Hi, everyone and welcome to Paper Flowers 101 & How to Make Paper Flower Stamens. If you missed my previous paper flower features, click here to catch up on all the features: Paper Flowers 101 Series.
Today, I like to introduce the lovely Kate Alarcon from TheCobraLily. This girl has so many tricks up her sleeves, I can’t even handle it all. Want to see her in action? Click play for the video below.
About Kate Alarcon
I started posting photos of paper flowers, along with other things I make, on Instagram in March of last year. I think I was really lucky in that – thanks to the work of people like Tiffanie Turner (@tiffanieturner), Lynn Dolan (@lmdolan75), Jennifer Tran (@_papetal), Susan Beech (@apetalunfolds) , and Kelsey Elam (@kelsbe).
Paper flowers were having such a moment that it was easier than it might have been with another craft to get my images regrammed by bigger accounts, and that helped to build my following.
Soon, I started getting requests to do classes and for custom flowers inquiries. It kind of took on a life of its own.
One of my favorite things now is having built up a group of regulars in classes, of fellow paper lovers on Instagram, and favorite customers. I used to feel like kind of a weirdo because I had these kooky interests, but now I have a community of people who like what I like, and that’s been life-changing.
Tips from Kate:
I think my best tip, or at least, one of the ones that I believe in most strongly is: don’t over-focus on realism right away.
When you first get started, you’re often still building the skills that will allow you to make the rose that fools the eye, but that’s not the be all and end all of paper flowers.
Whatever your skill level is, focus on styling around the level of realism you can achieve right now. Some of my favorite paper flower artists make these beautiful, stylish, stylized flowers that are better than real!
What resources do you use to find new flower inspirations? (books, websites, IG accounts…)
I do find a lot of floral inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest—but I’m especially grateful to live in an area with so many beautiful gardens, flower shops, and flower markets.
For me, working with a live model as opposed to a photograph makes it much easier for me to have a sense of what the flower really looks like in three dimensions, and to notice how the tiny details contribute to the overall feel of the spring or stem.
My biggest problem is going to the flower market and buying more models than I can possibly recreate during the vase life of my haul. So I’m trying to be a little more disciplined these days.
Where do you see your business in 5 years? Or What are your goals?
One of my long-term goals is to have typical, predictable workdays, since right now, each day varies so much depending on my kids’ schedules, whether someone is sick, what project I’m working on, etc.
In five years, I’d like to be able to delegate more of the business logistics so I can focus more on the creative part of this, but I’m sure I have that in common with most other makers.
I’d like to have a schedule where, regardless of what else is going on, there’s time every day just to work at making better and better flowers (and who knows what else.)
Items Kate loves to use*:
- 18 gauge cloth-covered floral wire
- 8mm wooden beads
- white cosmetic wedge sponges for applying glue
- sharp scissors
- Design Master Color Tool Spray
- millinery stamens that coordinate with your paper color (Rose Milleor 32° North for similar)
- 1.5” polystyrene ball (I buy mine at Michaels)
–poppy templates –peony templates –allium templates here
*(via Amazon incl. affiliated links)
Paper Flowers 101 & How to make paper flower stamens:
How Kate organizes her stamens: Until recently, I kept them all together in a box, but I’m working on setting them up in an easily accessible shadow box, so I can see what I have all at once.
How to make your own paper flower stamens: You can make your own stamens by dipping a crepe paper fringe in glue and then home-made crepe paper confetti. For larger stamens, you can wrap crepe paper around the tip of a wire (which is how I do them for my tiger lilies.)
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