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How to Make Crepe Paper Flowers with Copic Markers

Kate Alarcon | May 8, 2017

Join PNW papercrafter and flower maker Kate Alarcon as she transforms paper into GOREOUS Japanese anemones...with a little help from Copic, of course! 

Japanese anemone paper flower making tutorial

What You'll Need

  • Aleene’s tacky glue
  • Doublette (aka duplex) crepe in white on white for the petals
  • Off-white fine crepe for the stamens and center
  • Gold light-weight paper of any kind for the pollen 
  • One 10 inch length of 18 gauge, cloth-covered stem wire
  • 3 inches of light green floral tape
  • Copic Sketch or Ciao markers in: RV69, V15, V12, V91, YG95, and YG03
  • Paper scissors

Why Use Copic Various Ink?

Although crepe paper comes in a fairly wide range of colors, their bright, clear hues don’t quite capture the subtle mauves of the Japanese anemone, a late-bloomer with charmingly irregular petals. I experimented with using acrylic and watercolor paint to have more control over the color, but because these paints are water based, they distort the tiny crinkles of the crepe paper, which are essential for shaping natural-looking petals. When I finally tried alcohol inks, I was thrilled to find that they gave me the color I was looking for, while preserving the grain of the paper.

I love Copics in particular, because their color range allows me to create delicate shading that resembles real flower petals, and the tips give me the control to produce fine details. 

Step 1: Cutting Out the Center

DIY parts of a paper flower colored with Copic
 
Cut out one 1.5x2 inch rectangle for the stamens and one for the pollen. The long end of your rectangles will run across the grain of the crepe paper. Cutting along the grain, fringe each of the strips as finely as you can, making each cut about .5 inches long. 
 
Set aside the off-white fringe, which will be your stamens. Working with just the gold strip, cut across the fringe in very small rows, perpendicular to your first set of cuts, to create a tiny gold confetti. This will be the pollen at the ends of the stamens.
 
*A note about grain: the grain of the crepe paper runs parallel to the roll or fold.  Crepe paper stretches horizontally, but not vertically, so you will almost always cut petals with the grain, placing the template so that the tiny wrinkles in the paper run up and down the template, not across.
 

Step 2: Coloring the Center

Copic paper flower diy making the center
Cut 1.5 inch square from the off-white crepe and color the center of it using one coat of Copic YG95 and one of Copic YG03.
  
Wad up a small amount of the off-white crepe and roll it into the size of a small pea. Flatten it slightly. Dot one side of your colored 1.5” square with glue and cover the top half of the “pea”. Dot the tip of your floral wire with glue and press it into the pea. Wrap the bottom of the 1.5” square around the wire, securing the covered wad to the stem.

 

Step 3: Gluing the Stamens Together

Copic paper flower tutorial adding pollen to stamens

Make a light zigzag of glue across the bottom uncut portion of your fringe. Wrap it around the wire just under the “pea,” so that the stamens surround the flower center. Squeeze out a small puddle of glue and dip the ends of the stamens in the glue.

Step 4: Adding Confetti

Copic paper flower tutorial adding pollen to stamens

Then, dip the ends in the confetti and let dry.

Step 5: Cutting Out the Petals

Copic_paper_flower_diy_petal_printout_pdf_6.jpg

Using the petal template provided here, cut one each of petals A-C and two of petal D. Be sure to cut the petals so that the grain runs from top to bottom and not side to side.

Step 6: Coloring the Petals

Copic paper flower tutorial coloring the petals flower

The petals are colored by layering ink from dark to light and from the base of the petal to the tip. Each subsequent layer covers the ink from the layer or layers before it, until finally the lightest color covers the whole petal. I use the lightest color to soften and blend any noticeable “edges” in the color, coloring and recoloring the areas that need extra blending. It looks most natural if you vary the coloring a little bit for each petal so that they look less uniform. 

For flower one, draw a very short line or two at the very base of the petal with V12. Then, use V91 to color from the base up to the tip of the petal, blending any harsh lines at the bottom.  

Step 7: Second Flower Petal Variation

Copic paper flower tutorial coloring the petals flower

For flower two, use RV69 to draw some longer streaks from the base to about half way up the petal. With V15, cover the darker lines and surround them with about 1/8th of an inch of ink. Then, using the lightest color V91, color the whole petal, blending the streaks to make them look softer.

Step 8: Third Flower Petal Variation
Copic paper flower tutorial coloring the petals flower 3

For flower three, use V15 to color the bottom two thirds of the petal and V12 to color the whole petal, blending as needed.

Step 9: Fourth Flower Variation
Copic paper flower tutorial coloring the petals flower 4

For flower four, use RV69 to create a dense line of streaks radiating from the base up to cover about two thirds of the petal. Use V15 to cover the entire petal, blending the row of streaks.

Step 10: Shaping the Petals

Copic paper flower tutorial colored petals
While the petals are wet with ink, you can take advantage of the added flexibility this gives to the crepe paper. Gently stretch along the top edge, slightly frilling the petal to give it a more realistic shape.
 
When the petals are dry and you are ready to attach the petals to the stem wire, hold the base of the petal between your thumb and the blade of your scissors, and gently scrape the underside of the bottom of the petal, so that it curls slightly. This will help the petals to lie flat, rather than standing up and covering your center.

Step 11: Gluing the Petals Together 

Copic paper flower tutorial adding the petals

Dot a small amount of glue on the base of one petal D and press it to the stem, just under the center. Then do the same with petal C, placing it beside petal D and slightly overlapping them.

Directly across from the point where petals A and B overlap, place your other petal D.

Now you’ll have a space on either side of this last petal. In the space between this petal and petal C, place petal A. In the remaining space, place petal B.

Let the glue dry for a minute or two, and then use a three inch length of floral tape to wrap the bottom of your petals and an inch or two of the stem, stretching the tape as you wrap to activate the adhesive.  Using your fingers, gently adjust the petals if needed.

Finished! Now just repeat the process for each of your flowers.

Copic paper flower tutorial adding the petals

 


Check out the topics below for more great ink and papercrafting project ideas like this one!


 

Topics: Fabric Art, DIY

Kate Alarcon
Kate Alarcon on May 8, 2017

Hi, I'm Kate! My paper plants and flowers are made primarily from European crepe paper in different weights, but I also use cardstock and tissue paper for some species. My work has been featured on Design*Sponge, Poppytalk, and The House That Lars Built. I offer paper flower workshops in the Seattle area, which I announce via my newsletter as well as Instagram (@cobralilyshop) The Cobra Lily is named for darlingtonia californica, a strange and beautiful carnivorous plant native to northern California and the Pacific Northwest.