As you probably already know, I am a cactus lover. So, to create a crepe paper cactus, especially a flowering one, was my dream and plan for a very long time.
So, in this and the next article, I will show you step by step my way of how to make your own flowering cactus. It is not difficult. It only needs a little bit of patience.
You can also see here my suggestion for an emergency work mat – simply an office transparent plastic sleeve with a piece of white paper inside. Easy to clean, easy to mix inks and watercolours on and it clearly shows the proper colours…
How to start…
Start with the crepe paper, of course. I always prefer to work only with white crepe paper and to colour it myself, but during this time of quarantine, I had only this blue shaded paper at home. It is actually very beautiful…
Decide how big (and wide) you want your cactus to be and cut a string of crepe paper. Cover it well with water-based clue. In this project, I am using Elmer’s washable transparent glue, but you can choose whichever one you prefer. The glue will make the width of the cactus expand a bit, but don’t worry, you can fix the size later if you want.
Fold the paper string into a rectangular shape and glue a soft foldable paper serviette as shown. Also glue another one on the opposite side of the crepe paper rectangle.
Then cover them with another string of crepe paper, which surface has all been well covered with glue. Be careful to spread the glue all over – if you miss anywhere it will form an ugly air pocket and maybe your cactus will not look as good as it could.
This is the shape you must have in the end. It must be “fat” in the middle and “slimmer” on the edges because of the serviettes inside.
Shaping the cactus leaf
The next step is very important, because it will keep the leaf shape closed. And will close all the little places along the edges where the glue hasn’t stuck well enough.
Firstly, it is important to work before the glue dries. So cut the shape you want:
Then using a thin paper serviette, cover your cactus leaf all around. Do the same on the opposite side. Fold the serviette carefully to keep the leaf shape.
Then cover both sides with two different pieces of crepe paper – from both sides. Be sure you put glue everywhere, especially on the edges of the leaf. This is very important for keeping the shape closed.
Then carefully cut around the edges. It is important to make the most precise cut you can! Be careful to not cut the serviette under the crepe paper. Give yourself a millimetre more. Then press with your fingers and do another precise cut if necessary. The pressure of the scissors and your fingers will close the edges. Put some more glue on your fingers and “massage” the edges until the cut disappears.
The next step is optional but, especially if you are making the main cactus leaf, I recommend you don’t skip it. Very gently open the bottom of the leaf while the glue is still not dry and insert a piece of wooden skewer. Do not make the skewer too short – it will keep your cactus well balanced in the pot.
This part of the tutorial has become a little bit too long. But I hope the information was helpful. In the next article, I will show you how to make the cactus flowers and how to finish your plant.
Be healthy! Stay home and create! xoxo
Continue with Part II …
If you want to see other paper projects, check this article about How to make paper embellishments.
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Thank you for helping me! ♥
Also, if this situation makes you think more about starting a home based business, maybe my book Work from home will be interesting for you.