Paper daffodils


How was your week fellow artists?  Did you sketch anything?  I’ve been hard at work trying different ways to make paper daffodils…making templates, an outline, photos, videos….more videos….and did I mention mistakes?  Well hopefully with today’s lesson, you’ll be making flowers, instead of mistakes.

First things first, your shopping list:

  • scissors
  • wire cuttersimage
  • floral wire, preferably fabric or paper wrapped wire stems, found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in the floral section.  Mine is 18 gauge.
  • green floral tape, also at Hobby Lobby or Michaels
  • straws (optional, but will give you more realistic looking bulbs.  I tried both plastic straws with flexible tips and some thinner paper straws I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby.)
  • stamens, yellow or orange.  These can found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels in the cake decorating section.
  • cotton balls (also optional, but I like to wrap cotton around the base of the flower to make it wider)
  • crepe paper (a darker color for the inside petal and lighter color for the outside petals):  You can do white with orange center, white with yellow center, yellow with orange center, or all yellow.  I like the stiffness of a heavier crepe paper for the center petal and a thinner, more flexible crepe for the outside petals.  I order most of my crepe paper from Castle in the Air or  For the outside petals, this time I went cheap and easy with streamer crepe from Hobby Lobby.  You can do the inside petal in this thinner crepe as well if you want a more delicate wispy look (or if you’re antsy and ready to start right away….instant gratification!)
  • if using straws to make the stem thicker, you’ll want a hot glue gun or craft glue to set in place.
  • a ruler to measure your crepe for cutting


  1.  Print the petal templates I created just for this project (boy was this a huge learning curve for me….I definitely have a lot of digital know-how to learn):  Templates, daffodil [23402]  These are the outside petals.
  2. You will need 3 of each size cut from the thinner crepe.  I like to fold the crepe into three sections and cut each size petal all at once like so:
  3. Ok, so now for the center petal.  Cut a section from your stiffer crepe that is 3″ wide by 2″ deep.  As you can see by the larger orange crepe (above), you want your shorter side with the grain of the paper.
  4. The stamen will consist of 3 to 4 yellow or orange cake decorating stamens.  Or you can make your own stamen with a 1″ wide by 1.5 ” piece of crepe, cut with the grain on the long side and fringed with scissors.  To fringe, simply make several cuts down the length of the crepe (with the grain) about 3/4 of the way down, like so:
  5. Now cut ‘waves’ on one long side your center petal crepe (as demonstrated in the third photo above).
  6. Now lay out all your petals, stamens, a wire stem, and several cut sections of floral tape.  These are what you will use to wrap each part of the flower to the wire stem.  It is best to cut them ahead of time before you forget….and then all of a sudden you have a handful of petals perfectly placed and no tape….no this has never once happened to me…this is all hypothetical of course ;).
  7. Now limber up those fingers because this is where the fun really begins!  You will first be attaching the stamen.  If you fringed your own stamen, crinkle the base of the crepe as you wrap it around the stem.  If you bought cake decorating stamens, simply fold them in half, so the round tips are all together and hold tight against the end of the wire stem.  To attach the stamen, press one end of a smaller section of tape to the base of the stamen and wrap the tape around and down the length of the wire stem, stretching slightly as you go to activate the adhesive.  For those of you visual learners, the video below demonstrates wire wrapping technique as well as most of the flower steps.
  8. The cotton ball step is optional but if you want a wider flower base, pull off a small section of a cotton ball and wrap around the base of the flower.  Secure it with tape.
  9. Now, grab your center petal piece and stretch each round to give a flutterly feel to the petal.  Crinkle the straight base as you circle it once around the stem, overlapping just a little at the end.  Secure by wrapping with tape.  Shape the base of the petal by stretching it slightly all the way around to make it look more round rather than crinkled.
  10. Now, let’s move on the outside petals.  First stretch the middle of each petal gently so that it bends slightly backwards.  Scrunch the base of each petal.  Now attach each petal so that they bend away from the center petal with floral tape, alternating the 2 styles.  You can place each petal where you want them and hold them all tightly while wrapping or you can cut a really long piece of tape and attach each petal individually while wrapping.  I almost always drop a petal or three if I try to hold them all while wrapping, so I use the latter method.
  11. Optional styling:  Insert stem into a straw and push straw up close to the base of the flower.  Bend the straw if you are using a flexible one since daffodils tend to look down at the ground.  Glue the straw at the top and bottom to secure it to the wire.  Now wrap the flower stem, including the straw, from top to bottom.  You will probably need to wrap it twice to cover the color of the straw.
  12. Clip the end of the wire at the bottom to the desired length with wire cutters.  I left 2 to 3 inches of wire below the straw so that I can insert that end into some foam for a easy daffodil centerpiece, which I will be demonstrating in my next post.


Now your flower is finished!  If you completed this project, I’d like to see your work!  Post a pic in my comments or email it

Stay tuned for my next blog post on how to create a centerpiece using your paper daffodils.  I have my container picked out and will be making about 6 or 7 daffodils for it.  So start making your daffodils and select a short vase or bowl to showcase them!  Until next time, paper artists…..this is KristyMichele signing out.




Would you like a spot of tea?

img_3979Well it’s amateur hour!  Don’t get excited…I’m talking about my video editing skills, not your sketching…silly.  I don’t have exactly the right equipment and believe it or not, it’s incredibly difficult to video my work with my phone in my left hand while sketching with my right.  That being said, if you’ll bear with the rudimentary photos/video footage and hopefully-not-too-vague instructions, you can learn my process and create a sketch of your own…..perhaps the first sketch of a well-loved sketchbook.

I selected one of my favorite things to sketch, a teacup.  This one is fairly simple in shape and detail and a good confidence booster if it’s your first watercolor skimg_3966etch.  For this exercise you will need a cheap watercolor or craft brush (something soft, not bristly), a small set of watercolor pencils, a permanent pen, and of course paper or a sketchbook thick enough to handle some water.  I am using my Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen size S (but a Bic or a Sharpie pen works just fine), a watercolor pencil set from Faber-Castell, a cheap watercolor brush that came in a set of 5 at Hobby Lobby, and my Strathmore 500 Series Mixed Media Journal.


First I look closely at my subject.  What colors are represented?  I only used blue, green, yellow and brown in my sketch.  Where are the shadows and highlights?  You can squint your eyes to blur your focus and see these better.  I won’t get into too much detail on shading yet.  This exercise is really just meant to get you loosened up and having fun.

Step 1:  Draw the outline of your subject.  Don’t worry about scale or proportion.  Just draw what you see.  My teacup drawing isn’t perfectly round either, and that’s okay.  It’s just a sketchbook after all. img_3964

Step 2:  I color in the blue and green parts of the tea cup with watercolor pencil.  The photo does not show it well, but the bottom of the cup has blue merging with green.  I notice that there is a shadow on the left side of the cup and the inside of the handle where it curves in.  I use brown to represent these shadows like so:img_3967


Step 3:  I decide to go ahead and finish the outside of the cup by adding some water with my brush.  Dip your brush in the water and blot a little with a paper towel so that you don’t drown your paper.  I first deepen the color of the blue and green parts with water and let that dry just a few seconds before moving to the brown.  To finish the outside of the teacup, I start my brush on the side with the brown shading and drag it across the cup.  This way, it gets lighter and lighter as you go to the right, creating the illusion of the roundness of the cup.  Leave the lightest parts alone of the cup alone.  This part is probably best shown by the video below.

Step 4:  Now, let’s move to the inside of the cup and the tea itself.  The shadows on the inside of the cup are to the right so I add brown on the right inside rim.  For the tea I use yellow on the left (highlight) side and brown on the right (shadow side).  I blend the two colors of the tea with water using my brush.

Step 5:  The shadow the cup casts on my desk looks like it’s falling behind the cup.  I draw a thin line of shading underneath the cup and a larger block of color up each side.  For the shadow I use brown and a little blue layered on top.  Then add water and sort of muss it all up and you’re done!

Bonus:  I like to add a sentence or two in whimsical lettering about the sketch….where I am, what I’m doing at the time, how I’m feeling….whatever feels appropriate to say.  Date, sign your name, or frame an outline in pen if you want.

Now admire your work, let it dry, and move on to a fresh page.  You did it and hopefully had fun in the process!  I definitely did!  Cya next week, artists.  Until later, this is KristyMichele….signing out.