Soft pastels are a chalk-based coloring agent to spruce up your paper flower designs.
I follow all these crepe paper flower makers on instagram and I’m always so impressed with how realistic they are.
I prefer to use cardstock for most of my paper flower designs mostly because I don’t want to make it by hand and it is really difficult to cut crepe paper with a cutting machine.
I’ve been wanted to create a gradient colored look similar to all the crepe paper flower makers but it took me a while to find the right chalk paste and technique.
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Materials for Soft Pastel Paper Flowers
Cardstock – Again, as with all my paper flower tutorials, I highly recommend medium weight cardstock with colored cores. In the case of using soft pastels, you can just use white cardstock which is super affordable. I like this Neenah brand bulk set which is super affordable. Here are some of my other favorites:
- Recollection Assorted Starter Pack – Basic assorted colors, great starter pack, perfect weight for most papercraft projects
- Metallic Shimmer Assorted Set from Amazon – This set is a little lighter in weight but the colors are beautiful in 3D
- Cardstock Warehouse Brand on Amazon – I love the quality of all the matte colored cardstock with Cardstock Warehouse. It is my go-to brand for individual matte colors that I might need
- Stardream Metallics Line – For paper crafts, the Stardream line is the go to for a metallic shimmer finish. It is the perfect sheen to make any project pop. The core is also colored is which hard to find for metallic paper.
- Assorted Pink Set from Paper Paper – This is a must-have for paper flower makers. The variety is perfect to create a bouquet.
- Assorted Purple Set from Paper Paper – This is another must-have for paper flower makers. I love the variety of finishes in this pack.
- Metallic Variety Set from Paper Paper – I don’t know any avid paper crafter that doesn’t use Stardream metallics line of shimmer paper. It is the only metallic cardstock line that I know of that has such variety and has colored cores.
Soft Pastels – The go-to brand for soft pastels for paper flowers that all the crepe paper flower makers is PanPastel. The problem is they have some toxic ingredients that I’m not ok with so I use something else. I use this non-toxic Mungyo set that is WAY more affordable. It is basically just highly pigmented chalk. I also tried this with some expired blush which worked amazingly well.
Make up sponge or eye shadow applicator – I have a bunch of disposable eye shadow brushes I got from Amazon and found they work the best.
Template – I used my paper magnolia template for this tutorial. It is available in both SVG and PDF format for free in my resource library.
Tutorial for Soft Pastels
Step 1: Cut out the petal templates
Depending on the design, I like to use mostly a fresh blue light grip mat with my Cricut cutting machine for this part.
I like using different colors for the petals that I’m going to use the soft pastels on versus the stamen. I prefer not to have to color in the stamen so I just usually find a matching cardstock and use that part out with the colored cardstock.
Step 2: Color the petals in the soft pastel
If you were using the Pan Pastels, I would advise picking up the chalk with the applicator first. However, with these non-toxic chalk like sticks, I just use them to apply directly to paper.
You don’t need to color in the whole paper, I find just a few strokes where you want the color most concentrated is enough.
I then smear it out with the make up applicator. I wasn’t super aggressive with the smearing in this example but it is possible to make the coloring look more diffused with the make up applicator.
Step 3: Assemble the rest of the flower
The full tutorial for the paper magnolia is here.
I would do the curling of the petals after the application of the soft pastel as it is harder to diffuse the chalk after it has been curled.