Sunday, 18 March 2018

Florist shop

If you have followed my blog for some time you may have noticed that I easily become obsessed by my projects. One time I made all kinds of things from junk jewellery and fans. Another time I spent a week or so making wooden crates. Or miniature books. Or candles. Or curtains. Or shoes. Or whatever. I don't make anything for sale, and I am not much interested in making many of the same, but I like to explore various ways of making the same or similar things.

A couple of weeks ago I started making some flowers and after making paper flowers I made some from oven-baked clay:


I was quite proud of them to begin with, but then I realised - it also so happened that I had bought real tulips for a friend - that tulips are always hidden in leaves, and I spent some time making leaves, using the technique I learned when making daffodils and irises:

You need to curl the leaves to make them look realistic. I found a foam-lined coaster that served the purpose, and I used my nail file, as suggested in the tutorial. Each flower needed four leaves, so it took some time.

These are the colours I happened to have. Tulips come in every imaginable colour, and some are multicolour or speckled, but I will save that for later.

I got so excited that I decided to make a florist shop. This coincided with an urgent need to glaze my room boxes, and in the process I dismantled my old tea shop to use the box for florist's. Once upon a time you could get wine boxes at wine merchants for a small donation to charity, but not anymore, because, I think, many shops and cafes use them for decoration. I know I can buy a room-box kit, but I am not there yet. I have made several environments in shoe boxes and small cardboard boxes, but wine boxes look so much neater.

I did try to put all flowers I had in a cardboard box. Mainly just to see whether I liked the idea. I dug up Poundland furniture that I once bought in great numbers for upcycling.

 I liked the idea, but I definitely felt I wanted to use a wine box.

I tore down the wallpaper and the floor from the tea shop. This was one of my early room boxes, and I hadn't decorated it very well. And the wallpaper wouldn't have suited a florist shop anyway. I lined it with white lining paper and made a floor with a self-adhesive shelf lining.

I added wainscotting, using my old faithful 1:1 wallpaper. I still need to add moulding.

Meanwhile, I needed to do something with the furniture. This is the recurrent thing with room boxes (or any project that has an environment): you are eager to make whatever you are making - flowers in this case - but you have to prepare the environment first. Luckily, I like upcycling too.

I did a low table and two sideboards. The dresser in the centre moved from the tea shop - it isn't in scale, but I don't think it matters. I distressed it a bit. The fancy table on the left is made from a Chippendale kit. If you have a fancy piece in the foreground it catches the attention, and the rest is less noticed.

I am not sure about delft tiles - they were fine in the tea shop, but perhaps not in a flower shop. But that's easy to replace. Maybe with an old-fashioned flower pattern.

I also wanted a kind of multilevel display arrangement as they have in florist's, and I spent some time trying different options, including steps made from jenga blocks, but they looked too crude. So finally I built one from craft sticks.


When it was time to make more flowers it so happened - I swear, I hadn't planned it! - that a friend asked me to take her to a shopping centre, and while she was doing her shopping I ran over to my favourite hobby store. In my previous post I stated confidently that I wasn't buying a paper punch any time soon, but since I was there anyway... and they had a special offer... So it was meant to be.

I also bought two sets of tiny flowers in the wedding aisle. One just went in as it was. The other was a bundle of closed roses, and I first thought I would just put them in a jar, but then I thought that wasn't much of a challenge so instead I made some bouquets, adding flowers I made with the punch and with a set of scrapbooking daisies. (Scrapbooking and weddings have some amazing resources for miniature-making).

I punched various papers I had at home. 

The punched flowers were easy to attach to stems: I did exactly the same as with daffodils and irises: dabbing the tip of the wire in yellow paint, then adding a bead underneath the flower. I used three layers for each flower. They need leaves, but I don't really know what kind of flower they are and what kind of leaves this flower should have.


Then I had these prefabricated daisies some of which I left as they were and some painted in various colours.

 It wasn't until I started painting that I noticed they were also different shapes, which added to the variety.

Now, these were tricky to attach to stems because they already had a bead in the middle, too small to make a hole through. I prepared the stems with a bead glued on to one end.


I used strong glue and let it dry properly before gluing on the flower.

I made several pots: 


The ones on the left could be anemones. The ones on the right look very authentic, but I don't know what they are.  The leaves are made from a Christmas candlestick decoration that I had had for years, wondering when it might come handy. The pots are bottle caps.

The rest of the daisies, with longer stems, I added to the ready-made roses, arranging them in four OOAK bouquets wrapped in paper. I had to look up on the web how to wrap flowers. There are dozens of useful sites. The ferns are tiny sprigs of live conifer.


I have lots of materials left, and I took time to arrange them for the future. I know there are commercial organisers (I have some), but I am a recycler, and I have saved this chocolate box precisely for this occasion.

Lots of space for more.

I have got so far this weekend, and I won't have time to do more until next weekend, so here is the result up to date.

Some plants and flowers I had before, both ones I have made and some that came with various job lots. I plan to have a rail with hanging baskets and maybe some wall units, so do come back soon.

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