Monday, 21 January 2013

Flower factory

My aunt asked if I could make Mexican tissue paper flowers for her granddaughter's first birthday party. I made the first flower and loved it so much that I thought I'd be happy to keep making them for the rest of my life. True, the elation might wear off after the first hundred or so, but having made over 30 in the past few days (one broken pair of scissors; one very calloused finger) I can tell you that I still adore making them. So if teaching doesn't work out, I might just go over to Mexico and set up shop on a beach somewhere.

I took this tutorial as my starting point and made three sizes of flower: giant hanging ones (using whole sheets of tissue paper), medium ones to be arranged on tables (from half sheets of tissue) and small ones (quarter sheets) which my aunt is planning to put onto wire 'stems'.

The technique is basically to layer the tissue paper, fold it concertina-style (my folds were about 1.5 inches), cut notches out of the middle where the tie or pipecleaner will go, and cut each end of the folded papers into a rounded petal shape. For each flower I used seven layers of tissue, regardless of size.

The only hard part was working out how to store the flowers safely until delivery time. I ended up hanging the giant ones from a string across the loungeroom; the smaller ones were light enough to keep in baskets. Our house looked very festive this week, which is pretty much how I'd like it to look all the time. Happily, my husband liked the flowers so much he's asked me to make some giant hanging ones for our home, so my floral fantasies are running wild because there's not a room in the house that wouldn't benefit from a splash of colour - even the car looked amazing once it was loaded up with them:

I couldn't resist decorating the children too...

...and they loved it!

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