How to Make Amazing Paper Flowers

Our hand-crafted paper flowers have been a big hit in 2016!

We initially created the flowers and presented them at the opening night of Roslyn Burns’ exhibition at the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries in March.

Larger versions of the flowers were then used to adorn donation collection jars for the Tree Street Art Safari in April.  In early July, we participated in ‘Chill,’ an event at Stirling Street Arts Centre organised by Bunbury Art Connect.  We were making the flowers on location when the magic started to happen.

Flowers by Art Partners. Photo by Carensa Watts

Flowers by Art Partners. Photo by Carensa Watts

But before we tell you about that, we thought we’d show you how to make the flowers using a step-by-step guide patiently photographed for us by Carensa Watts.

Materials

You’ll need square paper, a glue gun, dowel and buttons. A tiny saw (for cutting the dowel) is handy.

Getting the Paper Right

Having a supply of machine-cut square paper is ideal for getting started. More ambitious flower-makers might prefer to cut square paper by hand.

If you have paper with a pattern on one side, place the pattern side down. If you have paper with a design on two sides, place the design you wish to have on the outside of the flower face down.

The Folds

Fold the square paper into a triangle.

Fold the square paper into a triangle. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the square paper into a triangle. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the right and left tips onto the centre tip.  First one tip.

Fold the right tip onto the centre tip. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the right tip onto the centre tip. Photo by Carensa Watts

Then the other.

Fold the left tip onto the centre tip. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the left tip onto the centre tip. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the two top flaps back on themselves to make smaller triangles.

Fold the top flaps back on themselves. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the top flaps back on themselves. Photo by Carensa Watts

Reverse fold (fold in the other direction) the two folds you have just made to make them pliable.

Reverse the fold. Photo by Carensa Watts

Reverse the fold. Photo by Carensa Watts

Open and squash those two triangles.  First one side.

Open and squash, step one. Photo by Carensa Watts

Open and squash, step one. Photo by Carensa Watts

Making sure to really flatten it.

Open and squash, step two. Photo by Carensa Watts

Open and squash, step two. Photo by Carensa Watts

Then the other side.

Open and squash, step three. Photo by Carensa Watts

Open and squash, step three. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold the left and right tips down to reveal the opposite side of your paper. Your folds are almost complete now.

Fold down the tips. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold down the tips. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold your left side and your right side in on themselves.  First one side.

Fold in the sides, step one. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold in the sides, step one. Photo by Carensa Watts

So it looks likes this.

Fold in the sides, step two. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold in the sides, step two. Photo by Carensa Watts

Then the other side.

Fold in the sides, step three. Photo by Carensa Watts

Fold in the sides, step three. Photo by Carensa Watts

Your folded paper is now ready for gluing.

Ready for gluing. Photo by Carensa Watts

Ready for gluing. Photo by Carensa Watts

Gluing and Repeating

Use a glue gun (best and easiest) to apply glue to one flap of the folded paper.  Proceed with a little caution as the glue is super hot!

Folded paper with glue applied to one flap. Photo by Carensa Watts

Folded paper with glue applied to one flap. Photo by Carensa Watts

Gently glue the two flaps together…

Glue the two flaps together. Photo by Carensa Watts

Glue the two flaps together. Photo by Carensa Watts

…to create the cone-shaped petal.

The cone-shaped petal. Photo by Carensa Watts

The cone-shaped petal. Photo by Carensa Watts

Make four more petals to give you a total of five.

Make a total of five petals. Photo by Carensa Watts

Make a total of five petals. Photo by Carensa Watts

The Dowel and Gluing

Once your petals are complete, cut a piece of dowel. We used dowel that is five millimeters in diameter.  We used a length of dowel that is approximately three times the length of the petal seam.

After much experimenting, we decided that it works best to place a line of glue along the seam of the petal and not along the dowel.

Apply glue to the seam. Photo by Carensa Watts

Apply glue to the seam. Photo by Carensa Watts

Then – and working quite quickly so the glue does not dry – attach the glued seam to the dowel.

Attach the glued seam to the dowel. Photo by Carensa Watts

Attach the glued seam to the dowel. Photo by Carensa Watts

While that dries, you can apply a line of glue to the next petal seam.

Each time you place a glued petal seam on the dowel, place it snugly against the previous one. This will ensure that you have enough room for your five petals.

Dowel with three petals. Photo by Carensa Watts

Dowel with three petals. Photo by Carensa Watts

Here’s the flower with all five petals.

Flower with five petals attached. Photo by Carensa Watts

Flower with five petals attached. Photo by Carensa Watts

The Finishing Touch

Buttons work well to jazz up the flower’s centre. Place a blob of glue on the exposed dowel.

Place glue in the centre. Photo by Carensa Watts

Place glue in the centre. Photo by Carensa Watts

Working quickly, you can then position your button.  You can glue a second button for added dimension.

Finished flower. Photo by Carensa Watts

Finished flower. Photo by Carensa Watts

Making Magic Happen

The flowers started to really take off when we made them at Bunbury Art Connect’s ‘Chill’ event at Stirling Street Arts Centre in early July.

Smoosh Paper by Raelene Byrnes

Exhibiting artist Raelene took notice and generously donated five pages of her ‘smoosh’ paper which we used to make our first flower with original handcrafted paper. We cut her five pages into squares and we were off and folding.  From there, it just snowballed.

Paper by Raelene Byrnes. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Raelene Byrnes. Photo by Carensa Watts

Doodles by Amanda Doust

Doodle Queen Amanda offered up five pages of her doodles which we turned into a stunning black and white flower.

Paper by Amanda Doust. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Amanda Doust. Photo by Carensa Watts

Sketches by Tom Ansell

Tom ripped five pages from his sketchbook from which we made a small flower with hints of his artwork showcased on each petal. We used a detail to fashion a leaf.

Paper by Tom Ansell. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Tom Ansell. Photo by Carensa Watts

Prints by Robyn Harris

Robyn had attended the recent workshops at Edith Cowan University and experimented with a variety of print-making processes. She donated a stack of paper for us to transform into flowers.

Paper by Robyn Harris. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Robyn Harris. Photo by Carensa Watts

Masses of Colour by Janine Egan

Janine offered us a large piece of paper on which she had created vibrant geometric designs. Her paper was cut up, folded and glued into a striking flower.

Paper by Janine Egan. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Janine Egan. Photo by Carensa Watts

Black Paper by Lisa Egan and Roslyn Burns

We used paper donated by Lisa and Roslyn to make tiny flowers. This paper was primarily black with hints of colour.  These flowers have a much different look and feel.

Paper by Lisa Egan and Roslyn Burns. Photo by Carensa Watts

Paper by Lisa Egan and Roslyn Burns. Photo by Carensa Watts

Flower Takes Flight

We were honoured when Peter Kovacsy purchased one of our flowers and transplanted it to Pemberton as a gift for his wife. Peter is an award-winning artist and designer with an international reputation whose studio is open to the public (calling ahead is best).  Pictured here is the artist in his Pemberton studio with the Art Partners flower.

Peter Kovacsy in his studio with the Art Partners flower. Photo by Peter Kovacsy

Peter Kovacsy in his studio with the Art Partners flower. Photo by Peter Kovacsy

Are You Feeling Inspired?

If you decide to give flower-making a try, we’d be delighted to hear in the comments section how you go.

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25 thoughts on “How to Make Amazing Paper Flowers

  1. Mark Sadowski

    The flowers are superb and the clear and concise, step by step instructions have to be the go-to blog post for those wanting to acquire the skill. Have seen other instructional posts but they just don’t compare. From an engineering perspective, these flowers are extremely well made and robust despite appearing delicate and artistic. Well done to everyone involved with Art Partners on this gem of a project.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Great, as always, to hear from you Mark. I so love when the engineers weigh in on the merits of something we’re working on. Although they’re not pictured in the post, thanks again for making the wooden stands for the flowers!

      Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Hi Jenny! How lovely to hear from you. Making the flowers is a fabulous project. If you don’t want to hassle with dowel and saws, use a pencil! The diameter of a pencil is a little bigger, so make six petals instead of five. We’ll send you a photo of a flower made with a pencil and six petals. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. Life Images by Jill

    I love these flowers – and learnt how to make them earlier this year. I love the idea of using the paper from artists paintings etc to make the flowers. Every one unique. Thanks for the little tutorial on how to make them.

    Reply
    1. Art Partners Post author

      Thanks Jill and lovely to hear from you about your experience with these gorgeous flowers. Yes, using the paper created by the artists was a magic idea indeed. Happy folding!

      Reply

Looking forward to hearing from you!

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