Saturday, 31 January 2015

Having had a go at oversized flowers, my thoughts turned to a more dainty sort.

As you can see from the top of my blog, there is an option to go to my other site: and The de Winton Paper co is my latest venture of beautiful hand painted wedding stationery.

I am starting the rounds for Wedding Fairs and it has suddenly dawned on me that I need an eye catching stand. Set design is my day job, but after a bit of research, I have realised there are some seriously impressive and professional stands out there and I need to keep up.

In all the stationery companies that I admire, there seems to be a common design for presenting their wares: neat minimal shelves with the cards laid out side by side in neat rows with gaps in between. Makes sense: keep it simple, stupid.

Here are some examples from some of my idols in the stationery world: Ladyfingers Letterpress

...and Rifle Paper co.

To set about making some shelves of my own, I realised I needed to create some 'walls'. Now my stand is nowhere near as grand as the National Stationery Show or TopDrawer. I don't get to create a room. So instead, I purchased some large art easels with the intention to prop some boards with neat little rows of shelves upon them.

After a scavenge at the Ikea returns station and a lovely visit to the local hardware store, where the proprietor and I talked at length about the home made card market, as his Wife, it sounds, has taken over their entire house with her card making stock. He spotted my card shelf making intentions a mile off.

My unorthodox tool kit
Fortunately, a beautifully sunny day allowed me to assemble the shelves in the garden without too much fuss, although the bitter cold slowed down the wood glue's drying time considerably.

I had some paint left over from one of my first salvage projects, and despite my boyfriend's protests against 'funeral' grey, I think it is a really good colour to put my watercolours against, not to strong to overpower the work but not white so that they disappear all together!

Despite my best efforts, the edges weren't as crisp and neat as I was hoping, but not to worry! I really loved making those paper flowers, and thought this was an opportunity to make a beautiful abundance of blooms to cascade around my stationery.

This time I needed to make the flowers in a bit more detail, so after a bit of internet trawling I found a few beautiful methods and morphed them into my own step by step project.

You will need:
  • florist's wire
  • pliers
  • florist's tape
  • all purpose glue
  • scissors
  • lots of tissue paper. I chose to do them ALL WHITE.
The first step is creating a stem. Cut a short length of wire for your stem. Cut a 4cm x 20cm rectangle of tissue. (if you are going to be making lots of flowers, remember you can cut out multiple tissue shapes without much trouble, just fold up a piece of tissue many times). Take one of your rectangles and snip down along one side, lots of snips about 2cm long to make a fine fringe. Roll the unsnapped side around your wire and fix with some florist tape.

To create petals, you can get creative and vary on this original template. To make a daisy like petal row, cut out a rectangle of tissue paper 6cm x 40cm, fold it up a few times length wise and cut curved petal shapes. Make sure not to cut the folded shape out completely, like if you were making a string of paper people.

Take one line of petals and pleat and fold around the stem head. I added dabs of glue as I went as well as finishing off wrapping a piece of florist's tape around the tissue.

And this is the point you can strike out on your own. cut different length and width petal shapes, add extra layers of petals.

Back to my shelves. The time had come to assemble the flowers around the edge of the board.

For this section you will need:
  • a drill
  • drill bit to make a hole large enough to fit the flower stem through with all its bulk of florist's tape
  • all purpose/pva glue and spatula
  • gaffa tape/

I just went with my intuition in terms of layout. It is important to make sure you have a range of different flowers to give it that organic feel. It is also useful to have lots of little ones to plug any small gaps.

Drill a hole in the board, dab some glue around the hole, poke the flower through, pressing firm, but making sure not to squash the delicate petals (you can always fluff it up afterwards). At the back of the board, bend the wire so it sits flat on the back of the board and place a piece of gaffa tape over it.

I also glued some of the petals in place on the front of the board to ensure the flowers looked present and correct at all times.

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