A long, long time ago, when I was working in the morning TV show, my strongest memory from the writers’ desk is of a very sad Orchid with absolutely no flowers, looking like a dry brown stick in a pot. I don’t actually remember this Orchid ever having flowers. Sure, it was flowering, maybe when it first came into the room, but seems like it never did again after that…
This is one of the reasons I don’t have Orchids at home. They are beautiful, but I love vital plants, full of life, no matter if they have flowers or only leaves. No sticks, thank you.
But to everyone, who has an Orchid at home and is impatiently is waiting for their pampered girl to show her beauty, I can suggest: Create your own Orchid which will hide the sad naked stick until the flowers appear. You can create a copy of your own plant – the same colours, the same shape. As you will see, it is really not difficult.
Why a DIY paper Orchid?
I don’t like factory made flowers. Don’t misunderstand me, some of them are absolutely gorgeous. And also, as I know from a plant decoration specialist, the smart way is to mix real and not real plants to create an illusion of flourishing greenery. But most of these really beautiful flowers we can’t afford, especially in the quantity they need to be, without destroying the family budget.
So, I suggest making paper ones. Paper always has a dose of “art” in it. A dose of philosophy. And every paper flower you put in your home decoration is a sculpture itself.
And also, some people are allergic or don’t like strong flower scents , you know…
How to start…
In this photo you see the tools and materials I will be using to create the paper Orchid shown on the cover: paper wire, PVA glue, universal glue, scissors, pen with a rounded end. I am also using my own templates for printable Orchid petals, which you can find in my Etsy shop. But you can create your designs easily by hand drawing them, as I did with my first paper Orchid, or by using an iPad or other smart device.
So, print or draw the petal shapes. I suggest using simple white office copy paper. Thicker paper or cardboard with ink on it doesn’t behave very well with all the twisting and sculpting later.
One of the very important materials here is brown wrapping paper. It is great to create branches and I am sure everyone has some at home. Cut it in strips as shown. These strips you will wrap around the paper wire later.
Then, to create the branch base, cut two pieces of wire, each about 40 cm long and fold them.
When wrapping the brown paper around the wire, start from the top, but leave a small “bud” uncovered. This will give your branch top a more realistic look.
How to make the petals
If you are drawing your designs by hand, don’t forget the back of the petals too – even if the Orchid will be white.
In my case I made a matching design for the back. Actually, you can create contrasting designs too – some of my purple Orchid petals have a purple back and some have orange.
Then I glued the petals back-to-back, using PVA glue and a flat brush to spread it well.
When the glue dried, I carefully cut out the petals, following the lines. If you are making this Orchid as a home decoration project, maybe give this job to your child. Activities like cutting (also button sewing, beading and colouring) are among the best for improving growing brains, developing great motor skills.
The next two steps you can also give to your children, especially if they are too young to be safely working with scissors.
Massage the central area of the inside petals with a nasal inhaler or pen with smooth round top. More about my favourite flower shaping tool you can read in the article Easy Spring blossom tutorial.
And then use the same pen to curl the petal shape.
Then, when you have all the flowers shapes, start gluing them together with the universal glue (because it dries faster).
And tadaaaaa! Your first Orchid is ready! When all the Orchids are put together, glue them again with the universal glue on the top of your branch.
And go to find a beautiful vase, because I am sure, your flower will look amazing!
Enjoy your craft time!
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If you feel a bit lazy or have no time to create your own Orchid design, you might like to use mine – here is the link to my Etsy shop: