If I lived nearer to the Paris flea market I’d start collecting antique silk flowers, of the sort that used to bedeck the world’s prettiest hats. It’s said that in 1775 Marie Antoinette was presented with a silk rosebud that was so breathtakingly pretty that she fainted on the spot. (Some nimble-fingered soul also reportedly crafted her a rosette out of the film from the inside of eggshells.) The French followed in the Medieval Italian tradition of silk flower making, but the Egyptians were the first to make artificial flowers—out of papyrus.
This would be a very pretty—and pretty strange—hobby to take up this winter: paperbloom making.
Here’s a really serious lesson from Martha Stewart on making paper peonies, including a video.
And here is another more basic form, Martha Stewart’s giant tissue flowers, which would be fun to make for a party—more my speed!
Also with this (slightly annoying) video to explain the fine points.
And another lesson, more basic yet: