Why paper succulents?
First, succulents are very “trendy”. Still. And yes, they are beautiful, tough, attractive, come in many varieties, meeting every person’s taste.
Second, paper is a great craft material. Of course, you can have real ones, which is maybe the best, but they need your time and care and if you travel a lot or are simply very busy, this will be difficult. And your succulents will be starving for attention. On other hand the paper flowers and plants are also Art. Art with a capital A. So why not include some non-traditional art in your home? Improve your hand skills… about this I can talk and write a lot…
Third, I love succulents and maybe you do too. This is another big reason to make a succulent decoration for my own home and yours too?
The easiest way to make paper succulents is to use crepe paper. My favourite is the Italian paper, from Cartotecnica Rossi – you know, the Italians are very good at making high quality products. And nobody is even paying me to say that! The colours are great, the texture has this specific “aristocratic” thickness that I love. But you can choose any good quality crepe paper around you. The world is already very small with all these online shops, isn’t it!
So, cut from your crepe paper a good number of rectangles approximately 5 cm x 2 cm. They have to be longer to help the next step – the folding. While cutting be careful to keep the stretch lines of the paper vertical, as shown, not horizontal!
Fold each rectangle in half and twist it twice. After that, connect the two sides and shape them like a sea shell. Or a nut shell.
Next, fold the left and the right sides again to make the succulent petal shape. Repeat this process many with different sizes. For one average succulent flower you will need not less than 18 petals – 3 layers with 6 petals on each layer. From this you can calculate how many petals to make depending on the number of flowers you want. Don’t worry, the petals are easy and fast to make.
Now you have all the petals, cut a small round shape, about 3 – 4 cm diameter, and start gluing them onto it. Here I am suggesting a hot glue gun. I am not using it very often for my floral projects, but here we need fast gluing. The paper succulent petals are pretty thick so it would be a very long process to use even a fast-drying glue if you had to press and wait for every individual petal to be fixed.
You can glue the petals in whichever orientation you want – either with the “tummy” or with the “back” on the top.
When you finish, the back of your individual succulent flower will look like this. You can glue it on a gift box, on a mirror frame, or on a wire wreath as I did.
The good thing with succulents is that you can make them any colours you want. Nature has already created them with everything from dull to bright colours, so they are “accustomed” to all your ideas.
If you want more nuances, you can paint them. My preferred way is to use acrylic paint with watercolour technique. This technique helps to colour the deeper parts of the paper, the creases.
But never, never, never dry the flowers in the microwave oven!!! For some of my flower projects I suggest this, because microwaving helps the paint to dry faster and fixes the colours better. But in this case the hot glue will melt, and this will destroy your flowers.
Once ready, you can use your succulents to decorate any place you want. I suggest making a wall of them or door wreaths. They will look great and give an inspired, fresh touch to your home.