Friday, 24 January 2014

Paper to Petal - make crepe paper flowers

Paper to Petal:

75 Whimsical Paper Flowers to Craft by Hand

By Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell

Potter Craft, October 2013

Hardcover, £16.99

ISBN 978-0-385-34505-7

Good news for papercrafters – paper flowers are having a moment. (Of course, if you are a papercrafter, nearly every moment is a paper flower moment - but right now, the publishers have cottoned on to this, too.) Several new titles have already come out – more to come in the Spring. Paper to Petal is a lavishly-produced all-singing, all-dancing production. It has the Martha Stewart seal of approval – an endorsement in the form of the book’s foreward. So I would expect a quality product that outruns the competition. And that’s what you get – this book does indeed live up to the hype.

This book is a labour of love from the wife and husband team of  Rebecca Thuss and Patrick Farrell. As an art student, Rebecca Thuss began to collect vintage paper flower-making instruction booklets. She has learned the trad skills and added her own imagination, updated materials and techniques to the mix. The flowers in the book are crafted from crepe paper, with added elements and embellishments.

Some of my favourite projects include: Bookworm Bookmarks. A playful take on vintage ribbon bookmarks. (Concept: some very artistic bookworms have “munched their way” through the blooms.) Multifarious Foliage: ferns and such. Great collective effect –  lush, sort of like a terrarium. Delft & Flow Blue. Blue and white china-look always charms me. Confiseries Colorées. Re-purposed doilies in sweetshop colours. Double Scoop. Inspired by ice cream cones. Love the waffle-look leaves. Multiblooms: beautiful cascades. Flying Kites. Takes a theme and runs with it: kite-shaped petals, knotted tail leaves, kite string flower centres. Pin Stripe & Pin Dot: fun with felt-tips. Fading Fall Wreath. Oak leaves, graduated colour effect, unusual rectangular shape. Nice one. Trompettes: works the metallic crepe to great effect. Cheerleaders: pompoms are everywhere these days. If pompoms are for you, then so are these mega-blooms.

The format of the book works a treat. The book is divided into five sections. Part I: The Flowers is a gallery section featuring the beautifully photographed projects. Part ll is the Materials section. Seven different types of crepe paper are listed. Who knew? An education. Tapes, adhesives, tools, findings, paints and colourings – it's all here.  Part III – Skills. This section is impressive. You’ll learn about flower components, layered construction, different petal styles, methods of decoration, and assembly techniques. Part IV: How-Tos. Skill levels are given for each project, always useful. Instructions for each and every flower, with photos of components and construction techniques. Part V: Full-size trace-off Templates with crepe paper grain direction indicated. And there’s an index, too.

Paper to Petal would make an ideal gift for a papercrafter. It delivers the goods - you learn a new skill – making crepe paper flowers – in great style, which is what you want from a craft title. 

Note: I received a review copy of this title.