Cutout Florals

Paper crafting has a long standing tradition in the arts. From practices like origami to fashioning paper into lanterns and fans, since it was invented in 100BC China, paper was considered a tool for making art.

In this modern, digital interpretation of cut-out florals, we aimed to evoke the decorative aspect of this established practice and find new ways to bring it into the context of surface design.

This project was a part of my ongo­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kidspat­tern. If you’d like to learn more about them please vis­it their web­site HERE. Alter­na­tive­ly, view the archive of our pre­vi­ous projects HERE, in which I dis­cuss in detail the his­to­ry and nature of our work.

All cloth­ing-mock­ups pre­sent­ed here are pro­vid­ed cour­tesy of Kidspat­tern and are used for visu­al­i­sa­tion pur­pos­es only.



Gen­er­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Chi­nese ori­gins, paper flo­ral decors became huge­ly pop­u­lar in Mex­i­co, where they were used to dec­o­rate church­es and home altars.

Fur­ther­more, in Vic­to­ri­an Eng­land they reached their ulti­mate fin­ery as real flow­ers were dis­as­sem­bled and traced onto paper as a tem­plate to cre­ate life-like imitations.

Ever since Chanel’s Spring/Summer 2009 Haute Cou­ture Show, the art of paper flow­ers has been expe­ri­enc­ing its bloom­ing renaissance.

It is now wide­ly used in lux­u­ry inte­ri­or décor, espe­cial­ly for dis­plays at spe­cial events and as a part of oth­er aspects of Visu­al Merchandising.


This cut-out flo­ral pat­tern devel­op­ment series was com­mis­sioned for a client’s Autumn-Win­ter Col­lec­tion for a group aimed at girls aged up to 36 months old.

Above I have attached a strip detail­ing the colour palette, which was designed by Kidspat­tern. It is a gor­geous selec­tion of fresh corals matched with a pale pink and con­trast­ed with a duo of clas­sic blues (a medi­um and a dark tone).

The main mod­ule for this design was cre­at­ed by using cut-out shapes resem­bling sim­ple flo­ral paper cuts. These were lay­ered on top of each oth­er, which cre­at­ed a shad­ow effect and increased the designs’ sense of dimensionality.

The final result was ren­dered in a 3D mak­ing soft­ware by Kidspat­tern and as such was planned to work as a dig­i­tal print. Lat­er on, how­ev­er, the design was addi­tion­al­ly devel­oped as a flat vec­tor ver­sion and thus adapt­ed for screen-print.

Above you can view the key ver­sion of this pat­tern, which uses all the corals from the palette. The dimen­sion­al flower heads are peek­ing out from the sur­face of the fab­ric and are organ­ised in a tight order and a reg­u­lar repeat. It was sug­gest­ed to use in a medi­um size to main­tain a good qual­i­ty of print.

Below feel free to browse through the devel­op­ment of some of the arrange­ments, which explore the spac­ing between all the ele­ments and var­i­ous colour-ways. 

White on White

As a response to this pop­u­lar trend, the flo­ral mod­ule was pared back and recoloured using only white. Then it was repeat­ed in a reg­u­lar and dense com­po­si­tion, in order to cre­ate this sub­tle and tex­tur­al design.

Here, the design is visu­alised in a rel­a­tive­ly small size for a fresh and under­stat­ed result. The min­i­mal idea was pro­posed, so that only the lay­er with the shad­ow­ing would even­tu­al­ly be print­ed onto a white fab­ric. 

This design was also reworked to fit a small group of items aimed at New­borns. A touch of colour was added in the form of a pale pink back­ground and it was sug­gest­ed to be used in a larg­er size to assist in print­ing on thick cot­ton.  

Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design

Dark AW Background

Here, both designs now incor­po­rate a fuller range of the colour palette and coor­di­nate with its dark shades. Pul­sat­ing with colours and shapes it is full of a visu­al rhythm.

First, visu­alised in a larg­er size, the flo­rals are recoloured in more con­trast­ing shades, which offers a more defined and bold solution.

Whilst, the sec­ond arrange­ment has the flower heads dis­persed in a much loos­er com­po­si­tion, visu­alised in a much small­er size, this makes a great com­pli­men­ta­ry print. 

Placement Print

Con­tin­u­ing with the idea of “colour on colour” trend, the mod­ule was ful­ly immersed in a smooth monot­o­ne (corals and dark navy blue) and placed on a match­ing back­ground for full blend­ing. The flo­rals were arranged into bou­quet com­po­si­tion allow­ing for even spac­ing in between. 

This exper­i­men­tal visu­al­i­sa­tion expressed an idea for this design to be used as an over­sized place­ment print. Espe­cial­ly effec­tive when print­ed in a large size on a jack­et, or alter­na­tive­ly, along­side the hem of the dress with match­ing details on top of the gar­ment in a bal­anc­ing tran­si­tion­al composition.

Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design
Cutout Florals · pattern design

“Life is too short to say no to paper flowers”

Chan­tal Larocque “Bold Beau­ti­ful Paper Flowers“