Crepe paper flowers: DIY pretty peonies

Spring is in the air and we have some serious flower fever! Today, Hallmark Signature designers Jen K. and Ellie K. are sharing how to make some magical crepe paper flowers guaranteed to last way past the season.

Crepe paper flowers are a kind of beautiful all their own. When you base their colors on real blooms, they seem almost lifelike. But you also can combine your favorite colors with not-found-in-nature patterns and shapes to create fantasy flowers! Once you know the basics, it’s easy to experiment.

SUPPLIES FOR CREPE PAPER FLOWERS

  • Crepe paper
  • Floral tape
  • Floral wire (20 gauge, cut to about 6 inches)
  • Stamen pips
  • Cotton balls
  • Scissors

Optional supplies

  • Acrylic or gouache paint (and brushes, paint tray)
  • Paint pens
  • Glitter
  • Washi tape
  • Decorative papers
  • Hot glue gun
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle nose pliers

Find supplies at your crafts store (or one of these).

HOW TO MAKE A CREPE PAPER PEONY

Preparing the parts of your crepe paper flower

Cut out petals, fringe, and leaves using this free downloadable template. Don’t be afraid to freestyle, though!

If you’d like, now’s the time decorate the petals with a dry brush dipped in a little paint or with paint pens—you can add ombre shading, simple dots, or stripes for additional interest and texture. Don’t use watery paints: They’ll take the stretch out of the crepe paper.

“Flute” the tips of the petals by pinching and pulling the outside edge.

The most important part making realistic petals for crepe paper flowers is “cupping.” To cup the petals, grasp the petal between the thumbs and index fingers of both hands (thumbs on top). Very gently slide fingers and thumbs away from each other, gently stretching and forming the crepe paper into a cup. Leave an unstretched border to help the petal hold its shape.

Building your crepe paper flower

Pull off enough cotton to make a marble-sized ball, and poke one end of the floral wire into it. Put a square piece of crepe paper over it, and twist the paper around the wire—it’ll look kind of like a lollipop. Wrap a little piece of floral tape around the wire to hold it all together.

Pro-tip: When you stretch floral tape, it releases the waxy adhesive—smoothing it with your fingers will make it stick. The easiest way to work with it is to cut or tear small pieces and line them up on your work surface so they’re ready to wrap.

Next, add stamens: Place them around the center, and wrap floral tape around the bottoms to secure them.

Add the fringed piece of crepe paper the same way: Wrap it around the wire just under the center piece, pinch to gather it, and hold it with floral tape.

Then start adding the petals: Overlap the small ends around the wire, and secure them with pieces of floral tape as you go. Keep going until you love the size and volume of your peony.

Finish with a few leaves: Wrap your wire in floral tape. As you move from the flower to the end, add leaves by pinching the small ends around the wire and wrapping them with the tape.

DISPLAYING YOUR CREPE PAPER FLOWERS

We love to see these paper blossoms anywhere you’d put real flowers.

  • Make bouquets, garlands, or pins.
  • If you keep the backs relatively flat (use glue to attach petals to the center ball, instead of wrapping it around a wire), you can frame them in shadow boxes.
  • Attach them to the back of the guest of honor’s chair at a special event.
  • We love delicate floral crowns, made by simply forming a wire to fit your head, covering it with floral tape, and adding crepe paper flowers and leaves.

Make sure to check out our Mother’s Day brunch where we put so many of these colorful creations to work!

Photography by Kevin Cozad.

Show us your crepe paper flowers—and the different ways you display them—on our Facebook page and on Instagram at @think.make.share!

 

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