Making Wooden Flowers #3: Cutting the Petals

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Blog entry by Ronbrush posted 03-24-2014 01:02 AM 20631 reads 3 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Flattening the Shavings Part 3 of Making Wooden Flowers series Part 4: Starting the Assembly »

Step Three – Cut out the Flower Petals

If you wish to make a rose like the ones in my spring bouquet, you will need 28 flower petals for each rose. You can eliminate one or two rows but the result is less impressive in my opinion. The petals are arranged in layers or tiers when the flower is assembled. It helps to cut out a template from stiff paper or card stock. Use a soft pencil to trace the shape onto the basswood shavings.

A sharp pair of scissors will do the job of cutting the petals. Volume production can be achieved more easily with a punch like the ones sold in craft stores. Using the punch eliminates the need for tracing the petals but it also confines your creations to one or two sizes.


Grain Direction in Petals

The direction of the grain in petals has a significant influence on the final appearance of a flower. This is due to the “stiffening” nature of the joint between two adjacent petals. Since the joint area consists of two layers, it resists tight bending. In contrast, the remaining areas which are a single layer in thickness are more pliable.

When the grain runs lengthwise in each petal (Figure 1), the result is a flower with sharper curves in each petal creating an angular appearance.

When the grain runs crosswise in each petal (Figure 2), the result is a flower with gentile curves in each petal creating a softer overall appearance

The photo below shows the difference between the two approaches. In the flower on the left, the petals on the outer four rows have crosswise grain. In the flower on the right, all petals have lengthwise grain.

-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON –

3 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3276 posts in 3946 days

#1 posted 03-25-2014 04:55 AM


Is the wood grain direction important? Or can the petals be laid out to create the least waste? (I’m not very good with a hand plane and not certain how hard it will be for me to create enough pieces.)

Thanks for keeping each blog short. It’s so much easier for me to open with this lousy dial-up!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Ronbrush's profile


29 posts in 1884 days

#2 posted 03-26-2014 02:18 AM


Thanks for the question on grain direction. You helped me realize that more information on the subject might be helpful. With that in mind, I’ve added a short commentary about grain direction.


-- Ron Tourangeau, Ottawa, ON –

View Latease's profile


1 post in 712 days

#3 posted 12-29-2017 04:13 PM

love it. thanks for sharing how your mastered such beauty! breath taken, I want that rose for my Daughters. Its perfect. I will be doing this the rest of the month but i pray it will be at lest 1/3 of yours and i am winning.

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