dictionary paper blooms and salvaged aluminum wire

I’ve been on the lookout for paper flowers that can be made easily with old dictionary paper. I wanted to add them to our altered bottles to pretty-up the photos in our etsy shop, and to make the bottles themselves even more of a unique gift item.

Jeff adds the sculpted design on the bottles with pieces of masking tape.

Layers of glue are brushed on to make it hard, durable and paint-able. If you would like a closer look at Jeff applying masking tape to a bottle, we have a video showing exactly that, here.

The flower blossom is made from one page of a dictionary (any paper could be used though).
The page is torn or cut in half long ways, and then each piece is folded in half, long ways again.
With scissors, cuts are made on the fold side, about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) in width and about two thirds deep into the folded paper.

This is placed onto a strip of masking tape---the folded edge away from the tape. Now, the photo only shows one section of the dictionary page being used. But, I use both, when I’m making these by just adding the second piece right next to the first one. This makes a much longer strip, and a fuller flower.

For the stem, a salvaged piece of aluminum wire is used that we saved when a hurricane brought down all of our power, cable and phone lines into our yard. You can use any type of wire or stick though. Thin tree branches look really nice.
After cutting the wire with wire cutters, and twisting one end in a small coil shape to help stable the bottom while it stands in the bottle, the other end is attached to the tape.

Then the paper strip is slowly rolled up, keeping the tape in line with itself and pinching it down as you go along.

The ‘petals’ will need to be gently pulled down, a bit, to open up the blossom.
One more thing that I’ve done, for the flowers in our etsy shop, is run the paper through our printer to color the paper. It gives a nice transparent shade of color to your blossom. This is easily done by creating a picture, in any paint program, the size of your paper, with a swash of color down the middle where the fold will be.

These are a couple of our 'nu cola bloom bottles'!
cheers, ~dale