Monday, 9 April 2012

Ball-Tool Flowers with Crimpered Leaves Tutorial

Hello all. I'm afraid the title of this tutorial is a bit of a mouthful. Believe me, I tried to think of a snappier title but one didn't surface. Somedays the creative part of my brain works, others, it feels like hibernation has set in.

Anyway, this is how I spent my Easter Sunday. Who knew that it could take a day almost to blog a tutorial from start to finish? It doesn't help that I decided to photograph the whole project twice. The first flower was produced with red card and just didn't have enough of a shabby vintage feel to it. So I went again, with a different process, as you will see. And though the temperature outside here has dropped, I was down to a T-shirt in my craft room, under the heat of the lights and I was still too warm. 

However, it was great fun to do plus I managed to sneak in some polka dot patterned Washi tape into the resulting tag (I blame Kory for tempting me into my recent purchases). 

So without further ado, I give you..the Ball Tool Flower, accessorised with Crimpered Leaves!


White Card 
Black Card
Tattered Rose Distress Stain
Tea Dye Distress Ink
Die or punches to cut flowers in three sizes. I've used Tim Holtz Sizzix Tattered Flower Garland
Paintbrush, Ball tool or Pen
Mouse Mat
Perfect Pearls Mist - Heirloom Gold
Paper Crimper

To begin swipe the white card with tattered rose distress stain. Dry with a heat gun. Turn over and colour the back. Again, dry with a heat gun and repeat on both sides so that it has two coats of stain either side.

Cut the flowers out with your die cuts or punches. You will need two large, two medium and two small. Though I've used a Tim Holtz Flower Garland die for this tutorial, I've also created flowers with other dies and punches. As long as they have individual petals within the shape. And it doesn't matter if they have six petals, like these, or five. 

Add a darker colour of ink to the tips of the petals. I have used Tea Dye distress ink but you go with whatever is in your stash already. (Have you noticed the obvious sequence error? The die cut flowers in the previous photo have already been inked. Oops!).

The petals are going to be shaped using a "bowl" technique. There are plenty of tutorials online and in books, where you'll see this method demonstrated. It's also very versatile and can be applied to all sorts of flower shapes.  This is where you will need a mouse mat as your base to work on. You will also use your ball tool for this, or as you will see, in my case, the end of a paint brush (pens, with a smooth capped end, can also be used). Begin by pushing the tip of your tool down onto the edges of the petals. The 'give' in the mouse mat will begin to crinkle the paper. 

Once you've pushed down or stabbed the edges, move onto the centre of the petal. You will now be seeing the petal form into a cup.

Now, you want to swipe the tip of your tool from the centre of the petal to the centre of the flower, using gentle pressure. The petal should be lifting and curling upwards.

Do this to all the petals on all the leaves and you should end up with six "bowls" - hence the name of this technique.

Flip over the two larger flowers and the two medium flowers.

Taking your tool tip, push down on the centre of the flowers, into the mouse mat. You may need to gently help the petals to fan out as you do this. There will now be a gentle bowl shape in the centre of the flower with the inverted cup shaped petals slightly lifting.

You will now have four shaped flowers with the two smallest still in their bowl shape.

Glue the two largest flowers together, interleaving the spaces between the petals.

Once the glue has dried, adhere the medium arrangement to the larger one. Press down, only in the centre, to ensure the flowers keep their shape.

Now it isn't easy to see in the photo above, but you will now add a dollop of pva glue to the inside of one of the smallest flowers. You will then take your finger and spread it around the inside.

Gather the petals into a tighter shape by pinching in with your fingers and letting them overlap each other to form a bud. Hold like this, until the glue sets. By spreading the glue out evenly in the previous step, you will speed up the time this takes, which will probably be just a couple of minutes. You will know the glue has set, when you take your fingers away and the bud doesn't open out.

Add glue to the inside of the remaining smaller flower. You can just add a few dots this time, you do not need to spread it out.

Pop the bud into the centre.

And again pinch the petals up and around the bud, letting the petals overlap. Hold in place until the glue sets. Alternatively, once you have pinch the shape together, release and let the petals unfurl to form a looser bud.

Attach this bud to the top of your flower with another dab of glue and leave to dry.

For sizes and instructions on how to cut out leaf shapes, refer to the end of the Tattered Bloom tutorial here. This time around however, I have used black card sprayed with Perfect Pearls Mists, Heirloom Gold.

Now, instead of wetting the card and crumpling up, you are going to run them through a paper crimper, making sure you insert the folded leaves in at a 45 degree angle.

Open the shapes up and you will have a trio of beautiful, shaped leaves.

Glue the leaves to back of the flower and you are done. If you don't have a crimping tool, use the technique described in the tattered bloom post. Or you may have a punch or die to create your leaves. Use whatever is at hand. 

Note I have not given you any sizes in these instructions. Just Large, Medium & Small. That's because you can make these flowers in a variety of shapes and sizes. You have the creative freedom to produce a whole spray of blooms, large and small, with different flower shapes and colours of card to suit. And if you are so inclined, you can even hand cut your own flower shapes. 

This flower is a bit more involved than the previous ones I've demonstrated and yes, you may find your hand begins to ache with all that stabbing, pressing and shaping that's required. It's a flower you can make one or two at a time. It's certainly not one to try in batches. However, the results are worth it.


Mumbai Florist said...

I like it flowers and very great blog.
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Anne Jagger said...

These are wonderful Paul, many thanks for showing us how to make them. Thank you too for your very generous comments XXXX

Frank Garcia said...

Wow Paul thank you for this tutorial, really gorgeous blooms and a beautiful color you selected. How beautiful, I will have to give these a try as well. Love that color of distress, one of my faves too. The tag turned out amazing as always! Gorgeous! Yes it does take a while to finish up these tutorials but once you do, it's fun I look at them! Thank You for this tut!

Hugs! Frank

Neet said...

I've been doing these today but forgot you used different sizes. Mine are not quite (read a lot) like yours but I am trying (some say "very").
Thanks for your wonderful posts on flower making - you are the best.
Love you
Neet xx

Kasey ~ in Oz said...

Fabulous tutorial Paul, thank you I love the crimped leaves. Beautiful flowers.

Kasey ~ in Oz

alexa said...

My goodness, these (and the detailed tutorial) are a work of art! So very pretty ...

Kory K said...

I've been wanting to try to make some flowers- after seeing all the beautiful things you and Frank come up with- but it never clicked in my head HOW to even get started...until NOW!

Thank you for such a great tutorial!!!

I love it and can't wait to try it!

And way to go with the tape!! lol I am DYIN to get the new 'Swatch' SMASH tape!!!


Chris said...

Fabulous flowers, Paul. Thanks so much for the tutorial, I'm definitely going to give these a try.

Off to find my crimper....

Andrea Ewen said...

You are a wealth of DIY floral knowledge, Paul! I (I'm sure all of us) appreciate all the time and hard work that you put into these tutorials...they are very informative and easy to follow in their instructions. I especially love the tip about putting the leaves through the crimper..I would have never thought of that! Keep that river of inspiration flowing, my dear~ :)

SueB said...

Gorgeous flower & great tutorial. I found your site last week. I didn't have much time to spend but loved what I saw. I really love the crimped leaves. It is definitely genious! My thought is "duh, why didn't I think of that???' I did pin your tut to pinterest and listed the full website to get back to you. Thanks!

Katy said...

Love these leaves! Gotta get out the crimper!! I love the flowers too :)

Helen said...

Neet sent me here and I am so glad she did, what an elaborate tutorial, I can well believe it took all day... thanks so much!

Sarah Anderson said...

fab flowers Paul! And no, I'm not surprised, that is a fabulously detailed tutorial and taking the photos takes time too. Great job!

Michele said...

Fab tutorial, Paul! Thanks for putting all the effort into it! x

Flowers To India said...

I like it your blog and very nice content. thanks a lot for sharing.

Five Star Dime said...

Great tutorial, thank you for posting this. I will try this soon, this way you can use any color you would like, and I won't have to put my project on 'hold' anymore, to run to the craftstore for some matching flowers. I will just create them myself. Keep up the lovely work,


Diana Joy said...

Paul; this is the most beautiful tag I've ever seen. Love, love it. How clever to crimp the leaves....I'm using that idea very very soon. Thanks. Your flower tut is wonderful; very well written, photographed and beautiful too boot! I've saved this to my fav tuts.