How to Make Beautiful Paper Flowers Part II: The Technical Details.

These flowers are demonstrated on card fronts, but usuable in every place you want to put beauty.
These flowers are demonstrated on card fronts, but usuable in every place you want to put beauty.

From flat cardstock, you can accomplish these lovely flowers to your heart's desire!

This is a further explanation of the techiques used to form paper flowers in a fantastic multitude of color, type and size. All these florals may be used for greeting cards and scrapbooking, even for bouquets on a wrapped gift. Some have been framed as pictures or used to decorate a wedding album cover, even on a birthday cake.

It's your choice to create whatever type you wish, and the wide variety of colors in cardstock and heavy papers is wonderfully tempting. The supplies information is in the first hub on making uniquely beautiful flowers, as is some basic instruction for contouring the flowers.

Here are more detailed technique tips and photos to assist you in your creative process. Once you have practiced how to contour your leaf and floral shapes, you may construct easily and discover your own shortcuts and methods.

 

Close up samples of papercrafted flowers.

A shimmering play of rainbow light for misty romatic display. This is a retired paint by RoseArt.  PearlEx interference colors will appear similar.
A shimmering play of rainbow light for misty romatic display. This is a retired paint by RoseArt. PearlEx interference colors will appear similar.
Cardstock variety of flowers. Some are curved upward, on others petals curve down.
Cardstock variety of flowers. Some are curved upward, on others petals curve down.

The choices you make in cardstock texture and color, the size of the punch or cutout, the layers of the flower, the way you contour the petals and leaves, all make for wild and wonderful creations from your own fancy.

Whether a tiny love-me-not daisy or a large he-loves-me, it is matched only by the beauty of an apple blossom, or your favorite fantasy flower.
Whether a tiny love-me-not daisy or a large he-loves-me, it is matched only by the beauty of an apple blossom, or your favorite fantasy flower.

These illustrations show the progression of building your flower.

These are punched out shapes.  Work from largest shape on bottom of flower, adding consecutively smaller shapes as desired.
These are punched out shapes. Work from largest shape on bottom of flower, adding consecutively smaller shapes as desired.
These shapes have been partially contoured using a rounded 'tool' and a mousepad. The two lower petals of each one is not yet contoured.
These shapes have been partially contoured using a rounded 'tool' and a mousepad. The two lower petals of each one is not yet contoured.
The dimensional glue glob has just been applied and is ready for pouring on the craft sand -use lots and let it dry at least 3-5 minutes before checking to see if it is dry enough to mold the center shape.  Work fast so the glue does not skin over.
The dimensional glue glob has just been applied and is ready for pouring on the craft sand -use lots and let it dry at least 3-5 minutes before checking to see if it is dry enough to mold the center shape. Work fast so the glue does not skin over.
The sand is poured on and drying.  I used FolkArt's Papier glass finish and it does not take long to dry before checking.  Maybe 3-5 minutes at the most.
The sand is poured on and drying. I used FolkArt's Papier glass finish and it does not take long to dry before checking. Maybe 3-5 minutes at the most.

This layout shows varied sizes of punch-outs to glue together for the flower.

The pink petals range from large to smaller sizes. Each flower except for the tiny sizes, needs at least two layers and will sometimes have as many as five or six total layers, each glued atop the lower, until you are ready to choose what center you want-large or small, paper, glitter, craft sand, rhinestones, pom-poms.

I use an inexpensive thick white glue for all but the topmost layer for the glue-glob, which will be 'sanded' to make a raised textured center. The 'sanding' glue must be a dimensional type such as Glossy Accents by Inkssentials, Diamond Glaze, Aleene's Paper Glaze, FolkArt Papier Glass Finish, clear. Also Royal Coat Dimensional Magic, clear. These glues are more expensive so are used only for the 3D flower center. Hobby stores such as Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Martha Stewart's products, and many online stores like eBay and Amazon.com. will offer varieties of these dimensional glues. The sand is inexpensive kid's crafting sand and comes in several colors. Is available most commonly at craft stores.

With lighter colored sands, the color of the flower center paper will make a slight difference in the way the sand appears. Sometimes I will use a varied color wheel of centers for the same flower group, and thus the centers will have slightly varied centers to achieve a more realistic appearance.  Also, if  you use a colored dimensional glue (as above) or a 3D paint glue, the color of the finished sand center will change slightly.  This gives a subtle variation which looks very natural in the flower arrangements and is an attractive asset you can try. 

It pays to try your paper, glue, sand combination on a scrap center or piece of paper before you use it for your florals to see if it is a color combination you like.  I have used a yellow paper and transparent 3D paint glue in combination with another shade of yellow paper and the same paint glue, then two shades of yellow sand.  Center punch-outs may also be shaded with colored pencils to utilize the ascending color choices, but markers do not work as well as they tend to bleed when the glue is applied.  IF you are careful to fully sand the marker colored area, color bleeding is not a problem. 

The shapes are glued in layers and are ready to sand.

With contouring finished, the center area of the flower will receive a glob of clear dimensional glue. It is best to pour on the sand as quickly as possible after pouring on the glob as it does skim over and may dry too quickly to receive the sand properly. Pour on plenty to overly cover the glue glob and let dry for 3-8 minutes.

Different glues dry at varied times so you will learn how long to wait. Be aware that the darker sands will show more 'boo-boos' in the shape of the glue than the ligher ones. This sand is light chocolate brown. You may test check the drying condition of a flower by dumping off the sand and carefully touching the side of the raised center. If you have not waited til it is too hardened, you may very carefully adjust the shape of the sand-center with your fingernail or similar small flat tool.

 It does need to set for as long as an hour or two with some glues before it entirely hardens inside the whole glob.  Very careful glue-globbing helps form nice circles or ovals, but there is always a center that needs to be shape-adjusted before it gets completely hardened.

I have dumped off the 3-4 minute sanding and adjusted the glue centers.  I don't like the largest flower and will add another large set of petals to the bottom to make a fuller flower.
I have dumped off the 3-4 minute sanding and adjusted the glue centers. I don't like the largest flower and will add another large set of petals to the bottom to make a fuller flower.
The additional petal shape has been glued on.  The flower is fuller, nicer this way.
The additional petal shape has been glued on. The flower is fuller, nicer this way.
These three flowers are ready for centers.  Two pom-poms have been carefully trimmed on the bottom for this.
These three flowers are ready for centers. Two pom-poms have been carefully trimmed on the bottom for this.
I just placed the trimmed pom-poms into the center for illustration as I will use a different type center.
I just placed the trimmed pom-poms into the center for illustration as I will use a different type center.
You can see how the petals have been contoured upward.  It gives the flower a 3D look.  This is a view with pom-pom centers.
You can see how the petals have been contoured upward. It gives the flower a 3D look. This is a view with pom-pom centers.

Petal shapes may be glued together with contoured tips up or down. This dramatically changes the look of the same punched petals and floral variation.

A small variety of flowers and buds. Contoured down petals on the left, up ones on right.
A small variety of flowers and buds. Contoured down petals on the left, up ones on right.
A few of the leaf types.  There are many variations. Some are quite large and these are suitable for a single large flower or two.
A few of the leaf types. There are many variations. Some are quite large and these are suitable for a single large flower or two.

Card size, weight, 3D all matter in mailing.

Whatever punch sizes you choose to use, each petal needs to be contoured for the 3D effect. I normally use plain colored cardstock but tiny polka-dots or stripes are nice to achieve a totally different look. The number of petal-punched layers affects the look of the flower, and also the weight and bumpiness of the finalized card, so if postage is a matter, remember this!

The cards do mail very well, but it is probably wise to save the larger heavier flowers for those cards you will deliver personally. However, I have mailed many to both coasts and Florida from the central USA and they arrived still being beautiful! You will need to request 'hand cancelling' for most of the cards so as not to risk a post-office jam-up!

I do computer-generate a tiny card with instructions to 'gently lift each petal, leaf or butterfly to achieve more prominent 3D effect' and place it inside each card mailed. However, you cannot flatten the flowers after contouring, though some flattening does occur when they are sent through the mail. Many cards are displayed by the receipent because they are so surprisingly beautiful!  You will love the thanks YOU get from the person who received your unique greeting card.

Contouring tips

Any sort of smooth-rounded-tip tool might work for contouring the cardstock petals or leaves. You will use the tool on a soft pad like a mouse pad or thin stiff foam and apply pressure to the cardstock petal or leaf to 'curl' it. More pressure means more curl. You may also curl flower tips like daisies between your fingers if desired.

I have used sanded-smooth toothbrush handles, dowels, old pens with round tips, knitting needles, cocktail stirrers, large nails, and various kid-craft items found in unexpected places. It is fun to gather your items and find one that works unexpectedly to suit your purposes.

The main action to be aware of when contouring the cardstock is to NOT pounce at a 'high angle' as this might pierce the paper. If you hold the shaping tool chosen at a nearly horizontal angle to the paper, you can curl and shape with vigorous motion and achieve varied kinds of contour effects. The angle and pressure are your choice to measure and obtain the type of floral or leaf shape you wish.

An easier and faster way to demonstrate the 3-D effect on the cardstock is to simply use the end of a crochet hook or knitting needle - or other tool item you choose - and use the small size to simply draw a 'pressure line' down the length of the petal or leaf. I usually do the leaves this way, as it gives them distinct veins like leaves should have. Some leaves do need more than one vein, such as the maple leaves with three veins; one to each tip.

Refer to the first hub to note how to glue leaves in place for your flowers. You may use several per blossom, or a very few, both depending on what type leaf it is and how busy you want the floral picture to appear. Leaf cardstock can be very light green or very dark Christmas green - and every shade in between. I like to have two or three close shades of leaves mixed and this gives an interesting slight color variation.

Some cards may be elegantly lovely with just one large flower and a large leaf or two.  This type works well to express a simple condolence from the heart - classy, not overworked, and sincere:  Your gift from the heart!

Mothers Day cards added late April, 2010

I made these three cards for relatives for Mothers Day next month.  Wanted them similar...yet each is lovely in its own way.
I made these three cards for relatives for Mothers Day next month. Wanted them similar...yet each is lovely in its own way.

A few more heavy cardstock flowers - giant size!

Butterflies landed beautifully on these lovely flowers.
Butterflies landed beautifully on these lovely flowers. | Source
The butterflies are also made of cardstock and glittered.
The butterflies are also made of cardstock and glittered. | Source
The short and high lengths of cardstock are glittered to make an interesting center.
The short and high lengths of cardstock are glittered to make an interesting center. | Source
Clipped and rolled, the cardstock is glued well for a 'button type' center.
Clipped and rolled, the cardstock is glued well for a 'button type' center. | Source
These 36" floral stakes were made for the Jerusalem Butterfly Festival 2012 - even though it rained!
These 36" floral stakes were made for the Jerusalem Butterfly Festival 2012 - even though it rained! | Source

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Comments 42 comments

dianacharles profile image

dianacharles 6 years ago from India

This is amazingly intricate and beautiful and I can see a lot of work....lovely. Thank you for sharing. I shall show it to my art teachers.


kims3003 6 years ago

Beautiful article!


TattoGuy 6 years ago

A simple but perfect Hub, this is an example of how to write a Hub, nice one my friend !


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 6 years ago from Philippines

Wow! These are beautiful! Thank you for sharing especially the detailed steps. I am now doing some paper crafts and these are very helpful.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

dianacharles, kims3003 and TattoGuy, all, thanks for your enjoyment of my hub and commenting! Try your own, really now!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

Those little paper flowers are so pretty! I love to see what kinds of crafts people create. Don't think I'll try it. I need another craft project like I need another hole in my head. But it looks like fun.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Dolores Monet, co'mon now, there's always room for one more flower...huh? :-) Glad to hear you are 'crafty' too, and thanks for commenting!


restoremyheart profile image

restoremyheart 6 years ago

Wow, how fun, I love flowers, allot of writing you did. Thanks for taking the time:)


RosWebbART profile image

RosWebbART 6 years ago from Ireland

very pretty and intricate . Love flowers.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

restoremyheart and RosWebbART, am happy you are delighted with flowers also - at least the representative of them via paper. Thank you for commenting!


Ivorwen profile image

Ivorwen 6 years ago from Hither and Yonder

Very nice. I love making paper flowers, but usually end up spending hours cutting them all out by hand. I did not realize there was such an array of punches available.


Groovyfinds profile image

Groovyfinds 6 years ago from Mid-West

How cool!


vannarith profile image

vannarith 6 years ago

Pretty nice paper. As well i have collected a nice picture for the nature here http://www.3dwallpaperdownload.blogspot.com/


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Ivorwen, I get most punches on sale at hobby stores, but have bought many online. eBay's 'dirtbikeGeorge' is a great seller and he has a big store. Groovyfinds, 'cool' you bet, and I thank you for your comment! Come back again too.

vannarith thank you for enjoying the flowers. I will have to visit your picture site.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

vannarith, tried your link, but site was rejected on computer.


ivori profile image

ivori 6 years ago from Titusville

Haven't tried this craft, but it is beautiful! I paint on glassware, but may just have to give this a whirl. Thank you for a great hub!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

ivori, lets see how you do your glassware painting. That would be something beautiful for sure! Let me know...?


Debby Bruck profile image

Debby Bruck 6 years ago

Looks like loads of fun. My grandmother used to make handmade flowers and it is a good memory. thank you for helping me think of her. Love, Debby


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Debby Bruck, delighted to have you visit and enjoy the flowers. Will visit you very helpful sites again soon too. I have been offline for about a week as my PC had a yucky virus!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 6 years ago

Wow, these beautiful flowers are a treat to behold. I like the fact that they not only look pretty but have depth to them. Admire you creative flair.


febriedethan profile image

febriedethan 6 years ago from Indonesia

Those flowers are really beautiful, you are so creative, thank you for sharing!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

anglnwu and febriedethan, thank you for enjoying the hub. I invite you to make your own beauties! :-)


Craftsmith profile image

Craftsmith 6 years ago from India

nice craft there frogyfish !!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Craftsmith, it is fun to create, and fun to receive the joy of those who receive it! Thanks for your liking and comment!


changtian profile image

changtian 6 years ago

Thank you


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

changtian, thank YOU for your visit!


Ms Chievous profile image

Ms Chievous 6 years ago from Wv

Fantastic Flowers! Very well written hub too! I will be trying your techiniques in the future!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Wonderful, Ms Chievous, you will be delighted with your own lovely creations! Share some pix too, OK?


StarryNightsDiva profile image

StarryNightsDiva 6 years ago from Wethersfield, CT

Great hub! Can't wait to try!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Yo frogyfish! I thought this might be too "un-manly" to check out. I was wrong! I'm impressed. This could be a great idea for a little something different. You've done a great job! Thanks!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

StarryNightsDive, I know your flowers will be lovely! And fun. And Micky Dee, your lady would be greatly impressed to have YOU make HER a card like this! I say 'Go for it!'.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

This is a lovely idea and very well presented in stages to follow.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

2uesday, do like your 'name'! Glad you enjoyed the flower info!


jeremytorres profile image

jeremytorres 5 years ago

Cute and unique ideas! Thanks for sharing this hub.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

jeremytorres, thank you for enjoying your visit and leaving your thoughts!


bwitch1972 profile image

bwitch1972 5 years ago from Philippines

pretty and very therapeutic :)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

bwitch, a unique comment...and I must definitely agree! Thank you.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 4 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

Lovely page and ideas these must be very popular, it is so nice to give greetings cards that are unique.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

2uesday, indeed they are nice to give, and receive. Well, fun to create them also.


cygnetbrown profile image

cygnetbrown 3 years ago from Alton, Missouri

Gorgeous flowers! I think they would be great to sell at craft shows!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America Author

cygnetbrown, thank you for your enjoyable visit here. People do enjoy seeing the floral cards...and many have ideas of their own to share.


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 7 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

I love the color pink and it seems to fit the best. Thank you for this hub and something we can create for others.

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