On Eid, Muslim cultures cook their finest food and some of these foods often include saffron, the most expensive and luxurious of spices. Saffron is harvested in the autumn most popularly in Spain, Iran and Kashmir, from beautifully fragrant flowers that vary in shades of purple depending on the region. With Eid-ul-Adha also taking place in the autumn this year, add seasonal flair with DIY saffron flowers. Made with crepe paper, these flowers do require a fair amount of skill and practice but nothing too complex that a beginner couldn’t handle. Arrange these paper flowers into a centre piece for your table – they will perfectly compliment your saffron spiced menu.
- Crepe paper, in light purple, maroon and yellow
- 18 gauge stem wire
- Floral tape
- White glue
- Acrylic purple paint
- Flocking powder, yellow
- Fine tip paint brush
- Decorative sand granules, in terracotta
- Wooden bowls
- Download and print petal template at 100%. Trace onto crepe paper and cut out (A.) 6 petals are needed per flower.
- Lightly dilute purple paint in water and paint the bottom of the petals. Dilute paint more and lightly paint thin veins down the length of the petals (B.) To paint thin veins, dab off paintbrush till there is barely any paint left on tip, then make veins. Let dry.
- Cut out strips of red crepe about 2″ wide and 3″ in length. Make 2 slits in the crepe paper to form 3 forks (D.) Roll each of the forks and twist tightly (E.) These will be the saffron threads. During harvest, all 3 threads are pulled out quickly in just one tug.
- Use pliers to snip 4″ long pieces of stem wire (F.) Roll the wire along the red crepe paper to form the center of the flower stem (G.) Secure with 1 piece of floral tape (K. See tip on using floral tape below.)
- Cut out yellow crepe 1″ in width by 2.5″ in length (H.) 3 strips of yellow crepe will be needed per flower, these will be the saffron’s stamen; the stamen are discarded along with the rest of the flower during the harvest. Roll each strip and twist tightly (I.) Dilute glue with water and put out flocking powder onto a plate (J.) Dip each stamen first into the diluted glue and roll around in flocking powder on plate. Let dry. The flocking powder imitates the powder given off from the saffron’s stamens. Then, secure the stamens to flower stem using 1 piece of floral tape. (K. See tip on using floral tape below.)
- Attach petals 2 at a time by positioning them opposite to each other and securing with floral tape. Once all 6 petals are attached, use a 10″ piece of floral tape to wrap the stem one last time from the top to the bottom. Saffron flowers have purple stems so if desired, cut a strip of purple crepe paper, dab glue on the stem and wrap in a diagonal motion all the way down the stem to cover the green floral tape. Glue crepe paper again at the bottom of the stem.
- Fill a few wooden bowls with terracotta decorative sand granules. Curve the bottom of the stems so they sit easily in the bowl and insert the flowers hiding most of the stem in the sand. Group 2-3 saffron flowers per bowl.
TIP: With some practice, floral tape is fairly easy to use. To use floral tape, stretch one end to reveal sticky part and adhere to the top of the stem. Twist the stem with one hand, and with the other hand stretch the floral tape as you apply it in a diagonal fashion all the way down the stem. Finish by scoring the tape with your nails to firmly adhere and prevent unraveling.