The kits can be made up, and look wonderful, just using the instructions provided but to give more definition and shape to each leaf and petal some of the tips below may be useful.
The kits we sell come complete, with the laser cut paper and wire ready for you to put your kits together, using the detailed instructions that are included in each pack, we even included some 'decorative soil' for the plant kits.
All of the kits have been checked before we send them to you, but in the unlikely event that anything is missing please contact us either by phone or at email@example.com and we will, of course, send you the missing piece.
In our shop we also sell a range of range of basic equipment that we recommend which makes it easier for you to put your kits together:
- Fine Pointed Scissors - we recommend FFIM Snippies, they have very fine sharp blades and are very easy to use, even if you have mobility problems with your fingers.
- Fine Pointed Tweezers - these are essential for picking up small petals and leaves.
- Stylus Tools - these are used to shape and manipulate the petals and leaves to give a natural shape. We sell a pack of three tools which have a range of five different sized heads for large and small flowers.
- Petal Pads - These are used in conjunction with the stylus tools when shaping the leaves and petals. The back of a mouse mat can be used as an alternative but petal pads are firmer and this makes it easier to give a more defined shape to the leaves and petals,
- Scribes - we recommend a scribe to mark veins on leaves, the back of a pair of scissors (not the open blade) can be used but the veins will not be so fine.
- Glue - The only glue we recommend when putting together your kits is PVA glue, as this dries clear. A cocktail stick can be used to apply the glue or we sell PVA filled glue bottles which have very fine metal nozzels, which are ideal for putting a micro dot of glue onto your work.
- Water colour paints - the laser cut paper kits that we sell come in two distinct forms, either with ready coloured petals and leaves or uncoloured for you add colour of your choice - see below for more hints on this. We recommend Tombow pens as they allow subtle colour effects to be produced.
- Before you start to assemble your flowers paint the uncoloured flower kits, the colour photograph supplied with each kit gives an example.
- You may also wish to enhance the colour of the precoloured leaves and petals and we would suggest that you do any painting before you snip the piece you are working on away from the master sheet.
- Test out your colours and shading effects using the scrap paper around the petals and leaves.
- Colouring is easiest when the petals and leaves are flat - before you start to assemble, however the finished bloom is quite tough so you can move it around to do cosmetic surgery!! and highlighting once the glue has hardened.
- The petals in the kits we sell are in two main forms, either individual petals or groups of petals cut out together, the same technique is used for shaping in either case.
- Snip the link that conects the petal to the main sheet and put the petals, face upwards on to a forming pad.
- Select a stylus tool appropriate to the size of petal and gently roll the tool over the edges of the petals, this will make the edges appear 'softer', the edges may curl in slightly and this random effect will replicate nature.
- If you want your petals to 'cup' round, take the stylus tool and at the base of the petal, where it connects to the stem gently roll the tool around until the petal 'cups' upwards - practise makes perfect but remember nothing in nature is similar and if the petals are all slightly different in shape they look much more natural.
- If you have a long petal that you wish to curl under, turn the petal over and with a stylus tool, stroke the petal from the pointed end towards the stem end, it will magically curl up.
- The leaves in the kits are either single or cut as pairs; leaves in nature are all different shapes and sizes and you can replicate this using your stylus and scriber tools.
- With your scriber tool draw a line down the centre of each leaf and if desired a small number of extra veins can be drawn in. You can add definition to each leaf by either gently rolling the stylus tool over the leaf or for a more crumpled looking leaf press the scriber down over the leaf until it curls . Again practise makes perfect and nothing is ever wrong, they will all look lovely when you make the flower stems and plants up.
- Make up the flower and plant kits using the instructions in each kit, it is important to let the glue dry when the instructions recommend it as it makes the rest of the assembly easier to do.
Once your blooms are ready it's arranging time! You can use any arrangement you want without worrying about watering.
Arranging your flowers
Each period throughout history had different ways of arranging their flowers and if you want your flowers to be correct to the period of your house, we have lists of flowers from each century and also for each season, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org with your particular query and we will try to help.
There are a number of books on the history of flowers which are excellent and we would recommend the following:
- Period Style Flowers by Sarah Pepper - ISBN 0 7078 0374 8 - Published by the National Trust
- Flora Domestica- A History of Flower Arranging 1500 - 1930 by Mary Rose Blacker - ISBN 0 7078 0380 2 - Published by the National Trust
- The Victorian Flower Garden by Jennifer Davies - ISBN 0 563 36073 9 - Published by BBC Books
- A History of Flower Arranging by Julia Berrall - ISBN 1 901157 50 4 - Published by The Saint Austin Press
We will be adding more information to this section on basic designs for arranging your mini flowers but for general information on flower arranging we would recommend the following:
- The Flower Arranging Expert by Dr D G Hessayon - ISBN 0 903505 41 X - Published by Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Encyclopedia of Flower Arranging by Judith Blacklock - ISBN 1 85605 369 5 - Published by Bloomsbury Press
- NAFAS - National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies - www.nafas.org.uk have a very wide book list
Please note: The kits we sell are not toys and must not be used by Children under 14.