While the weather might be warmer than it was before, and while I pulled these lovely daffodils out of my garden last week …
… my garden still looks like this. Which means that my peonies haven’t bloomed yet. If they’re going to bloom at all. And I like peonies. They’re one of my favourites.
So I’m going to make my own here. It’s not that hard. I found a quick tutorial at Two Shades of Pink and had at it.
Start with a bunch of coffee filters. I don’t know how many. A bunch.
And some warm water. And some food colouring. Or watercolour paint.
Dissolve some of your paint/dye in the water. This is some Crayola stuff I broke off and stirred in.
I tried this craft paint but it wasn’t water soluble, not really.
Then dip your filters into the coloured water. You can do a bunch at once. And they don’t need to sit in the water for more than a few seconds.
Experiment with the outer edges.
Versus the inside. Or the whole thing.
Squeeze out the excess dye with your hands.
I totally dyed my hand pink.
Spread out the filters to dry completely.
Mine took a few hours, less when I fully separated the layers and put them in a place with lots of air flow.
This is the full stack next day.
Now, in addition to the filters, you will need scissors, a stapler (with staples), and then some tape or wire (I have floral wire here).
Grab between 6 and 8 of the filters and stack them up. Flatten them a bit with your hands.
Fold the filters in half, then half again so you have a little cone.
Take your scissors and scallop the rounded edge of the cone — don’t worry about perfection, it’s all good.
Now unfold the thing and ruffle it up a bit. Pinch that spot at the very centre where you made your folds.
Flip the filters over and you can see what I mean by that pinch.
Staple over that pinched spot to hold things in place.
Now flip it back over and smooth it out a bit.
Pull up the edges of the topmost (innermost) filter and, working from the bottom, squish the filter in on itself, leaving a nice fluffy gathering on top.
Keep going with each successive layer.
Make sure to keep the top nice and fluffy, while still jamming the paper against itself.
Gather up the bottom layer and push it upwards, squeezing into the little handle you’ve created for yourself.
The paper will hold its shape for a short time, but you want to fix it more permanently. You can use tape around the little nub here or floral wire, which is what I used.
I attached one flower to one end of the wire and another to the bottom. What am I going to do with it? I’m getting to that.
Because of the variation in the way I dyed the filters, you can see different colour gradations in the finished flowers.
On this one I put the darker filters in the middle.
This was the resulting bloom.
I used 8 filters per bloom and ended up with 18 flowers finished, which means I had 144 filters dyed.
When I was finished I gathered some of the blossoms that were tied together and I used an additional piece of floral wire to wind their stems together.
And it made two lovely little bouquets of 9 flowers each.
I don’t even want to talk about that horrible plaster job in the background. The landlord took our chimney away and now I have no place to display my work.
So until I figure out how to compensate for my lack of a fireplace, I’ve put my pseudo peonies flanking my television. Because I’m classy like that.