So, I figured out how I’m going to make the paper flowers for our wedding, but even paper flowers need leaves. But how would we make the leaves? Cinnamon Buns and I had talked about it, and we both agreed that we didn’t want leaves that were trying too hard to be leaves. We definitely aren’t going for realism, as we’re making flowers out of printed paper! We thought that “realistic” silk leaves would look a little funny.
I’d had this tutorial in my ”˜Floral Alternative’ bookmarks folder for a while, and decided that that was the way to go. I went to a large local fabric store (“Canada’s largest quilt shoppe” according to them!), and bought the following:
The one in the middle is my favourite, it’s a little batik-y, and it has those amazing jacquard dots! Jacquard is when the design (in this case, dots) is worked into the weave, not printed on. Love love love. The green dot on top was in their clearance bin, and I bought the bottom one to have something a little darker. Cinnamon Buns said that the bottom one reminds him of turtles”¦ I’m not sure if that means I should use it or not? The top fabric is a fat quarter that was in the green bin—I had to buy it, it has words on it! Printed words are our theme! I’m not sure what (if anything) I’ll end up doing with it, I’m thinking possibly for wrapping the bouts, but that is a long way away.
I also stopped by Michaels for some other supplies (more floral wire!) and got distracted by the Mod Podge. I already had the matte medium at home, but all of a sudden I wasn’t sure how matte would look on fabric versus gloss! And they had sparkle Mod Podge! Sparkle!! I ended up buying a small bottle of the sparkle, and a medium of the gloss, just to be able to test them.
I cut my little rectangles, just enough to test each glue.
And let my little test swatches dry on wires. The sparkle was too sparkle-y for me (and for Cinnamon Buns too!), and over all I preferred the gloss finish: I feel like the fabric is brighter with the gloss, and more muted with the matte.
Top to bottom: Matte, Sparkle, Gloss. As you can see, I was also testing different gauges of floral wire. This helped me to decide which wire to use, and to help me tell apart the finished leaves! The thick one (with the gloss) is 18 gauge, the thin one (with the matte) is 22 gauge. In the finished leaves, I think I like the 18 gauge, although the finer would be easier to work with.
Once you cut your leaf shapes out, you have what look like little paddles. You want to bend the wire ”˜vein’ to give them proper leaf shapes! I also found I could mould the edges of the leaves a little too, once they stiffened up.
Here is what two of the leaves (gloss on the left, matte in the back) look like with one of the larger test flowers:
Love! This test run turned out so well, I can’t wait to get right into it and make tons of these! I think this would be a fun project to do with my bridesmaids—BM A asked me recently if there was anything she could do to help, because she was feeling like a delinquent! I’m naturally a bit of a loner, so I haven’t made any of my DIYs so far into group efforts. With all the repetitive little bits involved in the flowers though, I think they’re a great candidate. And then I can get some awesome tutorial photos!
Yes, I am using a mason jar to hold my samples and supplies. It’s so pretty to have on my (crowded) desk!
Do the paper flowers + fabric leaves get the hive seal of approval? What do you think?