Welcome to my journal

A journey into beautiful paper flowers

Follow my experiments exploring the art of paper flower making, the science of natural dyes and researching eco-friendly materials. And now creating delicate wedding bouquets, buttonholes and arrangements that are both beautiful and kind to the planet.

Handmade delicate white Alstroemeria flowers

I made these lovely little white Alstroemeria flowers for a photoshoot I recently had the pleasure of being part of – photos to come shortly!

paper alstroemerias

The flowers were easy to make with only 6 petals, but painting all the tiny speckles was quite time consuming.

white alstroemeria

I love Alstroemerias, they are jolly little flowers and remind me of my own wedding bouquet.

2 June 2021

Midnight blue sloe berries to create dusky blues

Whilst I was pondering the future last autumn, I picked a small bag of sloe berries from the Blackthorn trees along my local hedges and then froze them. The beautiful midnight blue berries are an important winter food source for birds such as thrushes, blackbirds, redwings and fieldfares. So, as with all plant material I forage, I only take a few berries from each tree to produce my natural dye.

sloes berries for natural dye

The berries were gently heated to break down and release their colour. The cooked berries smelt delicious and produced a lovely rich burgundy colour. I strained the fruit through muslin and expecting a wonderful dark pink colour I tested it with a small piece of tissue paper. The paper turned pink but a bit blotchy, so I gave it a quick rinse. Much of the pink was just the fruit residue and washed away but the paper was still a pinky blue. However once the paper was dry, it had turned to a beautiful blue colour more reflective of the fresh sloe berry skins.

The dye produced shades of blue from a deep purple blue to a pale grey blue depending on how long the paper as in the dye.

26 May 2021

Naturally dried fern leaves for bouquets

We have many different types of ferns in our small patch of cool damp woodland including the evergreen Hard Fern (Blechnum spicant). Hard Fern is dimorphic – it has two types of leaves, one sterile and one fertile. I only pick the old sterile leaves, just a couple from each plant, so no harm is done to the plant. They dry really well, keeping their colour and form nicely.

natural dried fern leavesAfter their initial drying in the gentle breeze in the woods I take them home to dry indoors ready to add to bouquets and arrangements.

Apparently the Hard fern roots and young shoots can be cooked and the leaves chewed as a hunger suppressant, to alleviate thirst and as a treatment for stomach problems. Hmm! I think I’ll just stick to admiring them in the woods and picking a few to dry.

17 May 2021

Delicate pale yellow paper tulips

A lovely little bunch of pale yellow double tulips and dried Canary grasses in my great, great grandfather’s mustard pot! The pot is part of a cruet set he won for his prize vegetables back in the 1940s.

I used the bark from the Mahonia shrub in my garden to make a rich yellow dye. It only takes a second to turn the tissue paper a lovely pale yellow. I dipped the edges of the paper and left the the central strip white to get the two tone effect on the petals.

pale yellow paper tulips

8 April 2021

Wedding bouquet of delicate paper roses

My first bouquet of paper flowers!

I love the delicate pastel colours of the different roses put together – so beautiful.

I have also made some off-white paper fern and simple leaves to imitate the bleached leaves that are trending in wedding bouquets at the moment.

paper rose wedding bouquet

The Pampas grasses came from a garden where my husband works and the Canary grasses are grown in Britain. I plan to start growing my own grasses this year which will help to make my bouquets even more homemade.

The bouquet is tied with ribbon made from soft cotton dyed with the same pear bark dye as the hybrid tea roses.

paper flower wedding bouquet

10 March 2021

Making a tissue paper rose

A very quick look at how I make my tissue paper roses.

The petal templates were copied from a real rose. Here I have used onion skin dyed paper for the 37 petals. The petals are curled and then attached to a Midelino stick using homemade glue.

cutting and glueing

Red cabbage makes a lovely purple colour but by adding a little ordinary cooking bicarbonate of soda it turns a teal colour. Red cabbage is ph sensitive, it turns pink with vinegar! I then over dyed the pale orange onion dyed paper with the cabbage to produce an olive green.

natural plant dyes

The sepals are made from the green tissue. And the stem is covered with thin strips wound around it.

orange tissue paper roses

8 March 2021

Removing bark for dyeing

Removing the bark from pear tree branches with my trusty old knife today. I love this knife, purchased when I went to horticultural college many, many years ago. It brings back interesting memories; I met my husband there, but that’s a completely different story, haha!!

The thin slithers of bark are then air dried and stored ready for use. It’s amazing how the shrivelled up, dried out bark pieces come back to life when they are placed in water and make a lovely peach coloured dye.

removing pear bark

The pear tree branches came from an old tree in one of the beautiful gardens my husband works in. After the tree’s annual prune the branches usually end up on the bonfire but this year I was quick to request some for dye making.

pear tree

23 February 2021

Pale yellow paper garden roses

More roses!!

The yellow petals are dyed with Gorse flowers, the orange stamens dyed with dried onion skins, and the green sepals and stems dyed with onion and then over dyed with red cabbage. All glued together with homemade glue on natural Midelino sticks. Totally biodegradable!

pale yellow paper garden roses

8 February 2021

Hybrid tea roses with pink centres

Three beautiful paper hybrid tea shaped roses with delicate pink centres.

The pink dye came from sloe berries I picked last autumn then frozen to use later. The paper for the outer petals was also dipped briefly in the dye but then turned a slight grey colour when dried. Unfortunately they just look white in the photos. All part of the experimenting fun!

tissue paper roses

1 February 2021