So let me introduce you to my flower making tools - click on the picture for a larger view. Apart from punches this is pretty much it. From left to right they are:
- DEET tool
- Embossing ball tool
- Stampin' Up! Paper Snips
- Character shaping tool
- Angled tweezers
Tweezers are invaluable for working with the smaller flower pieces. I have found that the most useful shape for general manipulating is an angled pair, as in the picture here.
The moulding mat, deet tool, embossing ball tool and character shaping tool are all Leone Em products. Obviously there are many other types of embossing ball tools, and I do sometimes use others, but this one in conjunction with the rounded end of the character shaper is the size I find most useful for flower making.
Of the things that I have tried as a substitute for the foam mat, I found that two or three layers of fun foam stuck together, or a spongy rubber mouse mat work the closest.
Here are some ideas for substitutes for the the other Leone Em tools:
For the needle end of the deet tool, a darning needle or very large pin such as a hat pin. The substitutes will work as well, but are more difficult to manipulate without a handle. The other end of the deet tool is not used specifically for any shaping, but more as an extra, smaller finger for manipulating or steadying fiddly work. It's not used very much, and before I had it I didn't miss it! An extra pair of tweezers, long fingernail etc would suffice.
For the embossing ball tool, and the rounded end of the character tool, use anything smooth and rounded. The kind of pencil that has a painted over rounded end works well, as does the cap end of this gel pen, and for smaller impressions the end of this paint brush works pretty well.
For the other end of the character tool I have tried out all of the above items, and they all work pretty well. Needs to be a cross head screwdriver - a flat head will dig in to the paper.
So that's it - with this strange collection of objects you can make flowers!