Crepe Paper Flowers, Dennison Flower Book, 1963
"Haven't you often wished you could have colourful bouquet's of flowers to brighten som dark corner of your home no matter what the season of the year? Well, you can have them very easily if you make them yourself with Dennison Crepe Paper."- Dennison, 1963
I am crazy for paper flowers. The pattern that I use most often is a paper carnation (see corsages/ floats & paper swan). Carnations are easy to produce in large numbers and great for boutonnières. The carnations frilled edge is made by cutting tissue paper circles with pinking shears, the circles are threaded on a pipe-cleaner, wrapped in place with florist tape - et voila! I found this simple how-to through Martha Stewart, but have more recently been collecting paper flower manuals and "outfits" (kits) produced by the Dennison Manufacturing Company (now merged with Avery).
Crepe Paper "Flower Outfits", box exterior (left), contents of kit (right), Dennison Manufacturing, c.1930
Dennison Manufacturing Co. produced a wide variety of paper products and novelites, including paper tags, gummed paper labels for surface mail and holiday decoration, paper dolls, parasols, fans as well as a range of crepe paper sets, kits and how-to manuals. The kits, like the "Flower outfits" pictured above came in illustrated boxes and contained pre-cut and measured crepe paper pieces. At the turn of the century Denison's popularized crepe paper hats as both patterns for home production as well as a full line of ready-mades available at the Dennison shop. Crepe paper hats maintained their popularity throughout the 20's and the depression era 30's as a low-cost fashion alternative to straw and felt hats. These hats made of mutipe layers of crepe or patterned tissues could be worn, "at evening parties; costume parties; church, school and society entertainments, they can be worn anywhere, in theatricals, outdoor fetes, and country clubs." -Dennison, 1907
Vintage Dennison papers can still be found at antique specialty stores or occasionally through ebay. The range of colours is deluxe and impressive, the papers have romantic colour names like Primrose-buttercup Yellow, Moss-leaf Green and Royal-purple Orchid. For ease with more complicated constructions Dennison also engineered "Duplex Crepe Paper" a laminated crepe paper with different colored sides.