pack of paper, the $25ish price was better than $2 a pack at Target or elsewhere and only buying just as many as I would actually need…

The rest of the supplies needed I found at Wal-Mart, but any crafting store will work. I purchased a package of the fuzzy wires (you used them as kids all the time to make things) in white so that they didn’t show. You also need some scissors. Since I had a good pair of crafting scissors that were nice and sharp, I didn’t buy any new ones.

OK, so we’re ready.

Take your sheets of tissue paper (I usually was able to cut 4 or 5 pieces at a time, but be careful because they tend to slip and slide.) and cut them into smaller rectangles that measure 10”x5”. This is easiest by laying the paper down longways and measuring off 5” increments and then cutting those new strips of 5”x20” in half. I marked the paper off along the bottom and top and right along the middle of the paper and just eye-balled the cutting between the ticks.

I then folded the paper over on itself to get the length cut.

Some paper has a shiny side and a flat side. I’m probably totally showing my Type A personality here, but stack them all up the same way. (This is mainly for any paper that has an iridescent sheen to it)

When you’ve got a good sized pile of paper, you can take a break from measuring and start to assemble flowers.

Take 4 sheets of the smaller tissues and stack them together.

Fold them with the short side down, in an accordion fold. Just back and froth all the way down to the end, making each accordian about 1/4" in size.
When you’re done, you can take a fuzzy wire (I did pre-cut mine into quarters) and tie off the paper fold. Just place the wire across the top of the fold and fold in half down the paper.
Twist it at the bottom to close it.
I chose to make my flowers a little more special by cutting the ends into a rounded point, which you probably noticed in the pictures. You don’t have to do this step, as it is hard on the fingers that use the scissors. I just preferred this look on my finished flowers. But you can make one of each and decide for yourself which look you’re going for. Not cutting them makes more of a “rose” look, and cutting them made them look more like “mums”

I would fold all the paper that I had cut before I made any of the actual flowers. Doing things in stages like I did isn’t necessary, but it was easier for me to focus on one aspect at a time, and I felt like I made more progress this way.

When you have a stack ready, it’s time to “fluff” the flower. Simply pull the accordion fold apart a little bit so that the paper handles a little easier.
Taking one layer of paper at a time, pull the paper up and away from the other papers. You have to be careful to pull hard enough, but not so hard that you rip the tissue paper. It’s not as fragile as you think that it is, but it will tear. So just practice with this step and don't be scared to ruin a few the first go-round. On the last layer it’s more like you’re pulling the other layers down, but you get the idea.
Repeat for all four layers. Keep in mind that the better you pull the first two layers, the more the second two layers will be able to “fluff.”
Repeat on the other side.
(A side view - so that you can see how tall it will stand up)

Viola! You have made a paper flower. Cool, huh? Next, I’ll teach you how to attach them together and make a pomander out of the pile of flowers that you’ve gathered…


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