Artificial Beauty For The Lacunae

Though it is a well-known fact that there is no substitute to natural flowers, yet the hurried lifestyles, the hot summer and economy criteria, make most of us think twice about investing in fresh flowers on a daily basis, points out Radha Prathi.

You must have heard people say — “Say it with flowers” — for the joys and sorrows of human life are always punctuated with flowers. Flowers have always been a source of joy to mankind. Right from the very beginning, while many people prefer flowers to remain in their respective plants and trees, there are several others who love to arrange them in several different ways and enjoy their beauty and fragrance. Florists say that cut flowers tend to last longer when they are taken care of, in a methodical manner. While Indians love to string their flowers into ‘gajras’ and garlands and float flowers in earthen and metal basins, the western world loves to arrange flowers in various kinds of vases and bouquets, and the Japanese stand apart in the art of flower arrangement which the world knows as Ikebana.

Flowers have the natural flair to liven up any room with their colourful looks and fragrant aroma. Though it is a well-known fact that there is no substitute to natural flowers, yet the hurried lifestyles, the hot summer and economy criteria, make most of us think twice about investing on fresh flowers on a daily basis.

It is at this point, that artificial plants and flower arrangements step in to fill in the lacuna with looks that can make you feel them, to check whether they could be real. A visit to shops that sell these products will show that highly refined paper, plastics and cloth have been utilised by creative artists to create the diverse flora that is found on earth.

One could buy from a huge assortment of artificial flowers which are readily available in the market. Individual flowers, buds, stems, branches, leaves and tendrils are also available in shops that sell art and craft items. One could buy an assortment of these products and string them or arrange them in a way that pleases you the best. Though this sounds like a practical and easy solution to beautify your home, the satisfaction that you will experience when you work on this project from scratch, will be indescribable.

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When you make your own flowers you can decide on the exact shade of the colour you want, the shape, texture and the size of the flowers too. You can make the flowers yourself, using organdy, silk or satin cloth. If you are a first timer, you can try this procedure on an experimental basis using crepe paper till you become dexterous with your fingers. It is a very simple process. For making a dozen medium sized flowers you will approximately need a quarter meter of the said material in a colour of your choice and your favourite shade of green. You will also need some binding wire which will be cut and is readily available in hardware shops. A set of fabric paints, pair of scissors, thread, a pencil, a wad of cotton, a thick cardboard (wedding cards or greeting cards will serve the purpose) and a tube of fevibond will carry you through the process.

Your flower will be complete. You could make hundreds of flowers, leaves and tendrils and arrange them in infinite possible ways. If you plan to string the flowers into a garland, make sure to keep the binding wire short. Colourful plastic beads can be interspersed in the arrangement, by stringing a few of them at the end of the binding wire and allow it to nod away. Transparent beads can be glued on the flowers and leaves to give it the appearance of being dew laden. Now that you have learnt the methodology you can utilise the same procedure to create your very own Flower Show.

The possibilities of making the artificial flowers appear like originals are infinite and it can even put King Solomon into a quandary, considering the fact that there are no bees or butterflies in the urban areas to help him out.

Making your own flower
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Draw a petal and a proportionate leaf in the size and shape of your choice on a thick cardboard and cut it out.
Iron the material so that it is totally free of crease.

Place the cut out of the petal on the chosen material and sketch out eight or ten petals on the cloth with a pencil. Similarly sketch two leaves on the green cloth.

Cut out the petals and leaves strictly along the outline without altering the nuances of the shape.

You can use your aesthetics and streak the petals with fabric colours, making them seem darker either towards the tip or the outer edge.

Roll out a ball of cotton and stick it on one end of the binding wire so that it appears like a fat ear bud. Then wrap the cotton ball over with a piece of cloth in the colour of the petal and glue it firmly into its place.

Dab the tip of the bud with yellow paint.

Take one petal and fold it into half at the bottom and enclose it at the base of the cotton ball and tie it securely with the thread.

Repeat this process by tying the petals round and round the cotton ball.

Cut out a one centimetre wide strip of the green material all along the length and wrap it around the binding wire so that no portion of it remains uncovered and paste the ends firmly before cutting out the extra length.
Make leaves following the similar procedure and fix them at the appropriate place on the stalk of the flower or in any other position.

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