This is a tutorial for a more advanced paper flower made from vellum tracing paper.
I’ll be honest, this paper flower is not in my typical style of paper flower making. It’s a bit fussier, it works better hand-cut and it takes a little longer than all my other flower to make. This is really for my paper flower enthusiasts.
The concept took weeks to brew in my head. It all started with this bouquet of flowers my husband bought for me. It was just a small random selection of flowers – a multi-colored rose, some fringed tulips and some buttercups.
I put them in a vase next to my bathroom sink and as a result, I ended up looking at them every single time I went to the bathroom. I was looking at the petals in detail and notice how closely they resembled watercolors.
It also doesn’t hurt I was on this watercolor binge as of late so I kept thinking about how to make watercolor petals.
I kept getting stuck on the idea that I would have to paint in watercolors on both sides of petal paper and the constraints of using watercolor paper.
Fast forward a few weeks later, I had a stack of tracing paper sitting next to my crafting corner (of my bedroom). I don’t know how I randomly connected the dots. I think I was taking a nap and woke up with the idea that I could paint in watercolors, scan it then print it on the tracing paper. (Good things happen when you take naps!)
The translucency of the paper was perfect for the flower petals. You can clearly see the watercolors on both sides of the paper. I normally would not be able to paint on vellum but ding ding ding, my printer can still print on it!!
A few iterations later, I finally finished making that watercolor paper flower that I had been thinking about for weeks.
I’m so excited to share this tutorial with everyone. The template for the purple-blue flowers in the photos is available for free in my resource library.
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Material for Watercolor Paper Flower
Vellum Tracing Paper – I have tried a couple of different brands and there is a slight difference in the texture. This is the pack I used from Amazon to make the flowers you see here.
Watercolor Petals Transparent PNG – If you want to make this with a cutting machine, you will need a PNG file of the petal with the background removed.
Printer – I used a color inkjet printer. Any color printer will work.
Glue – I used Tacky Glue for this project.
Cutting Machine or Scissors – I use a Cricut but I would actually recommend just cutting this one with Scissors.
Tutorial for Watercolor Paper Flowers
Step 1: Print and Cut the template
It is totally possible to just print the template as is, especially if you don’t have a cutting machine.
For my Cricut users, here’s a quick note on how to upload a transparent PNG file.
Be sure to upload the file as a “Complex” image. There is no need to “Select and Erase” anything. The selector in Design Space is not super accurate so I have pre-removed the background for you.
Save the image as a “Save as a Print Then Cut Image” to preserve the details.
Even if I am cutting this one by hand, I still use the Cricut to do the printing because I want it to print with some bleed.
So the reason why I only used the Cricut to cut half the time is because the scanner on the machine has a hard time picking up the image on vellum paper.
I could only get it to work in a really dark room. When there is too much ambient light, there are too many photons hitting the sensor and it has a hard time with the differential between the color and non-colored portions of the image.
Step 2: Assemble each later of the petals.
I glue each petal strip in a loop and glue it together. I sometimes put a paper clip in while the glue sets.
Step 3: Make the fringe
You can use any color for the stamen. I ended up just printing the individual watercolor petal on vellum and cutting a rectangle around it. It had a nice mix of white and blue.
You will need a rectangular piece of paper for this part. The size depends on the size of your flower. My flower petal measured about 2 inches long and I used a 2in x 6in piece for the stamen.
Fold the rectangular piece in half lengthwise and cut fringes from the open side. Rolled the fringed piece and glue in place.
Step 4: Assemble the layers
I like to work from the bottom up. Place a bit of glue between each layer.