Tuesday, June 24, 2008

by popular* demand: grunge flowers tutorial

well...i say "tutorial" ...but that seems to imply:

a. that i know what i'm doing
b. that i can convey it clearly to you

neither of which is particularly true. on the other hand,
"a bunch of random facts about those weird little distressed flowers i've been making lately...WITH PICTURES!" just seemed like such a bad title!!! :) so let's go with "tutorial", ok?

step one: getting started

supplies i used: circle punches, paper scraps, various inks, a few stamps, foam tape, jewel brads, gluestick. of course, like most crafty things, you can make these in LOTS of ways...i will tell you what i *did*...rather than what you SHOULD do!

step two: the flower centers

does it seem a bit backwards to do the insides first?! well, i s'pose it does...but since we are going to "wing it" with our flower shapes...and since i never have ANY idea how big to make the outsides to fit my circle punch sizes...i generally do the centers first.

in this case, i punched them and then stamped on them using pale green ink on the chinese characters stamp, followed by black ink on the birds. i wadded them up...unwadded...wadded again...and unwadded till they were nice & wrinkly! i inked the interior wrinkles with the green chalk ink; inked the edges randomly with black, and called it a day.

step three: petals!

i generally make these mid-project to fit in a specific space, so at this point i calculate the area i want the flowers to fit in & arrange the circles there to get an idea of the sizes needed. then i take each circle off, place it on a scrap of patterned paper & draw the flower shape around the circle lightly in pencil. the essential point, though, is: NEAT & EVEN are absolutely NOT what you're going for...try to be messy and off-center!!!

step four: cut it out

obviously, the next thing to do is make your shapeless blobs into vaguely flower-shaped blobs. cut out around outlines, trying *not* to be NEAT & SMOOTH!!! be fast. be jerky. try to leave some "flat spots". (if you are habitually tidy...like me...this is the hardest part! a moving vehicle on a bumpy road is a good place to practice!) (though YOU should probably not be the one driving said vehicle!) :)

step five: additional layers

i suspect this step is pretty self-explanatory: but if you'd like your flowers to be particularly dimensional you can make either a second set of petals OR a second set of centers. this time i went with petals, so basically i just duplicated the previous step...

...and they came out looking a bit like you see above! then i crumpled the petals a bit and inked the edges.

step six: assemblage

i attach the centers with glue, or staples, or brads, or...duct tape...? again, being in GRUNGE mode, i try to place them a bit off-kilter. once all the flowers are assembled, i arrange them on a card... (or whatever) ...and decide if some of them need to be raised up on foam tape. then all that is left is to attach the flowers... (in this case those brads are NOT just decorative!) ...and wait for the universal acclaim which is sure to be forthcoming! :)

to see how some of these particular flowers look in their natural habitat, scroll down to paper adventure operation 22!

*well, june and stef asked!


  1. SO super cute!! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. You are a wonderful friend!

    I tried them today (I just posted), but with fewer centers, and I cheated a little...I used my QK Revolution flower dies.

    I will have to try your way...yours are more fun and dimensional.

  3. You have the prettiest shapeless pink blobs in history ;-)

    I'm no paper crafter, but even I could follow that! They're gorgeous. x

  4. What a great tutorial. Guess I'll be crinklin' and wrinklin' tonight to give it a try. A tip on the wrinkling of paper though...you can spritz the beginning shape with a mini-mister and it will crinkle very nicely.

  5. great tutorial Lauren!!! i don't know if the anal freak who lives inside me and calls herself my muse would let me do such a thing as random...but by golly, i am gonna give it a try...oh, and i really want a circle punch!!!

  6. Phew!!!That was a fantastic Tutorial.......Yaaah ten out of ten and a massive applause from me...
    and I gotta agree with Kitty you have the prettiest shapless pink blobs in hisory!!!....lol....

  7. Thank you my favorite funky fabulous female for honoring my request with pictures and instructions ... you rock!

  8. PS ... I see the birds :^) ... great minds thing alike.

  9. Awesome....now I can make Laurenish flowers to decorate my newly acquired luggage tag album! I'm not sure how I'm gonna go with the crinkling...it's kind of weird but when I went to a workshop with Madonna last week there was a crinkled bit on her make and take and about half the ladies just couldn't bring themselves to crinke the paper!!! But I think I'll force myself because they wouldn't look so cool without it.

  10. Hi Lauren...

    I hope you dont mind I tagged you!!!lol...check out my blog...

    Have a lovely Day:)

  11. those would look so beautiful made extra large and grouped as bunting.

  12. This is the PERFECT project for me!


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