The following how-to-guide is an inspired adaptation of Lia Griffith’s tutorial, found here.
The paper succulents above are a larger version of this amazing Lia Griffith tutorial. Her templates are built so that all 10 petal pieces fit on a standard letter size sheet of paper. This is great for the smaller, 2.5″ size flowers, but we needed to get beefy with these leafy blossoms! The attached will create flowers about 4″-5″ in width depending on how tightly the paper petals are curled.
Step 1: Print out the two sheets and glue to heavy paper or a piece of that watercolor board I keep mentioning. Make these strong enough to handle binge TV-watching and the act of tracing over and over and over and over again. I may be aging myself here, but think back to when you were a kid and “oaktag” paper was THEE paper choice for making stuff in kindergarten. I mean, how many awesome hand turkeys did you make with the help of those templates?! Same idea here. Durable enough for a 6-year old to trace (or two drinks in to the latest season of Scandal…).
Step 2: Write the number for each size on each petal template. You’ll want to know what sizes you were able to smush onto a sheet of paper and which didn’t make the cut. (After tracing and filling up a sheet, I would often tally each size on an unused area to double check what of the 10 petals per flower I might be missing.)
Step 3: Paint that paper! Both sides! I used craft paint in the sage/celery green color scheme and watered it down with a very wet brush. Watercolorists’ tip: Dip the brush in water and paint only water across half the sheet to prime the paper. Then dip your brush in the paint and apply to the wet area. Seems silly, but the “washed” look of the paint comes from this technique: Watery paint will travel best where water has already been. Finally, when both sides have been covered, get the paper dry enough so that a mechanical pencil can make a mark. A tiny bit damp still works.
Step 4: Find a TV show or a movie you’ve been dying to watch and get tracin’. It takes 10 petals to make one flower (2 per size, per layer). Your goal is to fit 1 flower’s-worth onto a single sheet. Because your first step is to print onto a normal size sheet of paper, we now need to mastermind how to fit everything on one sheet of 9″x12″ watercolor board. Below is a pattern for laying out your petals, where everyone fits like a 10-piece jam band.
Step 5: Start cutting out petals. And, if you don’t own a pair, pick up a pair of spring-loaded “snips” scissors. These were a life saver when it came to handling thicker paper as well as tight turns. If you’re on episode 5, gear up for 5 more and get cutting!
Step 6: Follow Lia Griffith’s tutorial with hot glue gun in hand. Curl those petals, glue those layers, and voila!