How to Make Paper Flowers in 12 Beautiful Ways
When you don't have a fresh bouquet, make your own beautiful blooms using crepe or tissue paper. They don't need watering, thrive even without sunlight, and never wilt. In other words, they're an easy way to ensure you can enjoy spring all year long.
With a few snips and folds and a bit of floral tape, paper can be transformed into exuberant flowers with real staying power. (Crepe paper—more durable and textured—can also be fashioned into decorative birds.) The ideas that follow were envisioned for a party, but you don't need a special occasion to make them. As decorations, crepe paper flowers are vibrant and lovely—and they rebound well from embraces. They can be made to match the style and palette of a party in any season, even if that means pink sunflowers in January. Regardless of which type of flowers you'll make, you can practice with scraps of crepe paper in order to master several styles. Follow one of our basic techniques for paper flower-making or learn how to make a particular species of flower for a spectacular gift, centerpiece, table place setting, party favor, or decoration.
Flower for flower, faux floral arrangements are less expensive than those made with live blooms, plus they'll last for decades—not just days—if properly preserved. These projects were inspired by nature, although curly petaled and cone-shaped flowers are decidedly otherworldly. You can mix and match shapes and colors to create, say, pink daffodils or green warblers, or render your crafts to mimic Mother Nature's work. Either way, the finished pieces promise to be memorable.
A triangular vase displays welcoming crepe-paper flowers in shades of yellow. Painted, striped petals and mottled-crepe leaves give each flower a layered look, as well as a wild personality. To add these details to the crepe paper, use a thin brush and a craft sponge.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Detailing Brush Set, $10, michaels.com.
Paper Painterly Poppies
Invite kids to paint abstract designs on sheets of double-sided crepe, then turn their artwork into imaginative flowers perfect for a grandmother or friend. Another option is to paint them yourself and adorn each with glitter. Cut leaves from black paper and punch a hole at one end. They're great for decorating wrapped presents or for use in home décor.
Shop Now: Fiskars Star Hole Punch, 1/4", $10, joann.com.
Paper Pom-Pom Flowers
Styled after pep-squad pompoms, these are some of the simplest paper flowers to craft (from tissue paper, as well as single- and double-ply crepe). Fringing scissors make this project quick work. Try pairing pastel shades with bright leaves, and use the puffy blooms as party favors or in large arrangements.
Shop Now: Dennecrepe Single-Ply Crepe Paper, $2 per sheet, blumchen.com.
A single stem can feature multiple blooms, as shown here with these asters. The centers are cotton covered with glitter, the petals are created with fringing scissors, and the leaves are made from twisted ribbon paper.
Shop Now: N-Llois Crafts Paper Ribbon, $2.80 per roll, etsy.com.
Paper Dahlia Favors
Channel the dahlia's intense color and festive attitude with eye-catching tissue-paper favor pouches. Download and print the template; cut from folded tissue paper. Then, tie on a tag bearing planting instructions, and verdant ribbon to pose as leaves. At home, guests will peel back the petals to reveal a dormant dahlia bulb brimming with potential and just waiting to take root.
Shop Now: Party City Coral Tissue Paper, 99¢ for eight sheets, partycity.com.
These dahlia-like bursts of color hang from the ceiling, adding charm to any party. Our tissue paper pom-poms can be made in the size and color of your choice.
Paper Tulip Favors
Create a boundless field of tulips with these sweet favors. We placed bulbs (you can buy them online in the fall) in votive candleholders with enough water to cover the roots, then added paper blooms and a vellum seat assignment to each one.
Download our templates, and print onto card stock; then cut out with scissors to create patterns. For each tulip, trace and cut petals onto pink cover stock or heavy paper, glue an 18-inch length of 16-gauge green cloth-wrapped floral wire for a stem, and slip into the leaves of a potted tulip bulb.
Shop Now: Recollections Pink Buttons Cardstock Paper, 8.5" x 11", $6, michaels.com.
Watercolor Paper Roses
A few strokes of watercolor paint transform basic coffee filters into beautiful paper roses.
Scented Paper Flowers
Just because your flowers are made out of paper doesn't mean that they can't smell like the real thing. A little bit of fragrance oil goes a long way with these faux blooms to give them a little something extra. Cut a 9-inch piece from the crepe paper streamer and fringe it with scissors. Dab a single cotton ball with a small amount of fragrance oil, and wrap it as the stamen with paper.
Shop Now: Revive Lavender Certified Essential Oil, $13, revive-eo.com.
Splattered Tissue Paper Flowers
Spritzing these paper flowers with a bit of paint makes for a splattered look that mimics the random, unique color patterns on true blooms. First, assemble a few tissue paper flowers from both packages. Fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of paint, and spray the paper with one color at a time.
Shop Now: Martha Stewart Crafts Pom-Pom Kit, $10, michaels.com.
Add a pop of color to your room or office with crepe-paper roses that will never wilt.
Hanging Paper Flowers
With a few snips and folds, and a little imagination, you can turn humble paper bags into party-perfect decorations.