Monday, 30 July 2018

How to Start Making Paper Flowers in Nigeria

I have been making Paper flowers for almost a year now and i know how daunting and seemingly impossible it can seem for a newbie with interest to get started. I hope this post will come in handy for such a person and help you find your way in the beautiful and colorful world of paper flowers, moreso in Nigeria where getting crafting supplies can be quite a task. 
I will be sharing what i have learnt in the past few months and will update this post accordingly as i learn more things. Some may wonder why i am so willing to share what may be considered 'trade secrets' by some and the answer is simple-because there is love in sharing
Others shared freely their knowledge online to whomever happens to find it so why should i hoard this information? It may change someone's life so that's enough motivation for me to share. 
Ok, enough of me babbling and let's get into it. 

What you need (Tools, Resources & Supplies)

  • PC or Laptop (optional initially)
  • Internet (optional initially)
  • Printer (optional initially)
  • Cutting Mat (or any surface that's flat enough for you to trace on and you don't mind getting glue on)
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Paper
  • Pencil and Eraser
  • Glue (UHU or whatever you prefer)
  • Mounting Tape
  • Bone folder (Butter knife or wooden dowel/spoon will suffice)
  • Flower Templates (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
  • Video Tutorials (Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
Different types of Paper and Sizes
There are different types and weights of paper, i'm not an expert at this so kindly do your own research before purchasing paper. You can ask the person you are buying paper from about the weight (grams) of the paper. The weightier or thicker the paper, the tougher it is to curl or shape but they tend to be sturdier and hold shape longer while the embossed or designed ones can bring some dimension to your craft.
  • Tissue Paper
  • Crepe Paper
  • Printing Paper
  • Cardboard Paper {160 grams per square meter (gsm)}
  • Cardstock Paper (Embossed , Metallic, Glittery, Glossy, Patterned & Plain)
I mostly use Cardstock Paper for my paper flowers to make them study and occasionally mix them with Cardboard Paper for two-toned flower designs or smaller flowers. 


Where to find Free Templates and Video Tutorials

(Petals and Centers)
There are soooo many free templates and tutorials online, you just have to be willing to search for them and also not limit your search to English. I found quite a number of free templates through Russian and Spanish Channels. I suggest using Pinterest to find these channels and Websites or Google Translate the word 'Paper Flowers' and search. 
Always check that whatever freebies you find are not copyrighted and restricted to only personal use. Its also decent to credit the person you get a design or template from if you can find them on the platform you use to promote your craft.
Here is a list of  some YouTube Channels you can get Free Templates and Video Tutorials from:
Stages  of Making Paper Flowers
These are the various stages of making your typical paper flower and depending on the design and style of your flower, you may not have to follow all the stages.
  • Tracing template
  • Cutting
  • Slitting
  • Curling & Shaping
  • Assembly
  • Add a center
Finding Inspiration and designs for Paper Flowers
Pinterest,YouTube and Instagram have been the best places for me to find inspiration and designs to try. They link you to other creators and suggest similar videos to the ones you watch. I suggest checking out related channels or similar posts across these platforms

How to put up Paper Flowers on Different Surfaces
There are different ways to display your paper flowers depending on the surface you are working with. I have listed below a few of the things i use and others i found online,you just have to research a bit on what will work best for the result you want to achieve. Check out this post as well.
  • Glue
  • Mounting Tape
  • Double-sided Tape
  • Commando Strips
  • Masking Tape or Cellotape (rolled)
  • Rope (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Wire (attached to the back of the paper flower)
  • Brooch pins
Uses of Paper Flowers
They have such a varied range of uses but here are a few:
  • Events Decoration (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays, Baby Shower, Bridal Shower,etc.)
  • House Decoration (especially Baby Nurseries/Rooms)
  • Backdrops
  • Photoshoots
  • Crowns, Bouquets & Corsages
  • Props Decoration, etc.
Storing your Paper Flowers
It is important to keep your flowers away from humidity, dust and water in order for them to last long, retain their shape and look good. I mainly focus on displaying them in a dry place and dusting them regularly. you can stoore them as follows:

  • In a box (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a basket (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a bag (with a cover and wide enough to not deform them)
  • In a clear polythene bag with a neck sealer (typically used for packing clothes)
Tools that can speed up your creation process
  • Cricut Machine 
  • Silhouette Machine 
  • Fringe Scissors
  • Bone Folder
  • Scoring Tool
  • Quilling Tool (for rolled centers and roses)
  • Compass Cutter
  • Curved Scissors
  • Punches (There are so many different shapes and patterns to choose from especially when making small flowers)
Sizing and Pricing your Paper flowers
I can only tell you what works for me in this regard. I price my flowers based on their sizes and the amount of labour i put into their creation. I size my flowers by using a measuring tape or ruler to measure their diameter in Inches. 
I make all my flowers myself and handcut them while juggling my job and 7month old so it involves more labour and sleepless nights for me and i price them accordingly. However, i give discounts when i get orders for a Set. Some people also prefer to Rent and return. I also charge differently for express/short notice orders.
You can create your own Templates or make complete packages for a particular style of flower(Templates, Center, Mounting Tape, etc) ad sell them for people to make the flowers themselves.
Your pricing is up to you. I would advice you calculate what the different sizes of your paper flowers consume (cardstock, glue, paint, glitter, beads, rhinestone, mounting tape, rope, wire, etc.) and then you can add the cost of your labour which is essentially your profit. If you are doing the delivery and setup, you may want to also charge separately for these services.

How to Market yourself
Social Media is free and you have a wide audience. Use it to your advantage. Take good pictures and Post your work frequently.
  • Facebook
  • Instagram (Follow me @Mimahcrafts)
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube
You can display your work at family or friend's events (Weddings, Parties, Birthdays,etc.) for people to see and get interested in ordering them.
You can also use them in styling photoshoots and get free professional pictures to advertise your work.

Tips and Tricks
  • Use Sharp Scissors
  • PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE (with different papers and different designs)
  • Use empty cereal boxes to make Templates for easy tracing
  • Trace out the number of templates you need then you can chill and cut them out while watching a movie or series
  • Inform your customers of the deadline to order and charges for express orders
  • Attend to your orders at least 3-5 days before they are due in order to avoid rushing especially if you do not have a machine 
  • Spray-paint to desired color if the color you want is unavailable
If you find this post useful, kindly share and follow me on Instagram @MimahCrafts. I will update it as i learn.
Toodles!XooX
Please Share it! :)

2 comments:

  1. thanks really helpfull post. please where can i get cardstock paper in abuja. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome. I'm glad you found it helpful. I get my Cardstock from UTC, Area 10.

      Delete

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