Friday, 17 November 2017

Tickled Pink - A Carnation Tutorial

I am always amused by the derivation of the work pink.  Originally it meant to cut a zig-zag edge, and goes right back to the 1500s. There's a similar German word pinken.

I am very fond of my pinking shears - and when Nadia asked to borrow them for her craft last week, she was surprised when I asked "For paper or fabric?" - they are impossible to sharpen, so when I inherited my Mum's I immediately designated their specific use.
The colour pink is believed to have got its name from the dianthus flowers, aka pinks- which have pinked edges
I needed my [paper] pinking shears this week to make some carnations [red ones]

  • These are really quick to put together, and look surprisingly effective. 
  • One 33cm 2-ply napkin makes 2 blooms.
  • You don't have to bind the stalks with stem tape - especially if you are putting them into an arrangement, but it does give a neater finish. 
  • Green garden wire will work, at a pinch, or a pipecleaner
  • And if you haven't got pinking shears, you can still make the flowers with 'clean cut' edges. But they won't be 'proper' pinks
  • for larger blooms, you can use the same method, but firmer paper like tissue or crepe will work better.

I've put a photo tutorial together - click on it to enlarge


  1. Ahhhaaaa!!!! Our 5minute slot at church on Sunday was making these. Except there weren't any kids so I ended up being a volunteer to make one-Sue had them all ready, all we had to do was open them out. The difference was that hers had a black layer in the middle to make poppies. We made a crown of them for the Cross.

    1. That's a very clever idea, to make red poppies with a black centre- I shall remember that one!Thanks Kezzie

  2. Those are beautiful; they look almost real! And thanks for the background of that word! How interesting! I also have a very old pair of pinking shears and I do guard them just for fabric. They are quite heavy.

  3. I did find a man in Hull who sharpened my pinking shears, and I will only use them for fabric. Although they hardly get used as I'm not much of a needlewoman. My mother used to cut a piece of sandpaper occasionally with hers.


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