Valentine’s Shadow Box: How to Make Rolled Paper Flowers
Colorful, versatile, and long-lasting, these easy to make paper flowers will look beautiful and vibrant for a long time, making them the perfect choice for countless projects. We are going to be making a Valentines Day shadowbox, but these fun little flowers can be adapted and used in different projects over and over again.
There are as many options for colors and prints to make your blossoms as there are real flowers, and maybe even more! When you are choosing your paper keep in mind that you don’t have to be constrained to just one color or print. Mixing different prints with the same or similar colors or choosing a few different shades of the same color, like we’re doing today, can be a great way to add variety to your project without making it look too busy.
For this project we are going to be using:
- Various shades of red, medium weight card stock for the flowers. To fill the heart shape in a 12in x 12in shadow box we will be cutting out 30 six inch spirals, and those will make approximately 2-3 inch flowers. The size will change depending on how tightly you roll them. Be sure to adjust the size of your spirals before you cut them if you plan to make a larger or smaller sized project.
- Black card stock, one 8in. x 8in. square
- Dark red card stock, one 12in x 12in square
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks. Other craft glues would work as well. Feel free to use what works best for your project and let us know in the comments what you used!
- One black 12in x 12in shadow box
- Tools for curling your petals. The Cricut weeding tool is a great option. You can also use a paper quilling tool or make your own. A regular pair of tweezers will also get the job done. Anything small and rounded that you can pull your paper petals over while curling them with your thumb will work. Please follow the step-by-step picture guide for a visual example of how to curl your flowers and tips to keep from ripping them as you go.
- Rose spiral shape or any other flower spiral shape you choose. For this project we’re using this rose pattern that I designed, feel free to use it as well!
If you are using a Cricut cutting machine:
- Black permanent vinyl to decorate the front of the shadow box.
- Creative Fabrica Font – In this article, the Beauty Heart Anatasha font was used.
- Green or blue Cricut cutting mat.
- Transfer tape for vinyl decal
- Flat scraper tool or plastic card
If you are not using a Cricut cutting machine:
- Scissors to cut out your flower shapes.
- A printer to print the spiral flower shape on to regular copy paper to create a template to trace.
- A pencil to trace your flower shapes lightly onto your card stock.
Be sure to read through all the instructions at least once before you actually get started. Once you have decided on paper and size for your project print the flower spiral template and cut it out. Trace lightly around your template onto your card stock until you have as many flowers as you will need. Cut the spiral flower shape from your colored paper.
If you are using a Cricut cutting machine:
Upload the template to Cricut Design Space. Use the magic wand tool to remove the background from the template and save it as a cut file. Then load it onto your new project canvas. Duplicate the spiral shape by right-clicking it and pressing “Duplicate” from the menu. Do that until you have enough flowers for your project. Click Make It and follow the on-screen instructions. Be sure to select the correct weight of card stock from the materials list.
Making the flowers
After you have cut out your spiral shapes:
Start making the flower by holding the center of the rose with pliers or tweezers. Begin by rolling the rose starting at the tapered part at the outside of the spiral shape, until you get to the semicircle at the end. Fold the semicircle to cover the bottom of the flower. Remember that the final size of your flowers will depend on how tight you roll them.
Using your choice of glue, secure the bottom semicircle to the bottom side of your flower, being sure to press all the petals into the glue. Make sure you do not use too much glue, or you will have spillage.
Once you have glued the bottoms on, you can start to curl them. How much is up to you. Make sure you stabilize the flower while you work, so it does not get ripped or deformed. Hold the flower in one hand and with the other hand holding the curling tool take one petal at a time and pull it over the tool and using the thumb on the same hand. Repeat for every petal until you have all of your flowers looking the way you’d like.
Now is a good time to stop and try placing all your finished roses into what you would like the final shape to be. In this case, the shape of a heart. Try different placements of the flowers to see how they look. See if you have any plain or empty spots. Cut out some more roses if necessary. Check that you are happy with your design.
Some things to keep in mind:
- If you are using different colors or sizes in the same project and want it to look more natural, try not to put too many of the same size or color next to each other, to avoid looking unbalanced or cluttered.
- Decide if you like the look of the roses tightly spaced or not.
- I always like to try slightly turning a few different roses to check if it makes the design look better.
- Once you have your finished design, with everything in the final place you would like it to be, I recommend taking a picture to reference later just in case.
Sealing flowers with Spray Sealant
If you are going to seal the flowers with spray sealant, you might want to do it at this point. It is not necessary for every project, especially if you’re using a shadow box. Follow these steps if you want to make your flowers more durable or shiny. Make sure you are in an open, well ventilated area, preferably outside. Put a cover on the ground to protect floors and anything else around your work area. Newspapers, garbage bags, and party style tablecloths all work great. Consider what you will use to hold the flower while you work. Regular tweezers or craft tweezers work best. I do not recommend using pliers or your hands because the spray sealant will most likely make your pliers stuck right away or cause your hands to be sticky, and you will probably ruin your flowers. Try to hold the flower by the bottom semicircle with tweezers and hold it out in front of you. Make sure that nobody is downwind of you while you spray. Spray with short bursts of sealant, being sure to turn the flowers as you go so that all parts get covered. Hold them in the air for a while to let them start drying before placing them down. I keep a few foil trays from a dollar store on hand to place my flowers in while they dry.
Finishing your Valentine’s Day shadow box
Place your chosen background in the shadow box. The one I’m making is 12 inches by 12 inches so that’s how big I cut my paper. You can use any background that you like. Different colored and textured paper will change the overall look of your project. You could also use lace or burlap. Once you’ve cut it to fit your shadow box, place a small amount of hot glue at both top corners, and while being careful to avoid burning your hands or fingers, press the paper down. Give it a few moments to set, then repeat the steps to glue down the bottom two corners.
Reference your picture as you work. I recommend picking one corner of your design to start with. Place your flowers on your background until you have them how you would like the final piece to look. Then one at a time, pick up the flowers and place a small dab of glue on the bottom side before gently pressing them onto the background. Repeat the steps until you have all the flowers in your design glued down.
You can use any extra embellishments you would like. For this project I uploaded the font into design space and cut out my choice of decoration for the shadow box. After carefully weeding my design I used transfer tape and the scraper tool to transfer the permanent vinyl onto the front of my glass. For your Valentine’s day shadow box, you can follow your heart and decorate it however you wish. Tell me about yours in the comments and any other projects where you used these beautiful paper flowers!