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Accordion-Pleated Medallion Flowers How-To
One of the latest trends in paper crafting and card making is using beautifully pleated medallions as flowers. Using the basic skill of accordion folding will get you started in creating these simple but stunning flowers and embellishments. Of course, there are a few tricks to gain perfect success every time, as well as tips for creating variations of the basic pleated flower.
If you haven't seen the use of simply pleated paper flowers used on cards and other paper projects -- you will! These accordion-folded medallions have been popping up on paper projects everywhere. They can be used singly as pretty circles, medallions and flowers. Once you have the basics down, you can then start adding in variances and a little bit of imagination to create these simple embellishments.
Before you start pleating you need to decide how large of a finished embellishment you want to create. If you want a 1-inch-wide medallion, start with a 1/2-inch-wide strip of paper. The finished size of the medallion will be twice the width of the strip of paper you begin with. If you want to create a 2-inch or smaller finished medallion, you can start with a 1 (or smaller) x 12-inch strip of paper, and you will only need one strip of paper to create the finished embellishment. Creating embellishments that are larger than 2 inches will require you to use more than one 12-inch strip of paper. Adhere the strips of paper together before scoring and then pleat and finish the medallion the same as you would a smaller one.
After determining the size of the medallion you want to make comes the pleating. For a successful end result, you'll want to have perfect pleating. Scoring your strip of paper before folding it will ensure perfect pleats. This way, each pleat will be same width/height, and the finished medallion will lie flat. There are great scoring boards on the market today that will help you make perfect and even score lines.
The next thing to decide is how thick you want your medallion to be. The farther apart your score lines, the thicker the medallion will be. Scoring lines placed 1/4 inch apart will end up being thinner than a medallion with 1/2-inch distance between scored lines. After scoring, fold the paper on each score into an accordion pattern.
To assemble the medallions, start by adhering the ends of the paper strip together to make a loop. Next, you will need to gather one edge of the loop together while pressing the loop flat to the table. This will be center of the medallion. This can be a tricky step. Sometimes the loop will press flat easily, but other times you will have to try a few times to get it to lie flat. Once it is flat, adhere a small disk of paper over the center with either hot glue or strong liquid adhesive. Once the adhesive is sufficiently dry and the disk is secure, carefully flip the medallion over and adhere another disk of paper to the center on the opposite side. Hold in place until the glue is dry.
Now that you know how to create the basic accordion-pleated medallion, you can use a bit of imagination to add some fun design elements. Before pleating, use a border punch along one of the long edges of the paper strip. Score and pleat as usual. Gather and press the straight edge into the center of the medallion. This will leave the decorative edge on the outside. Another easy way to create a cool variation is by using a striped pattern paper. Cutting the strip parallel with the stripe will create a concentric circle design on the finished medallion.
Finally, you can dress up the centers of the medallions by layering additional punched circles, buttons, brads, ribbons and much more. These basic pleated embellishments can be flowers, wheels, lollipops, suns, Christmas ornaments or anything you can dream up.
If you are not up to all the scoring and want to take a bit of a shortcut, there are different dies on the market that can cut and score your paper for you. You can also purchase premade accordion-folded medallion embellishments. They don't give you the flexibility to create an embellishment that will perfectly match your project, but they do skip all the work for the same cool result.