Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue paper flowers seem to be all the rage right now. These are some of the ones I've made recently: 

The technique is the same, the look just varies depending on the original shape of the die cuts and the paper you use.  The brown ones are made from old sewing patterns, the multi-colored ones from scrap paper that I used as a work surface for various inking and painting projects, and the others are the ones I want to show you today. 

I was separating some pretty napkins down to 1-ply for another project and had all this nice white napkin material left.  It seemed a shame to throw it away, so I smooshed some Distress ink pads (the three in the picture above are milled lavender, chipped sapphire and worn lipstick) on my non-stick craft sheet, spritzed with water and laid the folded up napkin on top to absorb the colored water.  Don't worry about getting 100% of the napkin saturated identically - it looks more natural a little mottled.  I left some napkins folded up to dry, but found they were hard to separate later, so if you can carefully unfold the layers and lay them out to dry, I thought that worked best.  

After they were dry, I used my Spellbinders scalloped circle dies to cut them out.  You can fold the napkin back up and cut several layers at once.  I used 8 layers and cut 2 of the smallest small scalloped circles (approx. 1 3/8" dia.) and 2 of the smallest large scalloped circles (approx. 1 5/8" dia.).  So this one flower has 32 layers!

Stack them all up with the smallest on top (not perfectly straight), use a mini hole punch to punch a tiny hole in the middle and then insert a brad - doesn't matter what color since it won't show in the end.

Now start with the top layer and pull it up, scrunching it as small as you can.  

Separate each successive layer and do the same thing until the whole thing looks like this: 

Now gently peel back the layers to unfold the flower.  I left the middle scrunched up a little tighter.  What do you think - carnation?  ranunculus?  or something else?

I needed a quick card (understand quick for me usually means only 2 hours instead of 5!) for a friend who was recently in the hospital, so decided to use this flower since I could hand deliver the card - it definitely wouldn't survive the post office!

Didn't have time to make a background, so I chose to start with a piece of printed paper from a DCWV matstack (and yes, it feels like I'm "cheating" when I use store-bought patterned paper).  I cut out the scalloped oval center with a Spellbinders oval die and sponged milled lavender around all the edges so it wasn't quite so cheery.

Used the Cuttlebug Leafy Branch folder to make the center panel (which is underneath the purple layer).  The raised areas were swiped with old paper Distress ink and more Distress ink was sponged around the edges - antique linen this time.  The corners were a happenstance leftover from cutting out something else.  I paper pierced around the corner edges before distressing them and adding the brads.

The tag was something I saw recently on another blog, but I've lost the link.  I'm sorry!  Anyway, I love the three-dimensional look to it - it's just done by bending it over your finger first one way and then the other.  Do stamp the sentiment and distress the edges first!  I made the card base flush with the purple layer - it was already big enough and I just didn't think another layer added anything in this case.

Enjoy experimenting with this technique!


  1. So glad you put these out here where I can find them easily. Should we take some to practice in the car tomorrow?

  2. loved the flowers ! congrats on the new blog

  3. Love the flowers. Will definitely try these.

  4. These look lovely!

  5. Thanks to all! I was invited to a Kentucky Derby party and needed a decorated hat to wear, so attached some of these to a straw hat - it looked really cute!