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Book Art
I am constantly amazed by the versatility of a simple piece of paper—you can make it into practically anything. Admiring some artichokes in a bowl, I thought how beautiful they looked and wondered if I could capture them in paper. They turned out to be quite easy to make and quite beautiful too.

Posted by Ryland Peters & Small Published See Ryland Peters & Small's 148 projects » © 2022 Clare Youngs / CICO Books · Reproduced with permission. · Book Art by Clare Youngs, published by CICO Books (£12.99). Photography by Caroline Arber © CICO Books
  • Step 1

    Using the pencil, tracing paper, and the template, trace and then transfer, and cut out leaves in different sizes from the pages of the old books. You will need some large leaves, approx. 23⁄4in (7cm) long; some medium ones, 2in (5cm) long; and some measuring 11⁄4in (3cm) long. You should be able to cut four or five leaves at the same time. When you get used to the shape you may be able to cut out the leaves without the template—it is nice to have some variation.

  • How to make a paper flower. Paper Artichokes - Step 2
    Step 2

    Starting with the smallest leaves, fold each leaf in half lengthwise, then open it out again, leaving a sharp crease down the middle.

  • How to make a paper flower. Paper Artichokes - Step 3
    Step 3

    Place a blob of glue at the base of the leaf and stick it in position at the top of the ball. Continue to stick small leaves all around the top of the ball, overlapping them as you go. Carry on around and down the ball for several rows, then move on to the medium-sized leaves, folding first, then gluing in place for several rows.

  • How to make a paper flower. Paper Artichokes - Step 4
    Step 4

    When you are about half-way down the ball, switch to the larger (already folded) leaves. Before gluing the larger leaves to the ball, however, make a small pleat at the stem of the leaf so that it becomes more three-dimensional and will stick out from the ball. Carry on down the ball, ending with a row of medium and then a row of small leaves at the bottom. Leave free of leaves a small area approx. 1⁄2in (1cm) wide at the base for the stem.

  • How to make a paper flower. Paper Artichokes - Step 5
    Step 5

    To make the artichoke stem, cut a strip 3in (8cm) wide from a page of the book. Start rolling it up tightly, adding a few blobs of glue as you go. The stem should be approx. 1⁄2in (1cm) thick, so add more strips of paper until you have the required thickness.

  • How to make a paper flower. Paper Artichokes - Step 6
    Step 6

    With the points of your scissors, dig out a bit of polystyrene from the clear area at the base of the artichoke. Put a blob of glue on one end of the stalk and push it into the hollowed-out area, placing it at an angle. Trim the end of the stalk at an angle to finish.

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