My Material Life

A Paper Gardenia for Anna


I’ve been wanting to make my Godmother a paper gardenia for a couple of years now. She turned 88 earlier this week so I figured it was time to get on it and make one for the birthday box I sent her. Why a gardenia? I think there is some nostalgia in it, but I can’t say why for sure. Anyway, it’s a relatively simple flower to construct and awfully pretty. I found the instructions in Jennifer Tran’s excellent book, Flowersmith.


I keep checking this book out from the library which is where I found it. I already own three paper flower making books and I don’t want to part with any of them, but I have to add this one to my collection too. It’s probably my favorite as far as techniques, materials and most importantly, results. I mean I’ve never bothered with leaves before and the ones I made for the gardenia are Tran’s easy version (she also creates leaves with bias cut paper and a glued flat felled seam like those shown in the photo of the book cover above). I didn’t think the easier leaves would look so good, but they do, they do. And do you see the stamen of the camellias? Those are made from fringed crepe paper dipped in a little glue followed by ground turmeric. Oh and her arrangements! They are stunning, clean, modern. If you’re into paper flowers you’ve got to check out this book. It will take you to a whole new world of beauty and joy-creating possibilities.

I had to include these masks in Anna’s birthday box as well. I call them The Italian Collection (there was supposed to be a third). The stripe and plaid were made in Italy as was Anna (thank you Mood!)

Though the flower has moved on I can still enjoy it’s beauty.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s