Tools and Materials
20-pound recycled paper (20 sheets)
Paper Peonies template
Acrylic paint (magenta and green)
Paper Peonies How-To
1. Rip 20 sheets of 20-pound recycled paper into strips.
2. Boil ripped paper in 5 quarts water; let cool.
3. In a blender, pulse to reduce to a paper pulp.
4. Place 3 cups pulp onto Silpat-lined cookie sheet; spread out.
5. Use sponge to soak up excess water. Let dry for a couple of hours.
6. Flatten with rolling pin. Let dry for one day.
7. Download and print template.
8. Cut 50 petals for each peony: 10 small, 20 medium, and 20 large.
9. Make mixture of 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon magenta acrylic paint, 1/3 cup acrylic varnish, and 1 teaspoon pearlizing medium.
10. Dip petals into paint mixture. Dry overnight on cookie sheets lined with a plastic bag.
11. Curl and wrinkle petal edges.
12. Make a pistil by cutting a 3/4-inch-by-8 1/2-inch strip of thin paper. Fold lengthwise. On the fold, make 1/4 inch cuts, approximately every 1/4 inch. Roll to resemble a paper decoration for a "lamb chop" end. Secure with glue gun.
13. Make a 1/2-inch diameter wad of pulp with a point (shaped like an acorn); let dry.
14. Take dried wad and glue (using glue gun) to uncut end of "lamb chop," pointy side down. Flare ends.
15. Assemble a flower. Using a glue gun, glue five small petals overlapping, surrounding the wad. Glue another layer of small petals. Repeat process for medium, then large petals, working in layers, until you have a full peony.
16. For stems, use the glue gun to glue the end of a length of thick electric cable wire to the base of the flower and wrap, then wrap in floral tape. Paint stems green with acrylic paint.
Recycled copy paper is available at office supply stores. We used magenta acrylic paint from Delta, Iridescent Tinting Medium from Liquitex, Acrylic Glazing Gloss Liquid Medium from Golden Makes, yellow card stock or yellow/pink origami paper for the stamens, and a hot glue gun by Dremel. You can find cable wire for the stem at hardware stores.
Lisa Yuen, www.paperbloomsters.com