7.14.2011

Craft Project: Quilled Flowers

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Hi hi! Tonight is craft night, a favorite new tradition at my house. On Thursdays, my friend Cathy comes over and we get lost in a tangle of fabric scraps, glue guns, paper and felt. Fueled by Martha Stewart Living, Pinterest and the occasional alcoholic beverage, we bust out a multitude of awesome handicrafts: crochet headbands, knit dishtowels, felt flower pins, braided necklaces, and friendship bracelets. These Thursdays, I've learned to crochet, weave, tie complicated knots, and use a glue gun without melting off my finger prints! It's the best sense of accomplishment to create handmade presents for yourself and your loved ones, and sometimes just the business of sitting cross legged on the floor and making a mess with your buddies is the best medicine/therapy/relief for a busy-minded girl like me. 

These paper flowers were one of our first projects, inspired by this craft tutorial on Martha's website.  
With only a few strips of paper and a quilling needle found at craft stores, you're bound to work some serious magic. Here are a few tricks: 

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Supplies: 1. Slotted quilling tool, like this one, found at your neighborhood craft store. 2. Elmer's glue 3. Green florist's wire 4. Florist's tape 5. Scissors 6. Light weight paper (I recycled an old map and business envelopes, but origami and crepe paper also make lovely flowers.) 

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Scavenged paper from around the house.
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1. Cut a neat strip of paper. The width and length depend on your preference, but for the roses pictured above I used 8" x 3/4" strip for the cream rosette and 12" x 1" for the larger map roses. Insert the end of the strip into the slot of the quilling needle, with the paper's tail extended to the right. Roll the paper a few times around the tool. 

2. Fold the paper at a downward 90 degree angle so it is parallel to the quilling tool. Roll the folded edge onto the tool so that the paper is perpendicular to the tool again. 

3. Continue to roll and fold the paper onto the quilling tool. Scroll the paper tightly around the base of the needle but allow the top to flare open. Repeat until you use the entire strip of paper. 

4. Remove rose from quilling tool and let the petals relax slightly in your hand (don't let go, or it will unwind). Carefully adjust the folds to your liking and glue the loose end to the underside of the flower. When the glue is dried, you can attach a stem by pressing the end of a bit of wire through the bottom of the rose's center. Wind a strip of florist's tape around the wire and the base of the flower to hold in place. 

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1. For daisies you need two strips of paper; a shorter narrow strip in a contrasting color for the daisy's center and a longer, wider strip for the petals. Cut fringe along the petal strip like illustrated above. 

2. Attach the smaller, unfringed strip to the quilling tool with the tail end extending to the right of the tool. Tightly roll the whole strip onto the tool until it forms a firm cylinder. Leave this on the tool and affix the loose end to the cylinder with a dot of glue. With another dot of glue, attached one end of the petal strip, fringe facing upward. When the glue has dried, roll the entire petal strip onto the tool. 

3. Glue loose end and remove from tool. Carefully spread the petals outward and downward until you've achieved your desired shape. Affix to wire stem with florist's tape. 

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