Introduction: Painted 3-D Flowers
Hey, excited to make some beautiful, long-lasting flowers? Me too! These are great for gifts, for using up leftover nail polish, and are fun that you can make again and again. Those three flowers above are some other successful projects I've made. First, let's gather up some supplies. The wire is to build that base of the flower, which will be like a skeleton. Color can matter. I like to show some wire in my flower so I choose based on preference and mood. Gauge is also important. The higher the gauge number is, the thinner it is. I find that 24 gauge is a good size but it all depends on how sturdy, large or small, and extravagant you want your flower to be. What's important is that your wire is not too thin that it can't support itself and not too thick that you can't or have a hard time bend and forming it. I have found recently that Mod Podge is a very helpful element. It works as a think foundation for you to paint your colors. However, if you are unable to acquire Mod Podge you can still continue this project. Sea glass, or some kind of other stand, works as a literal base for the flower. You will be wrapping the flower around it. Likewise, though, the stand is not completely necessary. You can still complete this project without it. The flower can always sit in a little vase, in styrofoam, or just lay down as alternatives to a base. Tools are important. This is hard to complete without something to aid in twisting, cutting, and forming the wire flower. If you don't have previous experience with these tools or with wire, please take some time testing and creating in order to become comfortable with this medium. Now let's get some of that creative juice flowing so we can pick our nail polish colors...
-Wire: Gauge range 22-26 (Ideal:24)
-Nail Polish: Prefered flower colors and Clear
-Mod Podge (optional)
-Sea glass or a sturdy object for a stand (optional)
- Other wire tools based on your preference (optional)
Step 1: Find Creative Inspiration!
Have fun looking at different pictures of flowers. Look for ones that spark your imagination or are your favorite. As you look for them, think of ways that you could conceivably develop it with wire. Some flowers are very complicated to make, but with practice, you can achieve your dreams. I went with something simple and chose a pansy from some pictures I have taken. Also, keep in mind that you don't have to make it exactly like the picture. If you like different colors or you want to add something a bit out of the box then please do. Don't limit yourself. And don't consider any project a failure, you will always be learning something that will help you in your next endeavors. Alright now that you have some ideas let's get creating...
Step 2: Building the Frame- Part A: Flower Head
To start off, grab the wire that you chose and your wire cutters. I like to be very generous with how much wire I use. You can always cut off extra wire but you can't easily add it back (however, it is possible, don't get discouraged if you cut it too short, just learn your lesson and do it longer next time). Make a faux representation in your hands to help you determine how long it should be. If you want to have an exact amount, I cut mine at 48 inches. Another factor to keep in mind is whether or not you want leaves, how long your stem should be, and how big your flower should be. To start with the formation of your flower fold your wire in half and start at the bend at the top. I do this in an attempt to make both side lengths of the wire even as it is formed. Quick note, if you're using nail polish don't make your loops too big or you will have a hard time creating the bubble formation. At the bend where the wire is divided in half, make your first flower petal. To make a flower petal form a small circle no bigger than a quarter and tightly wind the wire where it intersects. Don't wind too much, just enough so that your petal is secure. Keep in mind that this step will differ depending on your type of flower. Follow the picture of the flower you chose to copy the design. I made several petals as shown in the pictures. Once you are content with your flower head move on to the stem...
Step 3: Building the Frame- Part B: Stem and Leaves
From the flower head gather the two ends of the wire and first hand-wind them. Once it is secure, grab your needle nose pliers to hold the flower in one hand and wind with the other. Make the wind tight, as shown in my pictures. Create the stem as long as you want, just make sure it is not too long that the flower head will bend over. Either near the head of your flower, in the middle of the stem, or at the base you can develop your leaves. Use your picture for reference and be creative. Once again don't make it much bigger than a quarter, but it can be as small as you want. I use my needle nose pliers to create a texture around the edge of my leaves. After you are satisfied with your leaves, wind them as you did for the petals and continue your stem or move on to attaching it to the base...
Step 4: Attaching the Flower to the Base
First of all, you don't have to have a base. As I said earlier, there are alternatives. However, I find it amazing to use sea glass, broken pottery, or rocks as a stand that really makes the flower stand out. I chose a clear piece of beach glass. Before I start wrapping I set the glass down and observe where it rests in contact with the table and where there is a high point. I also observe if my piece wobbles and if it is appropriate for a base. When I started wrapping, I put the wound center of the flower where I know it will be secure. Then as I wrap I verify that the wire hits the glass where it will not slide off and where it is not resting on the table. Every so often I will wrap around the flower stem and then around the glass until I feel it is strong. To end, I wind the ends of the wire up the stem shaft and cut the excess. I ended with the perfect amount. Now let's get forming that bubble...
Step 5: Bubble Formation
This can either be a really easy or really frustrating part depending on your type of flower. At this point double-check that you don't mind getting your surface messy. I advise doing this on a smooth, plastic surface because the dried Mod Podge will pop right off. If you are using Mod Podge then turn your flower upside down, dunk it in the Mod Podge, gently pull it out, and set it down right side up. Yes, it will drip. Yes, you may not get everything bubbled in one try. However, Mod Podge can be very forgiving. It can peel off of your glass stand if it drips on that (once it dries). It can be softened with a hot washcloth if it gets on something you didn't want it to. And you can take a paintbrush to manually create the bubble formation. I will address this technique later for those using just nail polish. You may also want to paint on some extra layers so it doesn't accidentally get ruined as it dries. After you are happy with the bubble formation, let it dry, preferably overnight...
Step 6: Alternative- Nail Polish Bubble Formation
Hey, here are some instructions for those of you who didn't use Mod Podge. On the tinier leaf, I demonstrated the motion that can create a Nail Polish Bubble Formation. To do it, dip the brush in the nail polish a lot until there is a significant amount of nail polish on it. Then carefully (so as to not drip), bring it to your project. Put the brush on one end and drag it across the skeleton of your project as shown in my picture. This can be a long, messy, and frustrating process, which is why I really recommend using Mod Podge. You'll soon notice that as the brush with the nail polish goes across, it creates a bubble that resembles the Mod Podge bubble formation and normal soap bubbles. If you find yourself too frustrated with it, buy some Mod Podge and try the other method before you think of quitting. Good luck with it! I wish you the best...
Step 7: Let's Paint!
Yay! Let's take out the nail polish and give our flower some colorful life.
Note: If you're are sensitive to the smell of nail polish either turn on a fan or use normal paint, if you use normal paint, coat it with clear nail polish in the end to give it some shine.
Once again, it is important on this step to be working on a surface that you don't mind getting messy. Start with the base color of your flower, and use several layers to get a consistent color. You may also want to paint the underside of the petals to give a completed look. After the base coat, start adding details and decorating depending on the flower type. I used different shades of purple, white, and yellow for different parts of the flower head. As you paint be careful not to put too much on at once. Between layers and colors (if you don't want them to mix) let it dry. If you don't let it dry the Mod Podge will dissolve and it could ruin the bubble formation even though it has already dried. You can also paint your stem if you want (I don't) and if you did the same bubble formation for the leaves as you did for the flower petals then feel free to decorate in this stage. I added an array of pictures demonstrating the several attempts and steps I went through to get a finished product I liked.
Step 8: Enjoy
Now that you've done all of this hard work you can clean up and then enjoy your finished product. Make these as gifts, for yourself, or just for fun. Note: After it has dried for awhile the nail polish smell will dissipate and the flower will be hardened.
If you have any questions, want more ideas, or have any splendid comments just let me know. Thank you for your time and creativity! And I would be delighted to see your finished products.
Blooming With Creativity,