Curling up..

Merry flowers of MayHere’s a delightful idea for Mother’s Day or a special occasion that was inspired by a design in Fleur Creatif, a Belgian floral design magazine. It resonated with me immediately for its extensive use of artist’s papers.

Susan DetjensThe design uses a square ‘board’, in this case a lightweight house insulation panel on which a paper covered coiling ‘channel’ holds the blossoms.

Paper at workSeveral sheets of assorted artists papers are used to cover the substrate. This sets the mood of the board. Quiet or dramatic or crazy…what would you choose? These are a group of purple papers leftover from another project. The pink square is a sheet of Owens Corning Foamular another leftover from the Memphis design. The large Stanley knife cuts this easily. Just watch your fingers.

Spiral coil from aboveThe idea is to make a standing spiral that will encompass the flowers. Draw the shape with a marker. Here I have used a combo of leftover gutter guard and a last bit of other stuff from who knows what. I stood it up with short skewers which I trimmed to the height of the ‘fencing’.

catalogue papers glued onTurning the fences into the channel is the trickiest part. Using torn strips from recycled catalogues and matt finish Modge Podge (a decoupage like glue/finisher at craft stores) adhere it to the surface of the insulation and up and over the fence. This is the most fiddly part as the paper isn’t to thrilled to stick with the fence. You can be as messy as you want with this. Disposable gloves are a must.

catalogue all glued downOnce it is all in place and dry, go back over it and add the colored papers. Tear, rather than cut, the paper so it feathers together. This will go much faster because the paper loves the paper. Go over the edge of the channel but it’s your choice whether to cover every part with the catalogue. Once the flowers are in it won’t show.

Spiral background papers in placeNext add the paper for the background and sides of the board with the Modge Podge. Once it is all dry. Small pieces of Oasis (saved off-cuts) can be cut to fit in the channel. So far we are in recycler’s heaven. Line the channel with pieces of ‘Press n Seal’ and line it with the hydrated Oasis.

Susan DetjensAs part of a wonderful day at The Author’s GC in Middletown CT, I filled it with an almost marbleized-looking hydrangea which had purple, green and white coloration. Added to that are small open blush sweetheart roses, green mini carnations, brezilla the green berry looking clusters, and galax leaves.

Susan DetjensAlways mindful of the good advice to try an idea 3 times, a second version does away with the awkward angles of the square base and uses a round base (18”) to seem more harmonious. I used green and gold papers purchased at PaperSource when I visited ‘my’ Long Island cottage (Thanks, ML).  PaperSource (stores all over the US and online) is a great resource for these kind of papers in all kinds of colors. Note: the dark-looking inner ring is not the table but the shadow. It’s green all the way.

Susan DetjensAt this angle, the height of the inner coil can be seen. The channel sides would show much more (and the delightful papers) as the centerpiece of a Mother’s Day table and seen from more of the side. If you hurry, there’s time to do this!


About Susan

Susan Detjens is a former landscape painter, she lectures, demonstrates and runs workshops on floral design for museums, horticultural organizations and garden clubs across the US.
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