What’s better than a beautiful spring bouquet? How about one that never wilts or needs a water change? We have nothing against fresh blooms, of course, but if they’re hard to come by this time of year where you live, we have just the craft project to help you channel spring.
Artist Jennifer Tran of Papetal has come out with Flowersmith, an inspiring book filled with crepe-paper flower tutorials for crafters across all skill levels. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself zooming in close to see the incredibly realistic details of these gorgeous paper blooms, especially the following magnolia, a true harbinger of spring.
“I am fascinated by the bold structure of the Magnolia grandiflora,” Tran tells us. “The flower center alone is a wonder. Before creating this flower, I examined a real model very closely. I dissected it, layer by layer, to fully understand its structure: how the center was formed, how the petals were distributed, and how attachments like leaves and buds were arranged. After the initial study, I would then experiment with different materials and methods of construction. I made several versions of the magnolia before I arrived at the one shown here in Flowersmith, and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.”
Tran is truly masterful with this medium, but she encourages readers to make these projects their own.
“As I often say to my Instagram followers, I have one guiding principle in flower making: flaunt your flaws,” she generously starts in her book. “You will find that even if you use the same templates as the person sitting next to you, your flowers will always be unique. As with natural flowers, no two paper flowers can ever be the same—and doesn’t it make life more exciting! Some flowers that you make will appear perfect to your eye, while others may seem to be missing some elements, but what they will all have in common is that they are uniquely yours. Embrace them!”
Who wouldn’t be motivated with that type of encouragement? Follow along Tran’s step-by-step tutorial below, and be sure to let us know how they turn out.
Makes 5–6 Magnolia Grandiflora, 30–40 cm (12–16 in)
SKILL LEVEL: Beginner
Dimensions are height x length; paper grain is vertical
Cut four 50 x 13 cm (20 x 5 in) pieces of white paper. Using the glue stick, paste all four sheets together. Allow to dry.
Cut two 50 x 7 cm (20 x 2 3/4 in) pieces of dark-green paper. Paste the sheets together, using a minimal amount of glue to avoid discoloration. Allow to dry.
Cut two 50 x 7 cm (20 x 2 3/4 in) pieces of light-brown paper. Paste the sheets together, using a minimal amount of glue. Allow to dry.
Paste together the dried dark-green and light-brown sheets. Allow to dry.
Trim the fringe into a cone shape.
Cut one 2 x 20 cm (3/4 x 8 in) strip of salmon paper. Fringe the top 1 cm (1/2 in) of the strip.
Using the pasted white paper sheet, cut seven petals with template B. Use the edge cut-out technique on one or two petals. Cup all of the petals. Attach the petals around the base of the flower centre using parafilm tape.
Cover the base of the flower with dark-green paper strip, securing with PVA glue.
Excerpted with permission from Flowersmith by Jennifer Tran, published by Hardie Grant Books, February 2018.
Have you ever made flowers out of paper? Tell us about it below!