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What are Paper Flowers?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated Jan 29, 2024
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Paper flowers are flower-like shapes made from tissue and crepe papers. Both papers are very thin and lightweight, but crepe paper has an extra textured coating. Tissue paper is often used when wrapping gifts, often as the filler paper seen at the top of gift bags. Crepe, or crape, paper is often sold in rolls and used as party decorations, or streamers, hung on walls. Many different kinds of paper flowers can be created using tissue and crepe papers.

The best way to make paper flowers is to look at real blooms — either at actual ones or in photographs. Petal shapes can then be cut out of tissue or crepe paper. The centers, stems, and leaves may also be be made from rolled or shaped papers. Alternatively, silk floral supplies could be used to complete a paper flower.

There are many different paper flower instruction booklets sold in craft shops. They include directions for creating carnations by folding tissue or crepe paper, then making many small cuts in it with scissors to form loops. After the tips of the loops are cut, petals similar to those of carnations are formed. Roses are also popular paper flowers to make. Rose tissue paper flowers are made with a soft technique using cut out, softly folded petals that are wrapped loosely around each other in a rose-like fashion.

Floral tape may be used to hold paper flower petals together; if color matched, it's much less noticeable than other tapes. Paper flower supplies are usually quite inexpensive, so it's a good idea for crafters to experiment with different floral looks before making many flowers. After some experience, a crafter can usually create more sophisticated paper flowers by using different shades of one color of tissue or crepe paper for each blossom.

Thinking creatively can result in beautiful paper flowers suitable for decorations for special occasions such as parties or weddings. For example, once smaller paper roses are mastered, a crafter may feel comfortable using large sheets of tissue paper to create larger petals. The large paper rose petals can then be wrapped together to make eye-catching flowers for church pews or to attach to the sides of tables at a reception.

For an allergy-free hospital gift to cheer up a patient, paper flowers inside a cheerfully painted terra cotta pot can be created quickly and easily. Craft store fabric butterflies on stems or picks can be added for extra whimsy and appeal. A little painted wooden plant stake sign that reads "Get Well Soon" can finish off the paper flower hospital present.

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Discussion Comments
By croydon — On Jun 11, 2012

@browncoat - There are some simple origami flower designs as well though. Some of the most simple designs are flowers, in fact.

I've found that if you use the right paper it doesn't matter how simple your paper flowers are. You can just cut out a classic daisy shape and glue it straight onto a piece of paper and it will look gorgeous if the papers are the right kind.

I've seen some really cute bouquets that were made from polka dot paper, or really bright construction paper that were very effective. You can do it simply but still have it come out looking gorgeous.

By browncoat — On Jun 10, 2012

@pastanaga - There really are some incredible origami designs out there, however don't make the mistake of thinking that just because they are made from folding paper that they are easy, or even possible for the average crafts person.

Origami is an art that takes a while and lots of practice to master. There are people who are able to sell their very intricate origami paper flowers because they are so difficult to make. I've even seen people who manage to make an entire branch, complete with blossoms, out of paper.

Which is not to say that you can't learn how to do this, just that it's not a quick or easy process. You need a lot of time, a lot of patience and the right kind of paper and even then it might not turn out how you want it to.

By pastanaga — On Jun 09, 2012

Paper flowers aren't always made from crepe paper, although that might be the most traditional material and they do look very pretty. I've seen all kinds of different paper flowers, including origami paper designs.

It depends on what you want them for, of course. Some people might be making them to go on a card or in a frame and they won't want the flowers to be too three dimensional. They might stick out a little bit, but not too much.

Or, you might want to imitate real flowers and have the heads of them on stems. In that case you'll want some kind of paper that will hold its shape in the way you need it to. Crepe paper is good for some kinds of flowers, but for one like irises or lilies it might not be stiff enough to really hold the shape of the flower.

It's best to look at a wide range of what's possible before deciding on what kind of material you want to use for your paper flowers crafts. Crepe paper is not always the easiest or best material.

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