One of the most extraordinary things about flowers is that it’s hard to find an unattractive one – each bloom possesses a unique beauty. Our current leading lady is the poppy, with its vibrant petals dancing across England’s meadows. The trouble is that the beauty of flowers is fleeting. So, we asked British paper artist Susie Beech of @apetalunfolds to share her step-by-step guide to making a paper poppy, so we can preserve its beauty forever.
Polystyrene ball (20mm diameter)
Crepe paper in various colours
Cut a 10-15cm length of floristry wire to create the stem. Next, using the glue gun, fix a small polystyrene ball to the top of the wire so that it looks like a lollipop.
Take a 3cm x 3cm square of green crepe paper, stretch it out fully and glue it over the top of the ball. Twist the excess paper underneath, glue and secure. Smooth down any bumps with more glue. This will form the centre of the flower.
Optional: If you really want to embrace detail, take a finely cut 20cm x 7mm strip of yellow crepe. Fold it lengthways to get the strip as thin as possible. Take the strip and glue it over the covered ball. Cut and repeat so that you have a cross over the top of the ball. (Tweezers may help you place these strips accurately.)
Our current leading lady is the poppy, with its vibrant
petals dancing across England’s meadows
Cut out a 10cm x 5cm rectangle of yellow crepe paper and stretch it out fully.
Cut it finely and repeatedly about halfway down the width of the crepe to create a fine fringe and the flower stamen. Glue the solid un-fringed side and begin to wrap the paper around the recently covered polystyrene ball so that the fringed crepe is facing up. Wrap it around as many times as necessary until the entire fringe is glued down. Leave to dry and then fan the fringe out.
Cut 4 petal shapes out of a crepe colour of your choosing – 2 big (12cm x 5.5cm) and 2 small (8.5cm x 5.5cm) – and stretch them out.
Take each petal and rest it on the table. Gather the paper against your thumbs to concertina the crepe. Then, pick the petal up and twist to create texture. Unfold the paper, but try to keep the marks and texture.
Add a little glue to the base of each petal and attach the 2 smaller ones directly opposite each other on the yellow crepe stamen (at the base of the fringe). Then add the 2 larger petals in between. Pinch all the petals at the base where you have attached them to secure them.
Using wire scissors, cut the stem down to your desired length. Cut a 1cm-wide strip of green crepe and stretch it out between your fingers. Apply a little glue to the end and begin to wind it around the floristry wire, adding more glue as required until the whole stem is covered. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
Finally, fan out your petals and style the stem as you wish. We opted for a nice bend to give our poppy a little unruly realism.