An ideal craft project for St. David’s Day or for simply adding a spring touch to your home, these pretty paper daffodils look just like the real thing!
Skill Level: Beginner
Skills required: Basics & Shaping (see bottom of post)
Please note: Dimensions are height x length & paper grain is vertical
You Will Need:
- Bamboo skewer
- 60gsm crepe paper in vanilla
- 180gsm crepe paper strip in ivy green
- 60gsm crepe paper strip in dark green
- 60gsm crepe paper in dark green
- PVA glue
- 18-gauge wire
- Parafilm tape in white
- Double-headed artificial stamens in white or pearl
- Templates (See bottom of post)
- Cut one 5 x 9 cm (2 x 3½ in) piece of vanilla paper.
- Using PVA glue, paste the two vertical edges of the paper together along the grain to form a cylinder. Allow the glue to dry completely.
- Stem: Cut three pieces of wire, each 20 cm (8 in) long. Bunch them together and wrap the entire length of the stem with parafilm tape.
- Stamens: Cut two double-headed stamens in half, then attach three heads onto one end of the stem using parafilm tape.
- Corona: Take the vanilla cylinder you made earlier and ruffle the top edge of the paper. Then gently pinch the bottom of the cylinder together. Holding the pinched end with one hand, press your other thumb against the inside of the cylinder to form a cup shape.
- Slide the bottom of the stem through the cup opening. Using parafilm tape, secure the pinched end of the corona to the stem, 3 cm (1¼ in) below the stamens.
- Petals: Using vanilla paper, cut six petals with template A. Ruffle the top edges and create a fold down the middle of each petal.
- Layer 1: Using parafilm tape, attach the bottom 1 cm (½ in) of three petals evenly around the base of the corona.
- Layer 2: Attach the remaining petals around the base of layer 1, between the gaps of the attached petals.
- Wrap the entire stem with ivy-green paper strip to thicken it, securing with PVA glue. Repeat using dark-green paper strip.
- Spathe: Using dark-green paper, cut one spathe with template B.
- Using PVA glue, attach the spathe to the stem, about 5 cm (2 in) below the base of the flower.
- Leaves: Using dark-green paper, cut two leaves with template C.
- Apply a small amount of PVA glue to the bottom 2 cm (¾ in) of one leaf, then wrap it around the bottom 2 cm (¾ in) of the stem, positioning the leaf on the left side of the flower.
- Using the same method, attach the remaining leaf on the right side of the flower.
- Finishing: Gently curl the top of each leaf and bend the top of the stem to one side.
- Stem wrapping with crepe paper strip: In this book, we use two different weights of crepe paper to make strips: 180gsm and 60gsm. The 180gsm paper strip is used to thicken the flower stem, whereas the 60gsm paper strip is used to wrap the stem for finishing. Note that these strips are not the same as the crepe paper ‘streamers’ you can buy from party suppliers, which are usually wider. When cutting strips from a roll of crepe paper, make sure you cut across the grain and maintain a consistent width. Keep the length of your working strip to a 30 cm (12 in) maximum, especially if you are new to flower making. To wrap a stem, first apply a small amount of PVA glue to one end of the stem, then attach one end of the paper strip. Hold the top of the stem with your thumb and index finger, while pressing the length of the stem against your palm with your pinkie and ring fingers. Wrap the paper strip around the stem in a downwards spiral, stretching the paper gently in the process. Wrap until the stem is completely covered, then cut away the excess paper. Secure the end of the strip with PVA glue.
- Stem wrapping with tape: I prefer to use parafilm tape rather than florist tape, as parafilm tape is non-sticky and a lot easier to work with. Unless otherwise specified, the projects in this book use green parafilm tape. Both florist tape and parafilm tape adhere by stretching, so stretch gently as you go. If this is your first time working with these tapes, it is best to cut them into short working strips of 20–25 cm (8–10 in). To wrap a stem, first cover the top of the stem with tape. Hold the top of the stem with your thumb and index finger, while pressing the length of the stem against your palm with your pinkie and ring fingers. Wrap the tape around the stem in a downwards spiral, stretching the tape gently in the process. Wrap until the stem is completely covered, then tear off the excess tape. To secure the end of the tape, gently apply pressure around the bottom of the stem. This technique is the most essential and challenging skill in flower making, so allow yourself plenty of time to practise. Once you have mastered this method, flower making will be a breeze.
- Attaching petals/leaves with tape: Use your thumb and index finger to secure the petal or leaf between the wire stem and the parafilm tape. Gently stretch the tape with your other hand, while wrapping the tape around the stem once. Tear off the excess tape, then apply pressure to secure the tape to the stem. Continue attaching the petals/leaves, tearing off the tape after each layer. If you are new to flower making, I recommend attaching one petal at a time. Once you are familiar with this technique, you can try securing multiple petals with one piece of tape.
- Attaching petals/leaves with PVA glue: Using a toothpick, dab a small amount of PVA glue onto the bottom 5–10 mm (¼–½ in) of the petal or leaf. Place the base of the petal/leaf against the stem and gently apply pressure to secure. (To get the dried glue off your fingers without having to constantly wash your hands, apply hand lotion, then wipe it off using a dry towel.)
- Cutting shapes with templates: The templates in this book are actual size, and the two lines on each template show the direction of the paper grain. If you are new to flower making, I suggest cutting out one shape at a time using your templates. Once you have gained more control, you can cut multiple shapes at once by folding or stacking several pieces of paper together. When doing this, use a bulldog clip to secure the template to the layers of paper while cutting, moving the clip as you go.
- Curling: In this book, we curl using a bamboo skewer. However, curling can also be done using a pen or the end of a paintbrush. To curl a petal, hold the bottom of the petal with your thumb and index finger. Hold the bamboo skewer in your other hand. Place the middle of the petal between the skewer and your thumb, then gently draw the skewer outwards, curling the petal in the process.
- Ruffling: Hold the top edge of the petal between both of your thumbs and index fingers. Gently stretch the paper crosswise in small increments.
Flowersmith by Jennifer Tram (Hardie Grant, £16.99) Photography © Jennifer Tran