Here’s a fresh way to enjoy your favorite flowers, even as gardens and farmers markets are winding down. With a bonus — these blooms stay vibrant all year round.
St. Paul artist Anna Gaseitsiwe of A Paper Florist creates delicate handmade flowers, foliage and even vegetables using crêpe paper. Not the garishly colored spools you find at big-box party stores, but high-end German-made crêpe paper. “It stretches and bends and allows you to manipulate it,” she said of her chosen medium. Spices, bleach and pollen are used to create subtle hues that mimic nature.
“I try to get as close to real life as possible,” she says.
Gaseitsiwe, who formerly investigated money laundering, developed and honed her floral-crafting technique after taking time off from that career to spend more time with her children and moving to Minnesota. Now she creates custom arrangements for permanent home decor and special events — even wedding bouquets. Paper flowers serve as an everlasting memento of the occasion, she notes. “You can dry real flowers but they don’t look the same. These look real, and you can keep them looking fresh.”
Her toughest challenge so far? Creating a lady slipper, Minnesota’s state flower, for her mother for Mother’s Day. “The shape made it hard — it’s such a smooth seamless cup shape,” she says.
She charges not by the flower but by the hour — however many it takes to create whatever a client wishes. “You’re buying my time,” she says. That typically ranges from about $150 for a bouquet of simple poppies to $200 for a bouquet of more complex flowers.
And if you want to learn how to make your own paper flowers, she also hosts periodic workshops.