91 stems. 91 hand cut and handmade crepe paper stems!!! It was my recent pleasure to finish this very large scale crepe paper floral commission for home decor. My client was pleased with her home but wanted to bring some color into her very neutral living room. She was considering using the colors red and orange, and she did not care for pink. I thought her color ideas were fabulous and I told her so. Kim’s great room has an impressive floor to ceiling brick mantel. I suggested a handmade paper floral wreath, would be amazing mounted up there. Kim agreed, and the commission was solidified with the understanding I’d include the colors blue, orange, and red.
MY THOUGHT PROCESS
In my mind, making this wreath sounded easy! I had seen some crescent paper flower wreaths on social media and my original thinking was I can totally do something just like them to wow my client, just slightly larger. My original and later discarded plan was to mount 25ish crepe paper flowers on a wreath frame in a nice lovely fashion and call it a day. Sounded simple, right? I began by busting out some really Pretty Iceland and Himalayan Poppies!
Soon I realized that the flowers I made were lovely but were not nearly enough to cover the wire frame style I had selected, and I had a lot more work ahead of me than I had anticipated. But there were choices! I could change my wreath base to something a little more substantial, like bound grapevines and use a smaller size. Or, I could proceed with the same frame but make three times the volume of flowers I originally anticipated! I hemmed and I hawed and I sipped ok, well gulped a little Malbec and stepped away and repeated that process a few times except once or twice in that loop I’d send an SOS to my mentor. And settled on the original wire frame as my base. Because I love to torture myself. Because it was an opportunity. Because I wanted to make something impressive, unique and beautiful that would speak to my unique and very authentic client! During this whole research and preparation stage, I learned a lot about wreaths. All the wreaths out there in pinterest and Instagram world that spoke to me as it related to this project had gads of foliage. And to be authentic, unique, and one of kind (and avoid pink and use orange and blue), well foliage bundles and flower bundles upon foliage and flower bundles was JUST what I needed to make.
After I came to the realization that I needed foliage and more foliage it really came together quite nicely after that. I broke the process down in three parts-foliage to cover, foliage to fill, and flowers.
-13 airplants using 180g crepe paper from Carte Fini in the #562 Green Leaf color. I created them using similar techniques to Lia Griffith and Jennifer Tran. These were great because they covered a decent amount of area and are so popular right now!
-13 succulents of my own design using 180g crepe paper from Carte Fini in the #566 Lime Pulp color. My teachable tutorial on how I created these is available now!
-13 Silver Dollar Eucalyptus of my own design using 180g crepe paper from Carte Fini in Sage, # 560 and wrapped the stems in Lia Griffith gold metallic extra fine paper. This was the most unusual color combo. You’d think sage is green, right? NOT THIS SAGE! It’s blue!
-13 Staghorn Ferns. Now, I gratefully found guidance on these from Lia Griffith. I did alter the patterns to adjust the “movement” each fern had and to make them each unique, as none found in nature are identical. So while none of my Staghorn Designs match hers…I used her guidance. Thank you Lia!
-13 Canturbury Bell, or Medium Campanula Stems of my own design. My teachable course on how to do these lovely little bells is being released May 1st. Presale starting soon! These were created using white doublette. I have indeed made these in fine crepe, but they simply did not hold shape as well as doublette did in this bloom.
-13 Nasturtiums, using the tutorial from Florasmith. Next to my Canturbury bells I was most excited about these sweet little pretties…! I created them in red and maroon crepe paper and used bright yellow crepe for the stamen.
-7 Dahlias in red, yellow, orange and white
-6 Iceland Poppies
First I bundled the Eucalyptus and Staghorn ferns together to cover some of the wire and build height out from the perimeter of the frame. Then, bundled the air plants and succulents together and laid them next to the Eucalyptus and Fern bundles, effectively covering a good 60-70% of the frame which was the goal! Then the Canterbury bells each were bundled to either a dahlia or a poppy to fill in the remaining holes and the Nasturtiums simply finished the piece and tied all the colors together.
It was quite a beast! Client was pleased and I was impressed with myself enough to write this blog. I know I have lots of paper flower counterparts that want to hear all about how I did this and do feel free to contact me about any of it! Do follow me on Instagram to never ever miss an update!