- Cardstock (lots of cardstock) The cardstock I used was only 8.5” x 11” and I was only able to get 2 flowers out of one sheet of cardstock. So, I used 15 sheets of paper just for the flowers.
- A shadow box. It does not need to be very deep, but it needs to be deep enough to not smash the flowers. The one I used was an 8” x 11” shadow box from Ikea
- Glue. I used just white Elmer’s glue. Paper sticks well so you can use a wide variety of different glues.
- Permanent vinyl
- Cricut cutting machine or other similar machine that can cut paper and vinyl.
- Transfer tape
- Tool: weeding tool, pencil, paper quilling tool.
- Flower template and words or face you want to put on your shadow box. You can find the flower template I used in my free library.
- Figure out the size of your flowers and roughly how many you will need
- Cut out all your flowers, the vinyl for the front of your shadow box, and the circle template if needed.
- Start rolling your flowers and apply white craft glue to the ends to hold them together.
- Once the glue is dry you can curl the ends of your petals to give them a more realistic look.
- Add cardstock to backing of shadow box. You can also paint the shadow box backing.
- Glue flowers to shadow box backing.
- Apply vinyl to glass or acrylic part of shadow box, and put shadow box back together.
I first determined the size of my Jack Skeleton face. I wanted it to take up most of my shadow box. I used an 8.5” x 11” shadow box I got from Ikea. I made the outline circle (the shape of his face) 7” x 7”. My Jack Skeleton face (permeant vinyl that goes on the glass part of the shadow box) was 6.7” wide and 5.437” tall.
I then worked on my flowers. You need to make these flowers a lot bigger than you might expect. I tested a few different sizes before finding the size I liked. I tested the sizes on computer paper so I did not waste any of my cardstock. I ended up going with a 5” tall 5.377” wide flower template (before it is rolled). When this flower is cut and then rolled it becomes about 1.4” wide. My cardstock was only 8.5”x 11”. So, I was only able to get 2 flowers out of one sheet of cardstock. I did rotate my flower templates slightly in the make it screen (screen where you pick your material) to make the two flowers fit on my cardstock. I used 30 flowers total (15 sheets of cardstock) for this project.
You can use this table to help you determine roughly how many flower you may need for you piece, but it will also depend how close you put your flowers together and how tight or lose you roll them.
|3” tall unrolled flower (1” rolled flower)||4.5” tall unrolled flower (1.25” rolled flower)||5” tall unrolled flower (1.4” rolled flower)||6” tall unrolled flower (1.5” rolled flower)||7” tall unrolled flower (1.75” rolled flower)||8” tall unrolled flower (2” rolled flower)|
|8” x 8” shadow box||49||36||25||25|
|9” x 9” shadow box||64||49||36||36||25|
|10” x 10” shadow box||81||64||49||36||25||16|
|11” x 11” shadow box||100||81||64||49||36||25|
|12” x 12” shadow box||121||100||81||64||49||36|
|11” x 14” shadow box||121||80||81||48||36|
|12” x 15” shadow box||121||100||64||48|
I knew I would only be able to fit 2 flowers on one sheet of my cardstock, so I only made two flowers and kept repeating/clicking that mat to have my Cricut machine cut it out again and again until I had enough flowers. This also helps from having to slightly rotate the flowers on the mat in order for them to fit on my smaller cardstock. If you use a larger sheet of cardstock, then you can duplicate the flower template to add more. I was left with some cardstock left over from every cut of flowers. So, I cut off the nice clean extra cardstock at the bottom and saved it for a future project. I like to save all of my scraps.
I found these type of flowers (rolled flowers) can be a little tricky for the Cricut machines to cut. I found using a lower setting, but doing two passes seemed to work the best for me. I first tried the cardstock (for intricate cuts). This setting worked, but had just a few small spots where my cardstock tore. Once the flower was rolled you did not notice where it tore. I then tried a lower cutting setting, because I was afraid the tears may become bigger and more noticeable as I cut more flowers. I then tried copy paper 20lb (75gsm). It did not cut my cardstock out completely, so before unloading my mat I hit the go button again. This makes it do the exact same cut again. By not unloading the mat it will make these cuts in the exact same location. If you unload the mat, then run the cut again, it will be slightly off. I could tell if I did more pressure or third cut the paper would probably start to tear. The two passes on this copy paper 20lb setting seemed to work the best for this type o f cut and cardstock. I did need to help the flower come out of my cardstock in a few spots, but it came out pretty easily. If you use other nicer cardstock, it might cut better for you, but this seemed to work fine for me.
Once all of my pieces were cut out it was time to start rolling my flowers. I like to start with a paper quilling rolling tool to make the center of my flower nice and tight. As the flower gets bigger, I then slide it off my quilling tool and continue to roll my flower in my hands. You can roll the flower comply on the quilling tool, or completely with your hands, just find what works best for you. I always start with the end of my flower and roll towards the center/bottom (small circle at the center/bottom of the flower). Apply some white craft glue to the bottom of your flower and press the small circle piece at the end over the glued bottom to hold everything together and give your flower a nicer and flat bottom. Continue to do this till you have finished all of your flowers.
Once I have rolled all of my flowers I then go back and curl the edges of the petals to make the flowers look nicer and more realistic. Just make sure your glue is dry before trying to curl the edges or your flower might start coming apart. To curl the edges, I just use a mechanical pencil (you could use any tool that works for you and you have on hand). I curl the edges of the petals like you would curl a ribbon, simply bend the end of the petal around the pencil or tool and pull the tool towards the end of the petal. I did this to all of the outside and inside petals I could. Once you move closer to the center of the flower the petals are to close together to be able to curl them. I then ran my thumb over the flower to bend down any petals in the center that I could. Flowers and not perfect and just bend the petals back until you are happy with it and move on to the next one. This take some time, so I recommend playing some music or watching something to help pass the time as you work.
The rolling and curling the ends of the flowers is the majority of this project. Once you finish all of your flowers it is time to assemble everything. I glued some cardstock to my shadow box backing. You would also just place the cardstock in your shadow box or paint the shadow box backing. I used the backing to help me cut my cardstock straight and to the correct size. I then glued my flowers, with white craft glue, to my circle template. If you are just filling your entire shadow box with flowers, then you can glue your flowers directly to your cardstock or backing. Then I glued the circle with all my flowers to my cardstock. You could measure to make sure this is placed in the center, but I just eye bawled it.
I then weeded out my permanent vinyl (removable vinyl would also work). Weeding out just means to remove all the extra vinyl you do not want. I then used transfer tape to remove my vinyl from its backing. I folded the transfer tape with my vinyl in half to find the center. I placed the center down first, then carefully laid and smoothed out one side at a time till my vinyl was on my glass/acrylic. This is known as the taco method because you fold it like a taco to apply it. Again, I did not measure my exact centers, but you could if you wanted to. Since my vinyl was black on both sides, I could have placed my glass/acrylic either way. I could have the vinyl inside the frame so you can not feel the vinyl edges or on the outside so you can feel the vinyl edges. I put the vinyl facing outward so you could feel it if you rubbed your fingers against the glass/acrylic because it was a darker black and you did not see any air bubbles or stickiness from the viny.
To assemble the frame I placed the frame itself down first, then put the glass/acrylic in. I then put the spacer in, followed by the backing, which had all my flowers glued down to it. Do not forget to bend the tabs in the back to close your shadow box. You can use pliers to bend these tabs if you need to.
This is a pretty simple repetitive craft, but it does take a lot of time to make all the flowers and a lot of cardstock. It can also be changed to fit many different holidays and/or special occasions. Most people like to fill the entire shadow box with flowers, not a shape like I did. You could put a nice saying or a name on the glass/acrylic instead of Jack Skeleton’s face. You can also make the flowers different colors. These rolled flower shadow boxes can be made to fit almost any occasion.