How to Make Paper Flowers

Three Methods:Making Petaled Paper FlowersMaking Rolled Paper RosesMaking Tissue Carnations

Paper flowers are perfect for weddings, get-well-soons, birthdays, baby showers, decorations, and just a kind "thinking of you" moment for anyone in your life. They are easy and cheap to make, so you really don't have to worry about the cost or your level of skill. You don't have to make a whole bouquet either – just one flower with a card tied to it is pretty and can be that extra touch you’re looking for.

Method 1
Making Petaled Paper Flowers

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    Paint watercolor paper or use cardstock or construction paper. A really nice way to get paper flowers with interesting, nuanced petals is to paint on watercolor paper. It allows for slightly different shades within the same piece that look natural and reminiscent of a real flower.
    • For watercolor paper, you simply dip your brush in a bit of clean water, add some watercolor paint to the tips of the brush, and go over the paper. The best part about it is that it’s supposed to look slightly different in every spot, so you don’t have to worry about shading or blending.
    • You can also use cardstock or construction paper, too, and it’s quicker and cheaper. You just won’t have the soft gradient of watercolor paper; however, you could choose a more vivid color with this type instead.
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    Measure 1, 2, and 3-inch squares. With this method, we’re going to assume you want to make a handful of different paper flowers. Let’s make three different sizes, then: 1" (2.5cm) flowers, 2" (5cm) flowers, and 3" (7.5cm) flowers. All you need to do is cut squares that are these sizes (in both length and width) and pile them up.
    • Make a whole bunch. Each flower will require at least 12 squares or so. And it’s not that the 1" squares are in the middle and the 3" squares are on the outside – instead, it’s just the amount you roll them up to get them bigger and smaller. A 3" flower, for example, will be made entirely of 3" squares.
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    Fold them in half and cut the open edge into a petal shape. Take a handful of the same-size square in your hand and fold them all in half, layering them like an onion so you can cut them all at the same time.
    • To make your cut, place your scissors on the open side and cut it into a half-arch type of thing (that is, rounded at the top). When you open it up, you'll notice that it's now in the shape of a petal.
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    Roll the petals. Flower petals aren't flat, so you don't want yours to be either. Roll them up to bend the papers into a more flower-like shape. The more intense your rolling, the more curved they'll be.
    • And then unroll them. When you unroll them, they'll maintain a bit of the curve of the roll. Can you see how they might fit together to form a flower?
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    Put hot glue in the corners, wrapping the first one very tightly. For the very center of your flower, put hot glue in the corners of the paper and roll it back into a tight bud shape. The center of the flower will be more enclosed and the petals will spread out from there.
    • Hold it there for a second, being careful not to get any hot glue on your fingers. You now have the very center of your flower and can start attaching petals.
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    Glue the petals to each other in an open fashion, layering them. Take another square of the same size and put hot glue in the corners. Then, taking the bud in your opposite hand, glue the petal the bud. Since you're still on the second layer of petals, this one, too, will be highly curved and close to the bud. As you expand, the petals should get more and more splayed out.
    • Every layer should peep out from between the layer before. In the valley where the two petals meet in one layer should be the center of the petal from the next layer. And again, with each succeeding layer your petals should get less and less rolled up.[1]
    • Once your layers reach the size and width that you want, you're done. It's as simple as that! With this technique, they look even better in groups, so don't stop now. Make a few to stick together to make their beauty (and your creativity) exponentially more remarkable.

Method 2
Making Rolled Paper Roses

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    Cut your paper into a square. Any size square will work. Really. That being said, smaller squares, a few inches (7.5 cm or so) across will be easier to work with and handle when you’re assembling the flower.
    • For the paper, construction, watercolor, or scrapbook paper works best. Anything that's on the stiffer side and colorful will do the trick.
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    Draw a spiral on the paper. Take a pencil and lightly draw a spiral shape starting from the outer edges of the square of paper. Then simply freehand a spiral – the more room in between the lines, the thicker your petals will be. It’s as simple as that.
    • It doesn't have to be perfect, uniform, or even by any means. A lop-sided, wonky spiral will be just as adorable as a spiral that was meticulously drawn down to the millimeter. Just draw a spiral like your inner seven-year-old self might draw a spiral and that’ll be great.
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    Cut it out and roll it around the tip of a pencil or Q-tip. Cut along the lines of the spiral, creating a curly ring of paper. It will naturally cut off the edges and leave you with one giant curly-cue. Then, starting at the very center, roll it around the tip of something small, like a pencil or Q-tip.[2]
    • To roll, hold the very center to the edge of your pencil or Q-tip. then roll it up like a spool of ribbon, each length on top of the other. As your spiral starts to get bigger, you'll notice that it starts to move downward. This is how it's supposed to be.
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    Unroll and secure the bottom with a dab of hot glue, if desired. Take the pencil or Q-tip out and you'll be left with a rolled paper that looks very much like a flower. To keep it together, dab the bottom side with hot glue – and you're done. Talk about easy!
    • Your first one or two may not be perfect, but as you keep going you'll be able to figure out what will create the look you're going for. You'll also notice that as you create more, they look neater and neater.
    • You could also attach a pipe cleaner or a hanger wrapped in green planter's tape to the bottom for a stem. Who doesn't love a homemade bouquet?

Method 3
Making Tissue Carnations

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    Choose a variety of different colored pieces of tissue paper. A classic flower will be made up of only one shade, but if you're feeling adventurous, combine a few together. For each flower, you'll need 3 or 4 sheets of tissue paper.
    • When you've chosen your tissue paper, place them together, lined up in a pile.
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    Cut strips from the tissue paper. How much you should cut will depend on the size of the flower you want to make. As a general rule of thumb, cut a strip twice as big as the flower you want to create.
    • If you're making several flowers, experiment with different sizes. Just cut strips that are of various widths and it will automatically create smaller and bigger flowers.
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    Cut vertical lines into the strip, leaving an inch or so untouched. Go down the strip cutting little snips into the tissue paper at even intervals. If you want teeny petals, make the snips close together; if you want larger petals, make them farther apart.
    • Leave an inch or so of tissue paper untouched at one end of the strip. This will be the part of the flower that you work with and use as your base, so you don't want it shredded.
    • The strip should still include every layer of tissue paper that you started with. No need to cut one sheet at a time.
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    Take a small piece of floral wire and bend it at the top. Wrap a piece of masking tape around the loop once it's formed. This will be the bud of your flower and will give the flower something to structure itself around.
    • If you don't want a masking tape bud, you can either color the masking tape or cover it with more tissue paper. You could also try leaving the floral wire exposed. With enough petals, it may blend right in.
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    Take your cut up strip and wrap it around the stem. Roll and roll and roll until you come to the other side of the strip and it's all wrapped up. Then, take another piece of masking tape and wrap it around the base of the paper, securing it in place. Do this to as many layers as you want of paper.
    • Once the tape is on, fluff your "petals" to give them a more flowery look. Spread them out and squish them a little to get them to sprawl out like a carnation.
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    After you have made your flower, take floral tape and wrap it over the masking tape. Floral tape is green and will look more like a stem. Then you can take the end of the tape and attach it to anything, whether it's a card or the end of a pen.
    • If your flower still seems like it's missing something, try wrapping a ribbon around the base. This also provides you another way to attach the flower to something without using the tape. A ribbon is much more delicate and will emphasize the cuteness of your flower.


  • If you want, put the flowers in a vase. They'll stay beautiful forever.


  • Children should not make flowers and work with scissors without an adult supervising.

Things You'll Need

Making Petaled Paper Flowers

  • Watercolor, construction paper, or cardstock
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Hot glue

Making Rolled Paper Roses

  • Cardstock or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or pen (for writing)
  • Q-tip or pencil (for rolling)
  • Ruler (optional)
  • Hot glue (optional)

Making Tissue Carnations

  • Several sheets of tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Floral wire
  • Masking tape
  • Floral tape
  • Ribbon (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Paper Craft