Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What to do with paper napkins. Besides blow your nose.

So a while ago I did a swap with Halsey at Spunky Junky.  She's so fun.  If you read her blog you'll fall in love, really.  We are planning on doing another swap soon... see, for the first swap I got to pick a secret ingredient and for the second swap, it's her choice.  So tune in soon to see what the next one will be!

I chose paper or cloth napkins.  You can read her tutorial here, if you missed it.  This is what I put on her blog.

My secret ingredient is up first.  What did I pick?  


More precisely, I chose napkins or handkerchiefs, paper or fabric.  See how much there was to play with??

I happened to have two packs of BRIGHT red and orange napkins that I got at Walmart a bajillion years ago, thinking "I could make something cool with these bright colored napkins" but then losing momentum mid-brainstorm.

I revived the napkins for this project and finally decided to make a wreath.  Here was my inspiration:
And after a lot of experimentation, some throwing my hands up in despair, a bit of fake cursing, and a dash of almost trashing the entire idea and throwing it all in the garbage, here is the end result of my napkin poppies:

You've gotta have:
napkins (preferably red and orange.  You know, poppy-colored)
hot glue gun
stick wreath
black beads or buttons

Now, I will start by showing you how to create the poppies.  I started by making several different shapes for the petals and gluing them together.  If you are the kind of person that likes precise measurements and so forth, you probably will not like me.  I don't measure.  But I will try to be as explanatory as possible, and really, it's pretty easy.  
We will begin with the four-petal poppy design.
Start by laying your napkin out.  For the purposes of this tutorial, anytime you see the napkin laid out like this, the corner of the napkin that becomes the middle when opened will always be at the bottom left - the folded part of the napkin along the bottom.

Cut a rounded petal-shape out of the "middle" corner of your napkin.  

I wanted to make my petals have the ridges of the poppy petals in the photos above, so I decided on an according fold.
Begin your according fold on the very side.

Then, making teeny tiny folds, go across the petal, making sure that the folds aren't straight up and down, but rather begin at the bottom of the petal and kind of fan out.  (Except at the very sides of the petal.  Those go straight up and down.)

When it's all folded up it'll look like a shriveled chili pepper.

Unfold it and use your scissors to cut along the curve at the top of the petal - just cut bits out at random intervals to make it look more natural.

When you unfold the petal, it'll look like this.

Now you have to glue it together to give it a more poppy shape.  Below is one possibility, but you could also just play with it until you get the shape you like.

Next, we'll do the three-petal poppy.  Start by laying your napkin out the same way, and then cut a shape like so:

When you unfold it, you'll get two pieces that look like this:

Fold them in half and then do the accordion fold.

When the accordion fold is finished it'll look something like this v-shape:

Unfold it and use your scissors to make the curve jaggedy and wavy again:

When unfolded, it will now look like this:

Now you need to glue it.  Here's how I did it, but again, you can experiment and glue it the way you like:

Now for the two-petal poppy.  Begin with your napkin laid out as above.  Cut two little bumps out of the side without the fold.

When opened, you get two pieces that look like this:

Fold them each in half and then accordion fold them up.

Use your scissors to make the curve all jaggedy and wavy.

And glue to make a poppy shape.  Maybe something like this:

Of course, you can make single petals as well to create a whole flower or add to the pieces you've already made.  Just cut out an oval shape, fold in an accordion fold, make the curved edge wavy, and separate all the pieces.

Then you can combine your petal shapes in different ways.  For instance, you can put a single petal with a double and a four-petal.

And it will look a little like this:

Now, you've got your stick wreath.  (In actuality, you can use any wreath form you want, but I liked the stick wreath because it went with the "natural" element).

And one at a time, glue your poppies to the wreath.

You can bunch them as close as you want or spread them out a bit.  Mine aren't bunched too tightly, but they are positioned so you can't see a ton of the sticks in the front.

Just keep going.  

And when I was done with the red ones, I positioned some orange ones here and there for a pop of color.

Take your black beads.  Mine were from this old bracelet I never wear.  I just cut it apart.

And each individual poppy gets at least one black bead,

but the bigger poppies get more.

The black beads are pretty essential to making the wreath look like it's made of paper flowers and not just crumpled up tissues.


And there you have it!  It's finished!  Hang and impress your neighbors.

Napkins.  Not just for nose blowing anymore.


Wani said...


Michelle L. said...

Um, were they ever for nose blowing? (Kidding - of course I snerf into napkins all the time!) This is gorgeous. Kimberly! I LOVE the pleated petals, they look really real. I live in poppyland aka California, so I oughta know.

Great tutorial!

Carrie said...

what the awesome?? super cute.

Julia said...


Hani said...

Wow. You have done a fantastic job on this wreath.. I love it! I wish I had come across this one before my wreath wordplay.. I am featuring this wreath on my Facebook page right now, :)
Thanks for sharing

Jessica said...

I love this wreath!! It's so colorful and different from anything else I've seen. You did a great job!

Kelly Innes said...

what a gorgeous wreath. It inspired me to make this:

mermaid said...

Very beautiful!

Bella @ Bella before and after said...

Totally adorable Kimberly. Everything about that wreath makes me happy :)

I love your blog so much, and have been horrible at keeping up, but I redid my blog roll again, and now I have all my FAV BLOGS updated daily on there. So I can hopefully keep up better.

Stop by anytime to say hello, I'm currently working on getting super organized (on a dime) and of course sharing some yummy recipes too!

Have a WONDERFUL day my friend!!
Hugs, Bella :)
Bella Before and After
Euro Style Cakes.

Ann-Marie - momstown mama said...

Love this wreath! We included it (and a link!) in on our 11 Poppy crafts for November 11th here. Great idea!

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