Ahhh Valentines Day! Typically the one day of the year where star-struck lovers embrace retail outlets and flower boutiques for the annual festival to celebrate romantic love, friendship and admiration. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, or haven’t yet been inclined to add Valentines Day to your calendar…February 14 is the day to get romantic. I personally would like to think every day in a relationship is time and place to show affection, though such a day exists for us to treat our better halves with something extra special.
If you find yourself single and the Valentines Day marketing machine makes you believe it’s more “Singles Awareness Day” layered with dreary and cruel romantic comedies on TV, cutesy heart shaped everything’s in the store and never ending cliché advertisements and event announcements…fear not! We’ve all been there and I’m a huge fan of perspective. Remember, there are plenty of people around the world that don’t have a mother on Mothers Day or a father on Fathers Day either.
Now, where were we…Figuring out how to make Valentines Day extra special doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money to show how much you care. Making something shows more thought and affection. Anyone can go out and buy a gift, though to actually put your own time and effort into making something, or setting up a marvelous date, shows serious commitment.
Over the years I have been quite fortunate to have been showered in beautiful bouquets of roses, chocolates, Champagne, romantic dinners, cute little teddy bears and love letters from loved ones, friends and family. And as those same years have rolled by I have preferred Valentines Day gifts to be experiences, with the obvious precursor being love and affection shown every other day. My demand for “NO ROSES, THEY’RE A WASTE OF MONEY” was met one year by the most memorable gift I have ever received. It was a simple, gold box filled with a dozen perfectly hand-made roses; six with pink paper and six with red. My heart just melted, it quite literally would have taken him days and dozens and dozens of paper to get it right. This was close to 10 years ago; and it still melts today when I think about it! So if you have the time, and really want to impress your better half, here’s a little guide for the perfect Valentines Day roses that will last forever…
I’d love to share the fold guide of the particular flowers I had made, though after scouring the Internet for an age, the guide I found is 50 odd pages long – and I have to admit I stopped trying to make ONE after four hours of trying. Rest assured this one is much more simple…
Lets get the lingo right. These are the three types of folds:
The Valley fold folds away from you leaving a valley in the paper.
The Mountain fold folds towards you making a mountain in the paper.
The Squash fold is when you open a fold with your finger and squash it flat.
The first step in making these cute little roses is to make an origami waterbomb base. Here’s a little rundown here:
- Take a square of paper and valley fold it in half. Rotate 90 degrees and fold in half again.
- Turn the paper over and create two alley folds on the diagonal this time.
- Use your fingers to gently push the sides in and the paper will naturally fold into a triangle shape. This is the base. We’re getting there!
Take the triangle and fold the tips up and into the middle (upper layer only). Once you have done that then fold these tips down in half again – and unfold again. This leaves you with a folded open triangle that you can stick your finger in. Do this and gently push from the top to make a squash fold. This will push the paper flat and create little squares.
Flip over and repeat for the other side.
Once you have the correct shape then fold the bottom corners up and unfold them again. You are just trying to reinforce this crease. Do this on both sides.
Fold the bottom triangle part down across its base.
This is one of the trickiest steps so have a good look at the photos. Gently let the whole thing unfold a bit. You’re going to put a squash fold in place in the ‘middle’ valley fold. Look at the photos and pick the same part on your origami flower. Get your fingertips in and gently start to press the fold flat until you get both sides down flat. It should look like the photos.
If you don’t get it straight away then don’t worry. Sometimes it takes a bit of practice.
Flip over and lift up the bottom ‘triangle’ so it stands straight.
This is another tricky step though you can do it! It’s the last squash fold (you’re nearly done). Make the diagonal fold that you can see in the photo. You’re just ‘opening’ the top layer and working towards squashing it flat again. You’ll end up with a ‘stem’ sticking up in the middle. Rotate 180 degrees and do the same thing again. You’ll end up with four stems sticking up.
Now the magic. Hold the whole base in your hand, and using the fingers of your other hand twist the stem nice and tight. You can use tweezers if you want it really tight. Once you release the pressure it should still hold tight.
The last step is simply folding the petals to give it a softer look. I used a chopstick to roll the edges around and give it curls.
And here is what you have! One perfect, handmade rose for your love! Now to make eleven more hehe…
And that’s a wrap! Wishing all my #ChicNation lovers a very Happy Valentines Day
Make it memorable. Keep it real.