These miniature spider chrysanthemums are made from lightweight paper and wire. To give them more 'life' the paper is colored with watercolors. As these flowers take a bit more work and care than many of the other projects on the miniatures.about.com website, I've rated them as an intermediate, rather than a beginner project. They are however, easy for a patient beginner to make.
Historically Japan was closed to the west until the late 1800's. As a result, Japanese plants, like the highly decorative spider chrysanthemum, were later arrivals in Western gardens. The strong design lines of the spider mums became an iconic design of the art nouveau period. The flowers were not common in flower arrangements until the Edwardian period (1901-1910).
Materials Used to Make Dollhouse Miniature Spider Chrysanthemums
- Light Weight Paper - I used a tracing/ marker paper, but airmail paper works as well. Printer paper is a little too stiff for this project in 1:12 scale, although it will work for 1:9 or 1:6 scales and higher.
- Watercolor paints or Inktense watercolor pencils - I use tubes of watercolor, and chose a palette of bright pink, indian yellow, lemon yellow and orange to paint my paper.
- Sharp Scissors - To cut these fine petals you need very sharp scissors with straight blades.
- Fine Pointed Tweezers - Fine pointed tweezers are essential for curving the petals to the correct shape.
- Paper Covered Wire - I used 26 gauge paper covered wire for 1:12 scale chrysanthemums. You can also used painted wire.
- Pva (White) Glue
- Watercolor Paint Brush - I use a soft flat brush to wash out the watercolor.
- Acrylic Paint - I used green for the flower stem and calyx. You may also need a beige color to make twisted stems for your arrangement background
- Acrylic gel medium - I add this to the acrylic paint for the calyx and stem to give the paint some shape.