Paper Peonies

Paper Peonies

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, May 2007


  • 20-pound recycled paper (20 sheets)

  • Blender

  • Silpat

  • Cookie sheet

  • Sponge

  • Rolling pin

  • Acrylic paint (magenta and green)

  • Paintbrush

  • Acrylic varnish

  • Pearlizing medium

  • Plastic bag

  • Thin paper

  • Scissors

  • Glue gun

  • Cable wire

  • Floral tape


  1. Rip 20 sheets of 20-pound recycled paper into strips.

  2. Boil ripped paper in 5 quarts water; let cool.

  3. In a blender, pulse to reduce to a paper pulp.

  4. Place 3 cups pulp onto Silpat-lined cookie sheet; spread out.

  5. Use sponge to soak up excess water. Let dry for a couple of hours.

  6. Flatten with rolling pin. Let dry for one day.

  7. Download and print template.

  8. Cut 50 petals for each peony: 10 small, 20 medium, and 20 large.

  9. Cut 50 petals for each peony: 10 small, 20 medium, and 20 large.

  10. Make mixture of 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon magenta acrylic paint, 1/3 cup acrylic varnish, and 1 teaspoon pearlizing medium.

  11. Dip petals into paint mixture. Dry overnight on cookie sheets lined with a plastic bag.

  12. Curl and wrinkle petal edges.

  13. Make a pistil by cutting a 3/4-inch-by-8 1/2-inch strip of thin paper. Fold lengthwise. On the fold, make 1/4 inch cuts, approximately every 1/4 inch. Roll to resemble a paper decoration for a "lamb chop" end. Secure with glue gun.

  14. Make a 1/2-inch diameter wad of pulp with a point (shaped like an acorn); let dry.

  15. Take dried wad and glue (using glue gun) to uncut end of "lamb chop," pointy side down. Flare ends.

  16. Assemble a flower. Using a glue gun, glue five small petals overlapping, surrounding the wad. Glue another layer of small petals. Repeat process for medium, then large petals, working in layers, until you have a full peony.

  17. For stems, use the glue gun to glue the end of a length of thick electric cable wire to the base of the flower and wrap, then wrap in floral tape. Paint stems green with acrylic paint.


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