Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Virtually Free Mini 'Silk' Flowers

Chris in Canada wrote:
If you prefer the look of 'silk' flowers and leaves in RL size over plastic or paper, here's a freebie way to make your own mini silk flowers using simple paper punches and old silk flower debris.

FIRST: Check your trash stash or around your house for some RL size silk flower petals and leaves. Crushed and fray-damaged ones will work just fine, even those bleached by exposure to light. If you don't have a stash of flowers already, visit the fake flower section of any craft or department store and look on the floor and between the display bins for petals and leaves that have dropped off. Find a clerk and ask if it is OK for you to take a few to make miniature flowers, and odds are she'll even help you find what you want.

SECOND: Choose a few petals the colours you want for your flowers and leaves. Clean them up a bit if needed with a barely damp cloth and lay on a sheet of waxed paper, pressing them as flat as they will go, then brush on an even coat of matte ModPodge or white glue thinned with water, or spray with a clear matte sealer. When that is dry, flip them over and repeat the sealing process on the back. Let dry completely, preferably overnight! (Yes, waiting is hard but some sizes and patterns of punches are very hard to find, not to mention expensive, and this extra time ensures you won't wreck that teensy 1/8" teardrop punch you paid $8 plus shipping for.)

THIRD: Take a test snip from an edge and a test punch to make sure you applied enough sealer and if it frays or tears, go back to the second step and add another coat of sealer on each side. When all is well, go ahead and punch or cut out the shapes you need to build your flowers. (There are lots of tuts online for mini flowers and plants using punched paper shapes.)