Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Sunflower 3D Stem Platform

Stylized sunflower bloom is built with fancy petals shaped by 
curling and supported by a shallow “cup” behind, 
with flattened dome, front grille accent overlay in center. 
Cubic card stock stem is stiffened with .25” wooden 
cut-to-size dowel inside, with attached layered leaves 
(with embossed veining), inserted into a three-tiered 
platform stand with angled checker accent panels
 and thickened scallop edge base. 
(Since stem can stay in place for display without
gluing, sunflower display can be conveniently stored
until next season's use.)

Two stem shape lengths included, 
to create a paired ensemble for a summer or autumn display. 
Tallest version measures approx. 13.375”. 
Platform base is 4.2” x 4.2”. 
Blossom measures approx. 4.75” across (when shaped). 

ASSEMBLY: 1. Identify and cut the shapes:
A petals disc   B blossom shaper cup with separate wall arc
C blossom dome walls arcs (2)
D dome floor disc  E dome top disc with finger openings
F dome top solid disc and grille overlay
G blossom cup back panel  H stem post
I leaves for embossing
J leaf base with stem   K leaf reinforcement
L veins embossing form
M base scalloped squares to layer for thickness (4-5)
N base scalloped square top layer with column opening
O post collar 4-5 shapes to layer for thickness
P platform base tier 1  Q tier 2 angled platform
R & S checker base and accents (4 each)
T column hull   U column post collar (4-5 shapes to layer)
2. Prepare the shapes that need to be glued up into stacks
to be drying as other assembly progresses:
A) layer and glue together scalloped square bases,
taking special care - here and throughout - to align
ALL cut edges as precisely as possible.
Place the glued-up stack on a flat surface and place
a heavy flat object on top, such as a wooden plank or
the thick book shown here, until fully dried. This will
help minimize curling or warping when using liquid adhesive.
B) layer and glue together each set of post collar shapes,
then press under a flat weight until dried.
NOTE: The petals and cup shapes originally included slots
for attachment to dome with tabs. Final design was
changed to remove slots and tabs; 
some images will include them.
3. Prepare the petals by shaping with a narrow rod tool
adding forward curl  at base of each petal, then . . .
. . . adding back curl  at middle to tip of each petal.
The center of the petals disc should begin to resemble
a cup, that will later accept the blossom dome.
Apply distress ink to add color/shading at the base
of the petals as shown here, if desired.
4. Prepare the blossom shaping cup by bending 
arch strip between segments, and bending back
disc edge tabs, including . . . 
. . . the narrow wedge tab near welded arc connection.
NOTE: it may be helpful to "pinch" fold at that tab
perforation line.
5. Position and join the arc at side seam, overlapping
the straight edge over opposite tab to perf line.
6. Form the arch into a ring, to position and tuck 
the arc free end tab under the opposite straight
boxing end edge and join the seam.
7. Apply adhesive to the face side of each
edge tab, then . . . 
. . . slide ring into position on top of the edge tabs,
adjusting to make sure that boxing edge and perforation
edges align precisely, and attach in place at each tab.
8. Position petals shape over inside of shaper cup . . .
 . . . using center hole to align both shapes, with each petal
aligning with center of one of the fourteen disc facets,
and glue in place.
Apply gentle pressure to shape the petals with even
more definition at cup edge, pressing all around.
To help with the attachment of the two components,
consider placing something columnar-shaped inside
the petals "cup" until glue dries, such as the bottom
of a full commercial water bottle of matched diameter.
9. Prepare each of the dome arch walls by bending back
slightly at each segment perforation, also bending top
and bottom edge tabs back (inward).
10. Join the (dome) arch segments into a ring by overlapping
straight edge of one arch over the corresponding tab
to join first one side seam, then the other.
11. Bend bottom tabs outward, then position the disc inside
 tabs, apply adhesive to inward face of tabs, then . . .
. . . re-bend tabs inward to attach to disc underside,
rotating so that arch segments align each disc edges
all around.
Invert the dome assembly onto a flat work surface
to insert finger- of thumb-tip into dome to apply
pressure all around until . . .
. . . tabs are completely attached.
(Remember, the tabs on bottom disc have been eliminated.)
12. Bend top dome tabs inward to perpendicular,
then apply glue to tabs. Position the "hollow"
top panel, adjust for segment and panel facets adjustment, 
and attach. Insert fingertips into openings to "pinch"
the panel and tabs to join thoroughly.
13. Position the grille accent onto the top of
the solid top panel disc. Then position and attach
to the hollow top panel, matching edges precisely. 
14. Prepare tier 1 platform by bending back on all
perforations for center panel, walls, corner tabs;
also bend forward at bottom edge tabs.
15. Bend the walls back at corners to align straight
edge over inward-bent corner tabs, and join
each corner seam.
16. Prepare the tier 2 platform shape by bending similarly
to tier 1.
17. Prepare the checker panel accents by centering
the checker cutouts on the contrast base trapezoids,
and attaching.
18. Position each checker panel assembly onto
corresponding trapezoid area, centering with narrow
offset margin all around. 
19. Bend the platform walls into position to join
each angled side seam.
20. Prepare the column shape by bending back on
perforation lines for side wall panels, forward on
bottom tabs . . .
. . . bending back on "lid" edge perforation, then
forward on the four lines around the lid square.
21. Form the column shape into a tube to align
and join the side seam. NOTE that . . .
. . . it is possible to press the column shape flat
to apply finger tip pressure along the seam edge.
22. Position and attach the two post collar stacks:
one is placed on the backside of the column "lid",
and the other on the top of the base scalloped square.
taking special care that the post square openings are
as precisely aligned as possible.
Press under a flat weight until thoroughly attached. 
23. Prepare to bend the column "lid" into place by
applying glue to the wall between column and lid,
and to underside of three other edge flanges. 
. . . bend the lid into position to attach connected
wall onto inside of tube, also . . .
. . . tucking edge flanges into tube. 
Push lid into position until flange edges are even
with top column edges.
24. Prepare the post shape by bending back on each
of the long perforation lines for skinny panels
and side flange. 
25. Form the shape into a tube to overlap the straight
side edge across the opposite flange to perforation line.
Flatten the tube on work surface to apply fingertip
pressure all along the seam until completely attached.
26. Re-form the tube to insert the 1/4" wooden dowel
inside . . . 

. . . and sliding into place so end of dowel is even
with non-tabbed end of tube.

At the other end, mark the dowel at end of tube
top edge (NOT tabs) with fine pencil. 
Saw the dowel to that length. 
27. Reposition the dowel inside the tube so that tube
and dowel ends align, adding adhesive to attach
in place.
28. Bend the top tab down into position to "cap"
the tube and glue in place to top of dowel.
NOTE: shaped tab with two holes should still extend
up from post.
29. Position the post onto front of back disc to
align holes, with adhesive on back of holes tab,
AND also on post underside wall that can attach
to disc. NOTE: use dash guide marks to help align post.
Add small decorative brads through the two holes,
and press prongs as flat as possible on underside.
30. If desired, emboss the veining details onto leaf. 
A) Position the vein form onto the BACKSIDE
of leaf, and hold in place.
B) Use a large ball stylus to press the veins location
into the leaf backside.
C) Invert the leaf with form underneath, then
use the same tool to press the vein lines down
into the leaf.
D) For more definition, use a smaller ball stylus
to carefully trace around edges of vein depressions.
31. Position and attach veined leaf on top of
 leaf base with stem, then . . . 
. . . attach reinforcement shape (shorter stem)
behind leaf assembly. Press flat under weight
until dry.
32. After glue has dried, shape each leaf by adding
back curl to the center of each leaf.
(NOTE the inked veins of the model leaf.)
33. Insert column UP through bottom of base top layer.
Push fully into place until bottom tabs catch at
base square edge.
Glue tabs to underside of base square.
NOTE that it may be helpful to invert platform assembly
on flat surface to apply fingertip pressure all around
column edges.
34. Assemble tiers assembly by inserting tier 2 tabs
through slots on top of tier 1.
Bend center stand tab slightly so that it will support
tier 2. Also . . . 
. . . bend side tabs outward and glue in place
to underside of tier 1.
35. Apply quick glue to outer bottom of column 
outer surface approx. 1/2" above platform, then . . .
. . . position and slide tiers assembly over column . . .
. . . and slide downward into position so that bottom tabs
can be inserted into platform top slots.
Apply glue to tabs, then bend outward and glue
to platform panel underside.
NOTE it will be helpful to place platform base-down
on flat work surface and apply finger pressure in
tab positions to help with attachment. 
36. The wide platform and light weight of the sunflower
makes it completely stable standing. However, if you
are concerned about it tipping over, consider hot melt
gluing a few large metal washers as weights onto
the interior walls of the column at this point in assembly.
37. Apply adhesive to the underside of the platform
top accent layer. Then position it over the layered base,
and glue the platform together, taking care that outer
edges align as precisely as possible all around.
Apply pressure along all four edges to firmly attach.
If possible, place weights along the edge margins
to help avoid warping or curling of these edges
during the drying process.
38. If desired, "decorate" the stem tube with lightweight
craft wire. Beginning on backside, hide the top wire end
next to the post side behind the blossom disc.
Wrap the wire in an even, slightly angled spiral with
wire wraps spaced approx. 1/2" apart. 
Pause the wrapping approx. 2.5-3" down . . . 
. . . to position and attach the first leaf (left one
on the sample project) by wrapping the stem around
post from front toward back. NOTES: A) position
the leaf so that it will fall between the wire wrap lines;
B) leaf face should be oriented toward FRONT of post, as
you may notice by the brad prongs showing on disc, above.
39. Continue the wrapping of wire, pausing to
attach the second leaf on opposite side 1-1.5" below
the first, then . . . 
. . . complete the wire wrapping to the length
that post will remain exposed once bottom end is
inserted into stand. Complete the final wrap toward
one side or back, and cut. Apply a dab of quick-grab
adhesive neatly/invisibly at ends of wire, if desired.
40. Apply strong adhesive to the backside of back disc
then position (centered) on backside of petals assembly.
Hold in place until attached fully.
41. Apply glue to dome assembly backside, then position
 inside the petals cup with edge facets aligned
with petals. Hold in place until joined.
NOTE: glitter decoration has been applied to
the grille and to the dome edges of the sample project.
41. To assemble the flower, insert the post bottom
end through column opening and down through
column until it "seats" into . . . 
. . . the anchor square hole of collar stack now 
concealed inside on base surface. (Post end is seen
here slightly beyond the platform bottom surface.)
For a permanently-assembled project, the post end
could be glued inside the collar at bottom an top.
However, it may be convenient to be able to disassemble
for seasonal storage, then reassembled for later display.
Here is the completed project.
Consider building a second flower using the shorter
stem tube length for a sunflower ensemble.

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