Livia Cetti is the Beyoncé of paper flowers. She’s the current reigning paper craft queen, conjuring delicate, beautiful blossoms out of tissue paper and wire. Cetti’s Pinterest-worthy designs have appeared in Kate Spade campaigns, Anthropologie windows, the White House, and (most importantly) InStyle editorials.
From romantic orchids to exotic Japanese anemones, no one can create fabulous paper flowers like Cetti can. . . until now! The renowned floral stylist is inviting you into her studio and dishing her secret tips and techniques in her new book The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers ($25; abramsbooks.com). The book will be released April 8th but, to ease the wait, Cetti generously shared one of her favorite DIYs with us: cherry blossoms.
This craft is a particularly beautiful because it melds the organic with the whimsical. “If you attach (paper flowers) to real branches, you still get the natural gesture and feel of plants,” Cetti writes in her book.
Bring a bit of spring indoors and get started now! And be sure to check out other crafty projects, as well as a number of under-a-minute hair and makeup video tutorials, in our new how-to section!
1. What You’ll Need
Small zigzag scissors
Fringing shears (optional)
Brown floral tape
12” (30.5 cm) long bare branch, any type
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Two 3” x 20” (7.5 x 50 cm) strips raspberry, salmon, or fuchsia tissue paper
For Cherry Bud Balls
20” x 30” (50 x 76 cm) sheet raspberry, salmon, or fuchsia tissue paper
For Cherry Centers
5 double-headed yellow stamen filaments
2” x 20” (5 x 50 cm) strip soft green tissue paper
2. Step 1: Prepare Materials
Use the Cherry/Tuberose Petal template to trace and cut out the petal shapes. Cut twenty-five 2” x 3” (5 x 7.5 cm) pieces from the petal tissue strip. Divide them into 5 stacks of 5. Place the petal template on one stack so the top of the petal is at the edge of the petal. Repeat with the remaining stacks to make a total of 25 petals.
For the bud balls, cut two 1” x 1” (2.5 x 2.5 cm) squares and two 2” x 2” (5 x 5 cm) squares from the tissue strip. Construct 2 small bud balls by crumpling up a piece of tissue paper (1” x1”; 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm), then completely wrapping the ball with one piece of outer later tissue paper taking care to create a smooth, wrinkle-free surface. Firmly grasping the paper edges, use brown floral tape around the base to complete.
For the centers, fold the 2” x 20” (5 x 50 cm) strip in half lengthwise and cut y” (12 mm) fringe along the folded edge. Cut the fringed strip into five 2” (5 cm) pieces. Fold a double-headed yellow stamen filament in half. Tack it together with a y” (12 mm) piece of brown floral tape. Wrap the green fringe around the stamen, positioning the fringe so that the stamen extends y” (12 mm) above the fringe. Secure the fringe with floral tape. Repeat to make a total of 5 centers.
3. Step 2: Shape Petals
To give the petals a cupped shape, add a dart to each. The 3-point fold for the dart should extend from the bottom of the petal to y” (12 mm) from the top. The base of the dart fold should measure about u” (6 mm) across and taper to a point.
Repeat with the remaining petals. Gently pinch the base of each petal to give it a cupped appearance.
4. Step 3: Start Assembling Blooms
Each cherry bloom is composed of 5 petals. Attach the bottom end of a petal to a center with floral tape, wrapping and winding the tape down and around the center, about 1” (2.5 cm) beyond the base. Place the next petal alongside the first, overlapping their edges by u” (6 mm) in a radiating fashion and encircling the center. Wrap the base with floral tape. (Note that this layer of tape and all tape for petals overlaps the layer underneath.)
5. Step 4: Finish Assembling Blooms
Repeat with 3 additional petals until the overhead view of the flower resembles a spiral. Fluff and open the bloom, adjusting the petals as needed.
Repeat with the remaining petals and centers to make a total of 5 blooms, varying the amount of fluffing so that some blooms are more open than others for a more natural look.
6. Step 5: Trim Flowers
Trim the bottom of each bloom and bud with scissors, leaving a u” (6 mm) base.
7. Step 6: Prepare Branches and Glue Blooms
Prepare the branch by removing any natural leaves, buds, or flowers. Trim any broken pieces and cut the branch to the desired length. Plan the placement of the blooms and buds - for example, in the crook of a stem or in an uneven row down the branch. Livia Cetti recommends creating small groups or clusters of blooms and buds.
Place a small amount of hot glue on the base of a bloom. Working quickly, hold the bloom to the branch while glue dries.
8. Step 7: Finish Attaching Blooms and Buds
Repeat with remaining blooms. Add the buds in same way.
9. Step 9: Enjoy!
Enjoy your beautiful, handcrafted cherry blossom arrangement! Livia Cetti’s book, The Exquisite Book of Paper Flowers ($25; abramsbooks.com), will be released on April 8th, 2014.