Jane Eyre is no stranger to crafting. Victorian heroines practically invented the pastime. As early as 1850 (when Jane would have long been Mrs. Rochester with her austere childhood securely behind her), a lady could buy a kit with everything she needed to make fake posies. Natural shapes were favored, petals carefully cut out then crimped or dipped in wax, before being wired onto stems.
The paper flower can trace its roots to #China in 100 BC; the Chinese are credited with inventing paper, which was ultimately used not just for printing but for fans, lanterns, and lotuses which were placed in containers and set afloat as sacred offerings.
Since the 5th century BC Mayans were making blossoms from bark-paper. In the Colonial era the Spanish transformed these #flowers into creations of more durable paper pulp. Mexican tissue flowers–those ephemeral, colorful bursts which you may have crafted yourself, for a bridal shower or other occasion–were historically constructed in muted hues, trimmed with gold or silver, and set on church altars.
Today’s freshest trend in artificial flowers is to turn re-purposed materials, such as the pages of old books or newspapers, into a trendy bouquet. It’s also possible to use junk mail, wrapping paper scraps, even unused cupcake liners.
Of course, not everyone prefers the fake to the real. Check out the #youtube clip below, posted by Marie Osmond, showing a young but wise version of herself, singing about–what else?– paper roses!