Wall Flowers

I mentioned yesterday that I was making a three-dimensional decoration for our walls.

I had several inspirations. First, I noticed that many of the stunning apartments we stayed in while traveling featured interesting wall art beyond the usual flat paintings or prints (most notably: a vintage anatomical model encased in a plexiglas case and mounted to the wall). Second, Mo blogged recently about making crêpe-paper flowers, and I was amazed at the gorgeous blooms she fashioned. Third, I liked this Ikea pendant lamp, but with our 11′ ceilings, it’s just too much trouble to change the hanging fixtures.

The other day it occurred to me that if I paint on stiff watercolor paper, surely it could be used for building things too. Once I got started, it took only minimal experimentation to develop and construct a design. I eventually added a few pieces of thin wire for support, but essentially, this is just cut and painted paper taped together.


The simple, temporary construction might mean this isn’t so stable in the long run — we’ll see — but one very big benefit is that I can modify it at will. It’s very easy to take down, and I can reposition, remove, or add flowers as needed. And it’ll come apart and flat-pack for moving or storage.

But for now, I absolutely love the way it looks, from every angle.


Actually, the packing paper I used as a painting “drop cloth” came out looking pretty cool too.


I don’t know why it never occurred to me before to build something out of painted paper. I have something of a history with paper constructions. When I was little, I used to have this fantastic Richard Scarry activity book with pre-printed figures, houses, and cars you could cut out and tape together to make a village. I remember spending hours doing this at Gong-Gong‘s kitchen table.

Later, in eighth grade, we had an assignment to build a model of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. (Not really a good assignment, but this teacher was big on these kinds of projects. Another assignment was a model of a colonial American fireplace. I had fun with both of these, but I’m sure my fellow students didn’t.) Most kids made theirs out of shoeboxes and red construction paper — a simple solution that frankly never occurred to me — but I studied photos and built a roughly proportional structure out of heavy paper, with copious use of scissors, colored pencil, and pen. I wouldn’t be crazy enough to do it again, but I remember I enjoyed it. Again this was at Gong-Gong’s house, sitting in an upstairs bedroom and listening to Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness on repeat on my headphones. (I’ve mentioned this before.) The model looks a little wonky now from improper storage, but you get the idea.




Now that I have my latest piece on my wall — I’ve dubbed it The Wall Flowers, which makes me giggle — I feel as if the other walls are too boringly flat! But I don’t, at the moment, have any ideas for other 3D decorations, so flat they shall stay… for now.