A week ago, I heard a conversation between three girls in their very early teen years about what is the most expensive way to show your love. Of course, they were talking about cars, holidays, jewellery, whole islands – all the things that young ones see on TV advertising. And all these things can cost a lot of money, but they are not the most expensive.
Because money you can always “make”, but you can’t make more time. Our time is limited and, for me, the best way to show your love is to spend your time with someone or for someone, to show your love.
This is why I decided to share with you this easy gift idea. Because everyone can buy something, but it is a lot more heart-warming to create something with your own hands.
Show your love with a DIY paper plant
You will need crepe paper in green or red and brown; florists’ wire 0.6 mm or similar from the hardware shop; scissors; side cutters to not run your scissors cutting wire; PVA glue and a glue brush.
You will also need red copier paper (80 gsm) to make the leaves. If you like my leaves, click in the banner below and use the free files.
How to assemble the red-hearted plant…
First cut out heart shaped leaves in pairs.
Then cover the inside surface of one of them thoroughly with PVA glue and position in the central area the wire as shown.
Cover with the other half of the pair, trying to match both sides as best as possible. If you want the petals to be glossy, spread a thin layer of PVA glue on the top surface, using the brush. Leave it aside to dry.
When the glue dries, trim off all the overlapping edges. This will not destroy the shape of your leaves it’ll just make all of them 100% individual.
Make the leaves look more realistic
This is an optional step, but when I am making paper plants, it is my favourite one! No matter what someone is trying to convince you, you don’t need special instruments for this. Use, as a base, a simple kitchen sponge mat. If you want to shape deep contours, just put two or three kitchen mats one on top of the other.
If you have paper flower or fondant shaping tools, use them. But if you don’t, you can use the round end of your brush’s handle, the non-knitting end of a crochet hook or the round end of a pen.
Press, following the logical leaf veins. But before doing this, be 100% sure that the PVA glue on the surface is fully dried. Otherwise, the pressing can tear the paper’s top layer, especially if it is a printed one like mine.
When all the red-heart shaped leaves are ready, cover the wire of their stems with spiral wrapped, stretched crepe paper strips and PVA glue. You can use the red crepe paper and this was my initial plan, but later I decided to use the green crepe paper on these stems for more contrast with the brown main stem and the red leaves.
Only few more easy steps
Now it is time to make the main stem.
Cut 5 pieces of wire about 20-25 cm long and spiral wrap them all together tightly with brown crepe paper strips and PVA glue. This will make the plant’s main stem thick and strong. You can also wrap 2-3 pieces with strips of kitchen towel and then with brown crepe paper. This way enables you to create really thick plant’s stem should you wish.
The next step is to connect the leaves starting with the small ones and working from the top to the bottom.
Connect the first leaf as shown. Note that it’s not immediately on the top of the stem.
Then cut brown crepe paper pieces with round top, one for each leaf, like those shown on the photo below – note the direction of the “wrinkles” which is very important. Don’t put glue on the very top of this crepe paper piece.
Glue the crepe paper piece by wrapping it around the main stem and the leaf’s stem. Don’t stretch, keep the paper “wrinkles” visible.
Then add all the leaves the same way, leaving about 6-7 cm of the main stem with no leaves attached – this area we will put into the soil later.
A final touch
The last step, when all the leaves are attached, is to wrap the very top of the plant’s stem with a triangular green (or red) crepe paper piece. Cover this piece on one side with PVA glue and twist it gently around to create the illusion of a still un-opened, young leaf.
Then the last step is only to plant your red-hearted creature in a flowerpot with soil or put it into a florist’s sponge and place it in a pot of your choice.
Then secretly leave it in a place where the object of your love will see it immediately.
Enjoy your craft time!