Sunday, 11 November 2012

Poppies for Remembrance–Tutorial

I am creating a page in my new art journal entitled “Remembrance” as it is Remembrance Sunday. I am embellishing it with some paper poppies which I have made, and to prevent the blog post on the art journal page being too long, I have decided to post separately about the construction of the poppies.

I designed the poppies and leaves in Inkscape. This is a bitmap image of the svg file which is available for free download from my OneDrive, if you would like to download it and use it on your cutting machine, or alternatively, print out the image at whatever size you want, and use it as a template. I cut two sizes of the poppy and leaf pieces.

01 Poppy and Leaves Cut File

I cut the shapes using Sheba, my Cougar cutting machine – you can read about this machine in my sidebar. The two poppy shapes are designed to be laid one on top of the other, at right angles to one another, to create a 3-D flower once the petals are embossed.

Cutting the leaf pieces from green cardstock:

02 Cutting the Leaves

Cutting the poppy pieces from red cardstock:

03 Cutting the Poppies

Unfortunately I didn’t get very satisfactory cuts, but then I have been reliably informed on the Thyme Machines forum (the forum for my cutting machine) that card from that particular supplier doesn’t cut very well! I got there in the end, though, even if some of the pieces needed a bit of trimming with fine scissors afterwards. Here are the pieces cut. I have made far more than I need for this project, so that I can make up some poppies to go in my stash.

04 Poppy and Leaf Pieces Cut

The next step was to shade them, and I did this with Distress Inks acting as watercolours, with a fine brush. Inking the leaves, using Forest Moss Distress Ink. I rubbed the ink pad onto my non-stick craft sheet and picked it up with the wet brush.

05 Inking the Leaves

For the poppies I used Festive Berries Distress Ink.

06 Inking the Poppies

I thought they needed to be a bit darker and more defined in the centre, so I added some Shaded Lilac Distress Ink to give them more dimension.

07 Inking the Poppies

Here are all the pieces with the inking completed, ready for embossing.

08 Inking Completed

Each piece was hand-embossed onto a piece of fun foam. Embossing the leaves from behind, so that they would be slightly convex when assembled:

09 Embossing the Leaves

Embossing the poppies, this time from the front, to make the petals cup-shaped. This time I used a larger embossing tool.

10 Embossing the Poppies

All the pieces embossed:

11 All the Pieces Embossed

They were then assembled using Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive – I would have preferred to have used hot glue but my new cordless glue gun was taking too long to charge. I applied a dab of glue to the centre of one piece, and gently pressed the second one in place, at right angles to it, forming the poppy. This glue is recommended for making boxes, so I think it will be strong enough.

12 Petals Assembled

I glued some leaves onto the back.

13 Attaching the Leaves

To make the centres, I drew some circles of two different sizes onto a piece of scrap card, and filled each circle with a good blob of Pinflair gel glue.

14 Beginning the Centres

15 Circles of Pinflair Glue

Then I stuck flowersoft all over them and dried them with my heat gun.

16 Adding the Flowersoft

Unfortunately they don’t do black flowersoft (or at least, I haven’t got any!) so I used the darkest colour I had. Once the glue was dry, I simply painted them with black acrylic paint and cut them out. I finished them by running a black marker pen around the edges to cover the last of the pink.

17 Painting with Black Acrylic

18 Cutting Out the Centres

Then all I had to do was stick them into the centres of the poppies, again using Scotch Quick Dry Adhesive.

19 The Completed Poppies

In this photo, you can see little spots of white where the glue is showing; this was still wet, but once it was dry, it was colourless and invisible. Here is a detail photo of some of the poppies.

20 Detail of Poppies

I shall soon be uploading a post about the Remembrance page in my art journal, now that it is completed. Watch this space!


  1. Love how you have made the centrs of the poppies

  2. These are fabulous! and thank you for showing us how you made them!!


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