Monday, June 3, 2013

A Flower or a Wad of Paper?

I'm on a personal quest. I want to learn to make my own dimensional flowers. I've made some here and there over the past year or so, but have not really devoted full attention to the craft. I've, of course, done the "flat" ones that have been around for ages and used them on cards and scrap pages, but now I want to really step up my game.

I have, in the past couple of months, invested in dies as well as dusted off old punches. I've pulled out my Susan Tierney Cockburn flower making books (which I've had for several years), and I've watched every You-tube video that she has made (repeatedly). I've also collected a vast number of different tips, techniques and how-to sites (blogs and videos) on my Pinterest board (which I've viewed/studied for hours). I've actually created a monster because I have some DT projects that I need to be working on, but I'm driven to try to "perfect" those darn flowers.

My conclusion? I need MORE practice and patience (and hours in the day). My biggest problem? I want them to be perfect NOW! Anyhoo, I'm putting the ego aside and sharing some of my journey. Here are a couple more photos showing a little closer look.

The top photo shows the flowers on the left side of the larger photo. In this picture, you will see three of the flowers using the Susan Cockburn dies (I have 8, but have only gotten as far as those three). The three are a poppy, a hibiscus and a daffodil. I quickly realized the flowers are going to be much larger than I originally anticipated and really won't fit card making real well. I also realized I've got a long way to go before they look as realistic as Susan's do. The little colored flowers in front of and to the left of the larger flowers were made using the flat paper flowers that were sold several years ago by Prima and Kaiser Krafts. I've used a couple of those type on recent cards. The last little grouping (the white flowers in front) were made by me using a Carl Crafts punch. Those are a bit fiddly to make as the punch is small and the four layers have to be shaped, twisted and glued together.

The second photo shows mostly roses which I've made using a variety of techniques. Some are rolled roses, some are layered punches, some are molded punches or dies. I like the look of some of the roses better than others, and I definitely found some of the techniques to be easier than others. The little flower in the front left corner is supposed to be a zinnia type flower. 

I have learned that the roses are easier if the paper is "conditioned" with the flower stylists first (even the rolled ones). Some of the flowers look prettier with slight inking on the edges. Most card weight paper tends to be too "dark" in color, so white card softly inked or chalked looks softer and often more realistic. (All of the ones in the photo are from colored card, so you can see how dark.) The tiny, "scrunched"  flowers really don't need more than 4 layers (otherwise they start getting too fat looking). If you don't use hot glue (which I don't), then you need a fast grabbing glue, and even then, you still need a bit of patience for the glue to take hold. Also, the smallest dab of glue you can use (enough to hold good, though) the quicker it will "grab." 

If you don't use hot glue (I don't like it because it is stringy), then three suggested glues are Crafter's Pick, Aileen's Quick Grab, and Aileen's Turbo. These will still require you to hold the piece for a bit, but far less time than other's as they do set fairly quickly compared to other types.

Don't know if I'll ever get really adept at this flower making or not. I keep thinking how much easier it is to hit the "buy" button at Wild Orchid Crafts, but (for now) I will persevere and keep trying. I can be a pretty stubborn old cuss at times (smile).

See you tomorrow with some new DT cards to share.

Happy crafting!


  1. Well,I think you have done a fantstic job Jennee. For me, I'm too lazy and hit the buy now keep going,they are wonderful..and least you can get any colour you want, instead of opening the flower container and the colour you want is not there.

    Luv CHRISSYxx

  2. Are you kidding me? You don't think those flowers are perfection?? I dare you to show me any that are better!!! You're too hard on yourself - they are lovely and you are quite the talented crafter!

  3. These are incredible my friend! I love the variety you make!

  4. Are you kidding me...wowzers..i'll take a few of the "wads" LOL.

  5. Those look great, Jenee! You sure have your roses down, those look beautiful! As for size of the three in the top photo, maybe big but striking! Flower making takes a lot of patience, you can't rush it. It can take me two hours to make five blossoms, or even less, and I do not use hot glue because it is too clumpy when cool. My favorite glue is Ultimate Crafter's glue, it really grabs hold quickly.
    I spend my winters making flowers, summers taking close-up pictures of flowers so I can recreate them later on with paper. It is a passion for me, and a personal challenge.
    You are well on your way to perfection, my friend!
    Hugs, Sigi