How to Make Paper Sweet Pea Flowers

Sweet pea
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Making a Sweet Pea Paper Flower - Method 1

We will begin with a flower that we all know and admire for its beauty and daintiness. The Sweet Pea can be copied so perfectly in the bright crepe paper colors that it is not distinguishable from the real flower except upon close examination.

It will require practice to make the perfect flower. Your first attempt will not be all that you would desire, nor will your second, nor third. But you will see an improvement in each one that will please you, and before you realize it, you will find that practice makes perfect Sweet Peas, as well as other things. Study carefully all instructions in the text, and all "General Instruction" reference, and follow them accurately. When you do this, the result will be most pleasing.

Materials Required for Making the Sweet Pea Crepe Paper Flower

No. 45 Moss Green Crepe Paper-for calyx, leaves, and stem wrapping.
No. 31 Light Blush Pink Crepe Paper for petals, or other selected color.
No. 2 Green spool wire-for stem of flower.
No.9 Green wire for stem of flower and foliage.
Paste
Cardboard Pattern of circular petal, See Outline No.1 Page 46.
Cardboard Pattern of outside petal, See Outline No.2, Page 46.
Cardboard Pattern of inside petal, See Outline No.3, Page 46.
Cardboard Pattern of calyx, See Outline No. 4, Page 46.
Cardboard Pattern of leaf, See Outline No.5, Page 46.
Colors-Sweet Peas may be made in a great variety of colors. The pastel, or soft, delicate shades, are preferable and are seen more often in the natural flower; for instance,
*No. 21 Heliotrope No. 22 Violet,
No. 31 Light Blue Pink
No. 32t Coral,
No. 36 Salmon,
No. 56 Lupine,
No. 60 Primrose,
No. 91 Apricot,
and No. 11 White.

They are all often found in the dark colors, such as
No. 23 Purple,
No. 24 Fuchsia,
No. 33 Dark BlushPink,
No. 35 Cerise,
No. 66 Sun-Glow,
and No. 84 Flame.

Two shades of one color may be combined in a flower, or it may be made in one solid color. When two shades are used, the darker one may be used for the center and inside petal and the lighter one for the outside petal, or the reverse.

A huge bouquet containing many dozen Sweet Peas, covering the full range of rainbow tints, is exquisite in a low bowl or basket of a harmonizing, subdued color.

Methods for Making the Sweet Pea Crepe Paper Flower

There are different ways of making a Sweet Pea and for the benefit of those who may wish to learn more than one method, we will give instructions first for a simplified way of making, that gives the same general effect a the second method, where the natural flower is copied exactly. We will not repeat the same detailed instructions in both method. The instruction in the simplified method will be complete. The instruction in the second method will be complete only where it differs from the simplified method.

Simplified Method for Making the Sweet Pea Crepe Paper Flower

Parts of the Sweet Pea

The Sweet Pea, made by the simplified method, consists of two circular petals, and a calyx; with a stem, and foliage.

Patterns for the Sweet Pea

First trace the outline of petal No.1, calyx No.4, and leaf No. 5 (to be found on Page 46) on tissue paper, then paste the tracings on pieces of cardboard, and cut out, taking care always to have a perfectly even edge. Do not cut the pattern pages, as patterns are printed on both ide of the heet. Then, too, the pattern outlines should be kept intact for tracing additional outlines when needed.

Arranging and Cutting the Paper Petals of the Sweet Pea

Each Sweet Pea require two circular petal. If two hands are to be used, cut, across the grain, a strip of each shade of crepe paper elected, 3 inches wide, and as long as desired, depending upon the number of flowers to be made, and allowing a length of not less than 2 1/2 inches of each shade for a flower. Place the two strips together, one on top of the other, and stretch very slightly. Fold the two strips in half, with the grain, and again in half, making eight thicknesses. Place the cardboard petal pattern No. 1 on top of the eight thicknesses of crepe paper, and cut. (It is not advisable to cut through more than eight thicknesses of crepe paper at one time, because the paper is apt to slip with the cutting, which will result in an imperfect design.)

If only one shade is to be used, cut across the grain, a strip of crepe paper 3 inches wide, and as long as desired, allowing a length of 5 inches for each flower (two petals). Stretch the strip slightly. Fold it in half, with the grain, fold again in half, and repeat until you have eight thicknesses, or less. Place the cardboard petal pattern No. 1 on top of the folded thicknesses of crepe paper, and cut.

Sweet Pea Paper Flower Petals

Figure 1 & Figure 2

This Sweet Pea petal being circular, it is not necessary to watch the grain of the paper, because two opposite sides of the circle will be cut with the grain and the other two across the grain.

Unless definitely stated otherwise, the grain of the paper should always extend from top to base of a petal or leaf.

Fluting the Edges of Petals of the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

"Flute" means to stretch the paper slightly across the grain, to give a ripple effect. In the Sweet Pea the ripple should be very slight indeed-a scant 1/4 inch. As many as eight petals may be fluted at one time. In the Sweet Pea the two opposite edges of the petals that run across the grain of the paper are fluted. These edges form the top and center of the flower, when it is finished. Only an edge that is cut across the grain of the paper can be fluted.

Beginning at the left of the top edge of the petals, hold the edges of the petals between the thumbs and forefingers, the thumbs being not more than 1/8 inch apart. Push the edges away from you with the left thumb and pull forward with the right forefinger, and with this motion, stretch the paper slightly between the thumbs and forefingers. Do not twist the paper-pull it slightly. Move the fingers a little to the right placing the left forefinger in the ripple just made and the right forefinger in un-fluted space, and repeat. Continue in this manner until the amount desired has been fluted. (Fig. F, Page 40.)

Making the Leaf of the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

Sweet Peas are often made without foliage, but if leaves are desired, they may be made by cutting across the grain a strip of No. 45 Moss Green Crepe Paper 3 inches wide, and as long as desired, depending upon the number of leaves to be cut, allowing 3/4 inch in the length of the strip for each leaf, which represents the width of the leaf. Place the two ends of the strip together and fold double, with the grain, double again, and repeat until you have eight thicknesses, or less, or, if only a short strip has been cut, until the strip is folded small enough to contain the leaf pattern only once. Place the cardboard leaf pattern No.5 on the folded thickness from tip to base with the grain, and cut. From three to ten leaves may be used on a branch of foliage.

Making the Calyx for the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

For the calyx, cut across the grain, a strip of No. 45 Moss Green Crepe Paper 1 1/2 inches wide, and as long as desired, allowing 3/4 inch in length for each calyx to be cut.

Fold the strip in half, with the grain, and repeat folding in half until there are not exceeding eight thicknesses.

Place cardboard calyx pattern No. 4 on the folded strip, the points with the grain of the paper, and cut. Curl the point ends slightly by placing them flat across a knife or scissors blade, and drawing the blade quickly under and along the paper to the ends.

Making the Stem for the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

For the stem, cut across the grain, a strip of No. 45 Green Crepe Paper, 1/2 inch wide, and as long as desired, depending upon the number of stems to be wrapped, allowing a length of about 5 inches (un-stretched) for each stem. The same size wrapping strip is required for the stem of the foliage. It will save time, when cutting strips for stems, to cut through the entire thickness of the fold at one time, and in this way, have such strips in readiness for future use.

Sweet Pea Paper Flower Fig 3-4

Fig. 3 Petals Fulled on Wire / Fig. 4 Wire Twisted to Hold Fullness

Assembling the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

At this step there should be in readiness for assembling each Sweet Pea, two circular petals, each fluted on opposite edges, the calyx with the points slightly curled, a  1/2 inch wide strip of green paper for wrapping the stems, and from three to ten leaves for each branch of foliage.

Method for Assembling the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

Separate the fluted circular petals into twos, and if two shades are being used, place one of each shade together.

Place the top circular petal (either the light or dark shade as preferred) so that its upper and lower fluted edges will come about 1/4 inch below the upper and lower fluted edges of the under circular petal. (Fig. 1.)

Now fold together upward the lower fluted edges of the two petals, making the fold so that there will be 1/4 inch between the edges. (Fig. 2, Page 5.)

Place a 10-inch strip of No.2 green wire along the inside of this fold about 1/3 from the end of the wire and full the petals along the wire very closely. (Fig. 3.) The wire in this instance serves as a "gathering thread." Twist the wire tightly below the base of the flower, to hold the fullness in place. (Fig. 4.) Cut the short end of the wire close to the fastening so as to leave only one wire for the stem.

For thicker stemmed flowers, a double wire is used, or heavier wire added, but the Sweet Pea has a very slender stem and requires only one wire.

Another way to full the petals is to use a knitting needle, first fulling the petals on the knitting needle instead of on the wire as shown above, and then slipping the knitting needle out of and the wire into the fold or "gathers." Care must be taken in fastening the wire because the ne,atness and smoothness of the
calyx when attached later as well as the top of the stem at the base of the flower, depends greatly upon how the wire is twisted and fastened. One twist of the wire is sufficient to hold the Sweet Pea securely.

If for larger flowers the wire must be twisted more than once, the twists should be made side by side and not on top of each other, and the cut end of the wire should be so hidden that it will not be in danger of coming through the paper when the stem is wrapped.

Placing the Calyx of the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

Put a little paste on the band of the calyx and place it around the base of the flower. Allow a portion of the calyx band to come up high enough in back to cover any unsightly opening. Extend the points of the calyx up from the base, and the straight edge down around the stem below the base.

Wrapping the Stem of the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

The stem of a Sweet Pea is very slender and smooth. Therefore, a tight, smooth, scant wrapping of the very slender wire is desirable. To secure this effect, stretch the end of the 1/2 inch wide strip of No. 45 Green Crepe Paper, apply a little paste and fasten it on the calyx band close up under the base of the flower, and wind the strip around, over and over, two or three times, tightly, to get a start.

Sweet Pea Paper Flower - Figure 5

Fig. 5 - Wrapping a Stem

Now hold the stem wire in the right hand, twirl it around and around; at the same time, with the left hand, guiding the paper, slanting it downward and stretching it so that it will wrap the stem smoothly and tightly. (Fig. 5.) Do not use too much paper or the stem will be too thick.

When the entire stem has been wrapped, make a neat finish by cutting the strip about 1/2 inch beyond the end of the wire, putting a little paste on the end of the strip, and fastening it securely by continuing to twirl the stem a few times and pressing firmly with the finger tips. If the stem finish seems "ragged" or uneven, cut off the end perhaps an eighth or a quarter of an inch, through the wire, and again secure the fastening, if necessary, with a little additional paste and pressure of the finger tips.

Shaping the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

Cup what are now the two outside petals, pressing the outside petal inward, and the next one outward. To do this place the thumbs on one side and the fore fingers near the edges on the opposite side and push out into shape; with this motion stretching the petals slightly to form a cup, but not so much as to leave the prints of the fingers.

With the tips of the fingers, press forward the two parts that form the center of the flower so that they stand out. (Fig. 6.)

Sweet Pea Paper Flower Fig 6,7,10.

Fig. 6 - Circular Petals / Fig. 7 Foliage / Fig. 10 Lobed Petals

Bend the stem a little, about an inch below the flower, to give it a graceful droop.

Making Foliage for the Sweet Pea Paper Flower

If separate foliage is desired, take a strip of No.9 green wire, 12 inches long, and the 1/2 inch-wide strip of No. 45 Green Crepe Paper. Fold one end of the strip over the end of the wire, turn the end of the strip in, and enclose it in the stem wrapping.

Place a leaf about 1/4 inch from the end, first fulling it a little at its base, and wrap it in about 1/2 inch so as to hold securely.

A tendril may be effectively used in this foliage. It is made by winding a 10-inch piece of No.2 green spool wire, evenly and tightly, around a knitting needle, side by side, starting the winding about an inch from the end of the wire, and continuing to the other end. The straight end may be wrapped in anywhere
along the stem, preferably along the upper half.

Continue the wrapping of the stem in the same manner as directed for the flower stem, fulling and placing two more leaves on opposite sides about 4 inches down the stem and others if desired. Stretch the tendril slightly and bend it down so as to droop gracefully and naturally. (Fig. 7.)

Use about one-fourth as many separate sprays of foliage in a bouquet as you have flowers.

Making Sprays of Sweet Pea Paper Flowers

A spray of Sweet Peas adds variety to arrangement, and is made by joining two or more blossoms of the same color to one stem.

To do this wrap the stems of two or three Sweet Peas down about 2 inches. Cut off and paste the wrapping strips of all except one, which should be saved for the main stem. Wrap the main stem down another inch, and place a flower stem against it so that the second stem extends out 1 or 2 inches from the main stem. Wrap the two together, and 2 or 3 inches further down add another flower stem on the opposite side of the stem.

For a spray of this kind an 8-inch strip of No.9 green wire should be added alongside the last flower stem to lengthen and strengthen the stem.

Complete the stem wrapping as for a single blossom.

*The numbers refer to shades of Dennison Crepe.

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