How to Fold Paper Flowers

Two Parts:Folding the Waterbomb Base for Your FlowerFolding the Tulip Bulb

Being able to make beautiful art with scrap paper is one of the benefits to knowing origami. But even if you've never even folded a paper crane, by following some simple instructions and using the right kind of paper, you could fold your own paper flower in minutes. Your first attempt might look a little rough around the edges, but with a little practice, you'll soon be folding paper tulips like a pro.

Part 1
Folding the Waterbomb Base for Your Flower

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    Use a square piece of paper. Most origami designs require you to being with a square piece of paper of equal length on all sides.[1] You can buy specialty origami paper at most craft stores, or you could always make your own origami paper.
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    Begin with the colored side of your paper facing up.[2] Traditional origami paper is colored on one side and white on the other. If you are using paper colored on both sides or white paper, it will not matter which side faces up.
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    Fold your paper in half top to bottom and left to right.[3] This should form the shape of a cross that passes through the middle of your paper. You will need to crease the paper along the seam of the fold well for best results. Specifically, you should:
    • Fold your paper in half from left to right.
    • Crease the paper well and unfold it.
    • Fold your paper in half bottom to top.
    • Crease your fold and unfold the paper.
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    Fold an X on the back side of your paper.[4] Turn your paper so that the reverse side is facing up. The lines of the X you will fold will run through the middle of your paper, similar to your previously folded cross. To do this, you should:
    • Fold the bottom right corner into the upper left corner.
    • Crease the fold well and unfold the crease.
    • Fold the bottom left corner into the upper right corner.
    • Crease the fold well and unfold the crease.
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    Collapse the sides to form a triangle and complete the base.[5] At this point you should have folds folds forming a cross and an X on your paper, with the reverse side should facing up. Collapse the base by:
    • Tucking the left and right sides into the middle.
    • Pulling the top and bottom together to sandwich the left and right sides.
    • Creasing the resulting fold to form a triangular shape.

Part 2
Folding the Tulip Bulb

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    Fold the outside flaps to line up with the center crease.[6] There should be a fold that you can still see running down the center of your waterbomb base. Take the right corner and fold it until it lines up with the center crease. Repeat this fold with the left corner as well.
    • Then, turn your paper over and perform this fold one more time.
    • After you have completed the fold, your paper should be in a diamond shape, with the bottom point of the diamond facing you.
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    Fold the outside corners of the outer flaps inward.[7] You can do this by taking the left flap and pulling it over to the right side. Now take the leftward facing point and fold it straight inward until it reaches the crease at the middle. Then fold the rightward facing flap, so that both flaps meet evenly at the middle crease.
    • Repeat this fold for the two flaps on the right side.
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    Join opposite side flaps together.[8] The flaps that you've just folded on both sides to meet in the middle should have slightly different edges. One side should have a fold of the paper, creating a kind of pocket, while the other should have the open sided tips of your paper. Join the paper by:
    • Tucking the open ended edge into the pocket formed by the fold of the paper.
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    Blow up your tulip bulb.[9] Next you'll need to inflate your tulip bulb by blowing air into it, but you'll have to use your forefinger and thumb to hold the overlapping seam where you tucked your flaps together. Air can escape easily from this seam, so hold it firmly. Then:
    • Put your lips to the center of the X shape that forms the base of your tulip bulb.
    • Exhale steadily until your tulip bulb feels fully inflated.
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    Peel the petals of your tulip back for a realistic effect.[10] The top of your now-inflated tulip bulb should have "petals," or extra layers of paper, on each of the four sides of your bulb. Peel these petals back about ¼ of the way down from top where each petal comes to a point.
    • You may want to crease your petals for effect.
    • You may leave your petals uncreased and slightly pulled back from the tip of your tulip bulb to give a more natural appearance.


  • You may want to use a bone folder, which is a blunt tool used in paper folding, to help make your creases.[11] Some makeshift bone folders include:plastic caps, paperweights, or you can purchase this tool at your local craft store.
  • Once you've mastered the tulip, try your hand at making other kinds of paper flowers, like the origami flower, a paper rose, or even tissue paper flowers.


  • Be sure to use a flat surface and use your fingernails, or a bone folder, to make each fold as crisp as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Origami paper
  • Bone folder (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Flower Arranging and Floral Art