Jennifer Tran aka Papetal is a flowersmith & a photographer. After graduating from UNSW Art & Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) in 2010, Jennifer’s paper petal work has been featured by The Design Files and recommended by Design*Sponge as one of the top paper flower artists to follow. Along with these amazing achievements she is a proud member of the Etsy community and the Sydney Made team, it’s quite easy to get lost in her mesmerising paper petal creations.
With plenty of time to make these beautiful peonies for Mother’s Day, I’m giving you a step by step guide on how to spoil mum with a flower that will last forever. They’re so good you’ll need to convince her that you made them yourself!
Tools & Materials
- Bamboo skewer
- Florist wire, 18 gauge
- Florist tape
- 180GSM Italian crepe paper (light pink, orange, light green, dark green)
Techniques & Tips
Grasp the center of petal with thumbs and index fingers. Press the thumbs against paper whilst stretching outwards in opposite directions.
Place petal/leaf in between the bamboo skewer and thumb. Draw the skewer gently outward and away from the body to form a natural curve. Always curl across grain.
For a fine fringe, use normal scissors instead of fringing scissors. Always cut along grain.
WORKING WITH FLORIST TAPE
Florist tape adheres by stretching so stretch gently as you go. If this is your first time working with florist tape, it may be best to cut it into short strips of 15cm (9”). It is helpful to work with a wet towel, as the tape is sticky.
* Note: Dimensions are in height x length, grain vertical with height. Use tape sparingly to maintain a thin base.
- Cut 3 pieces of wire at 25cm each, bunch together using florist tape.
- Cut 3 pieces of light green paper, dimensions 8×2.5cm (3×1”). Fold the first piece of paper 3 times along grain; twist the middle then fold in half. Attach the bottom 1cm onto wire using florist tape. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of paper; make sure that they are attached evenly around stem.
- Cut 2 strips of orange crepe paper, dimensions 5x18cm (2×7”). Fringe the top 4cm (1.75”). Wrap tightly around stem, one strip at the time. Secure each strip with tape after wrapping.
- Cut 18 pieces of crepe paper at 11x6cm (4.5×2.5”). Use template A to cut 18 petals. You can either cut 1 petal at a time or 2-3 at a time depending on what you’re comfortable with. Curl and cup all petals.
- Create layer 1 (6 petals): Pinch the bottom 1.5 cm of each petal. Attach the first petal to the base, clockwise. Attach another 4 petals so that each petal overlaps the last one by 50%. Attach the last petal so that it covers the gap between the first and the fifth petal.
- Create layer 2 (7 petals): Attach petals to the base, anti-clockwise. Attach the first petal so that it covers the intersection between any 2 petals in the first layer. Attach another 4 petals so that each petal overlaps the last one by 50%. Attach the last petal over the gap between the first and the sixth petal.
- Create layer 3 (4-5 petals): Attach the last 4-5 petals randomly around stem. They may or may not be evenly distributed. This layer can be arranged in many different ways and is up to your creativity.
- Cut 2 strips of crepe paper (1.3 x 20cm, 0.5 x 8”). Starting from under the base, roll the first strip of paper downwards and along the stem, stretching the paper as you go. At the end of the stem, use florist tape to secure paper onto stem. Repeat with the second strip of paper then repeat with florist tape. Make sure that the paper is completely covered by tape. This step will give you a thicker & more stable stem.
- Cut 2 leaves using this template. Curl, cup and attach leaves onto stem, at 10cm (4”) under the base and opposite to each other.
And you’re finished!
- Paper to Petal, Rebecca Thuss & Patrick Farrell
- Handmade Flowers from Paper and Fabric, Steve and Megumi Biddle
If you’re in the mood for making you can feel inspired by our other handy DIY’s on the blog here.