I’m not sure if I’m ever going to be able to cut and assemble enough three dimensional flower projects – every one I see has something new I want to try.
These tulips have been all over the place – I’ve seen them on craft blogs, Pinterest and even a version in a Papersource kit.
As always, I decided to put my a spin on the craft to really make it my own. And if you’d like to do my version (or just use it as a starting point for your own), free Silhouette Studio files are available at the end of this post.
In Adobe Illustrator
The basic shape of a tulip is pretty easy, but I always prefer to draw over an image than start from scratch. I won’t call this tracing – I don’t use the Autotrace feature or copy an image line for line. I’m using them as a starting point and then editing off or adding in what I need as I go.
The Internet had what looked like a million options. I’ve learned if I’m setting up a cutting file that children’s coloring pages are often a great resource since they give the basic shape without too many details.
I also drew up a very basic watering can shape to serve as the top of my mobile.
I exported both files as DXF format since the basic free version of Silhouette Studio can open that file type (it can’t open an EPS).
In Silhouette Studio
In Silhouette Studio I set up my Design Page settings as 8.5 x 11, to cut with a mat. After merging in the tulip shape, I rotated it and duplicated it several times to fit several on a sheet. Three cut flat tulips are needed to form one finished three dimensional flower.
The cut settings were adjusted for my card stock, and then I sent the file to cut. I weeded and recut the file on several different colors of patterned card stock.
For the watering can, I brought in the can artwork DXF file and rotated it to fit my printed card stock. This paper is printed to look like rusted metal. I cut the file once, weeded it and then mirrored the image and cut it again on a second sheet of paper with the same printed faux metal look.
The plan here is for the watering can to be double sided so it can be viewed from any angle, and the double thickness of the paper makes it sturdier.
For each three dimensional finished flower, you need three flat pieces. Fold two of the flat pieces in half, and then glue one half of each to the other.
Wait until those two pieces are pretty set before attempting to glue on the third piece. I found lightly folding the third piece before gluing it on helped it have a little “give” for setting it into the correct place. I used a fast drying tacky glue, which gave me a little room for error – I could set them up and squish them a little to get the edges lined up before the glue would dry completely.
Working these assembly line style also helped – I did the two half parts for all the flowers and used paperclips as clamps to let them dry before coming back to glue on the third piece.
Thin silver thread was what I used to tie the tulips together vertically. I used a sharp sewing needle threaded through the first tulip, being sure to leave a length of thread at the start to make a loop for hanging. I made overhand knots at the tip of the first tulip, then unwound my desired length of thread before tying on the next one.
For the watering can, I used a glue stick to glue the two sides together. Once it was dry, I stapled the loops of the tulips to one side of the watering can. There is probably a craftier way to put the tulip strings on the base, but from a distance no one will know.
At the top, I punched a hole and threaded through a hanger I had saved from a package of socks from the store (I save all sorts of hanging hooks in a box for crafting). I can hang the mobile from a nail on the wall for picture taking (see top of the post) or from a hook in the ceiling in the living room (which is super pretty but terrible for photo taking).
To make your own paper flower with watering can mobile, click the image below to download the Silhouette Studio files. The files are for personal use only, and if you make something with them, I’d be thrilled if you’d post it to Instagram and tag me so I can see.