One of the highlights of almost everyone’s Cricut Mountain Make-a-thon adventure was meeting Lia Griffith and learning to cut crepe paper with the Maker.
The Cricut Maker is the first cutting machine to master cutting crepe paper and Lia is an artist at re-creating flowers with crepe and her Cricut Maker. Her techniques are now available in the soon-to-be-released book “Crepe Paper Flowers: The Beginner’s Guide to Making and Arranging Beautiful Blooms”.
Although I did make a tulip while at the convention, it didn’t travel well after I had to stuff it in with all my other cool Cricut swag. Oh, well!
Luckily I received a copy of Lia’s new book (thank you, Kestin!) and have begun reviewing it. The awesome thing about the book is that it comes with a code to download all of the SVGs for making over 20 different types of flowers!
So, of course, I have downloaded them all and am busy figuring out how to cut them with my Maker.
I need to get some of Lia’s crepe paper, because it was so soft and stretchy. The crepe paper most Americans know is cheap and generally only used for paper streamers. Lia has circled the globe to find the best crepe paper manufacturers and has worked with Italian and German crepe paper companies to produce two types of crepe paper–extra fine and heavy weight. Both kinds are made in sheets that fit on a Cricut mat and both cut like butter with the Maker using the new Rotary Blade.
Please note that you will not be able to cut crepe paper on any machine other than the Maker. Lia has provided a full library of printable PDFs so you can cut them by hand, if that is the case for you.
I am amazed at the range of colors available through Lia’s shop and I am hoping Cricut picks up her line of crepe paper. (Huib-take note!)
In addition, Lia’s book outlines–in great detail–how to assemble the flowers to look realistic and I am enthralled at the photography.
If you like making paper flowers, this book is a must have!
Look for some of my creations in the near future as I continue to digest this amazing new art form!
It’s no secret that peonies are one of my favorite flowers.
I have an entire section of my yard dedicated to my peony garden, which I’ve been cultivating for almost 20 years now. All of my peonies came from one vintage peony shrub, which is the reason why I love peonies so much…they multiply beautifully! And, IMHO, there is no such thing as TOO many peonies!
Every spring I watch them grow and bud. I even take little side bets on when they are finally going to bloom. And when they bloom? Watch out! It seems they all wait to bloom at once and then BOOM! It’s Heaven on Earth in my garden for two weeks!
Waiting for my real peonies to bloom in May can be pretty tiresome! Sometimes I just can’t wait to revel in their exquisite beauty. I’m impatient, I know.
To help me get through until flowering time, I’ve done the next best thing, IMHO: I’ve replicated them using my trusty Cricut Explore!
I’ve actually done two different versions of paper peonies. I am going to show you one today and the other tomorrow.
Today’s peony–which is featured at the top of this post–comes from a company called Dreaming Tree. What’s nice about this peony is is that is absolutely HUGE!
Since the file is for personal use only and does cost a few dollars, I can’t share it with you. But I will do the next best thing and point you in the direction of it, so here you go: 3D SVG/Dreaming Tree Peony Gift Box
And here is what the completed box looks like!
The thing I really like about the Dreaming Tree Peony Box is how BIG the peony flower is! It’s deliciously giant and really steals the show. But if you buy the file, you will see it comes with a gorgeous and functional gift box, too. The completed project makes a wonderful project for a shut in or someone in the hospital, because it can be used AND admired.
Note: Because we are talking about peonies today, I am just focus on the flower on top of the box. But if you want to complete the entire project, be sure to watch Leo’s helpful assembly video!
For the actual peony flower, you will be cutting out five flower flower layers in two different colors, three leaves and the stamen. Before you cut, be sure you attach the dashed score lines to the petals and leaves, because you need them for guides.
Once cut, you have to bend each petal at the score lines and then–using a pencil–“train” the petals so they curl upwards. For me the pencil works well, but use what you have. Curl the petals well, because they are difficult to curl once layered.
It’s important to note that Leo from Dreaming Tree also inks his flower petals, which is a very nice touch. I myself don’t “do” ink, because I make a dramatic mess of it, but if you are better with the ink than I am, I say “go for it”! But inking or not, I like that this file allows you to cut the flower layers in two different colors so you don’t have to ink if you don’t want to.
Once curled to your desire, layer each petal piece in order of size, attaching them with glue.
I like to glue each layer off center, so it creates an illusion of fullness to the flowers, as shown here in the picture:
After layering and gluing each petal piece, roll the stamen tightly–you can use a quilling tool for this–and glue the outside end so it stays tight. When the stamen is secure, put glue on the bottom of it and place it inside the blossom. Depending on the glue you choose, you may need to hold it for a bit while it catches hold.
There are four leaf pieces. The three fronds should be bent and then glued together to form a Y shape. When secured, glue it to the bottom of your blossom. Then follow up with the smaller piece. If you are using the peony without the box, the small three petal leaf makes a nice finishing touch, but I don’t find it necessary if you are going to place the finished flower on the box.
And here is the finished peony blossom! Isn’t it beautiful?
Another view of the peony blossom–with some of the gift box showing.
If you didn’t want to make the box, the holes in the flower layers and the hole in the bottom leaf are big enough to hold a stem.
If you try this pattern, can you let Leo and the team over at Dreaming Tree know you found out about it from me, please? I think he would be pleased to know.
Thanks for stopping by today and look for the second post, when I show you how to make a stemmed peony from a Cricut file.
February is usually the snowiest month here in New England, which generally leaves me praying for the first signs of Spring with every new day. I’ve long given up hope on the Groundhog’s promise of an early Spring. Instead I just hold on to the notion that “Hope Springs Eternal” and jazz up my home with all the Spring flowers I can think of. One of the first ones for me is the cheery Cherry Blossom.
Cherry Blossoms are easy to make and will quickly liven up your home with tiny shocks of pink from the palest blush to the brightest hot pinks. And because we are not Mother Nature, we are only confined to the limits of our imagination! How about some purple cherry blossoms? Or maybe some patterned paper ones? Whatever you decide, a paper cherry blossom can adorn a quick note card, a wreath (why not?) or even a bare branch from your garden.
My cherry blossom pattern comes from a FREE design in Design Space entitled “Cherry Blossom Tree”. Find it quick by searching for “cherry blossom” in the Images section. Here’s a photo to help guide you:
I happen to like my cherry blossoms full, so the first thing I do is Ungroup the file and Duplicate the flower portion so that each of my blossoms has two petal layers. To be honest, sometimes I will duplicate the yellow stamen, because it is so intricate and I have a tendency of ripping them when I remove them from my mat, but that’s up to you.
For variety, I like to use a few different colors and sizes for a bigger cherry blossom project. This is easy to achieve by grouping your blossom again and duplicating the file. After duplicating the file you can manipulate the size and petal leaves. Try blush, white or mauve colors and you’ll then have four different blossoms to work with.
After cutting and removing all your cuts from the cutting mat, head over to your work area with the cuttings, a shaping tool, some glue and foam dots and some different sized pearl buttons. Using your shaping tool, you want to carefully crease each petal to give it some shape. The leaves also will be creased this way. The stamens can be carefully bent to give them more texture, too. Once you’ve completed all the shaping, all that is left is assembly.
To give the blossoms more fullness, I like to use foam dots between the two petal layers and also adhere them together slightly askew. After adhering the petal layer, use white glue to place the stamen inside the blossom. When dry, place an appropriately sized pearl inside. Depending on your pearls, you may want to glue these.
And finally, flip your blossom over and affix the leaf to the back. Allow the glue to dry before flipping them back over.
And viola! Your blossoms are now ready to adorn any project.
I hope you try to make these super simple Cherry Blossoms. Hurry back for more paper projects including future projects for making Paper Peonies, Hydrangeas and Daffodils!