DIY Giant Paper Flowers Tutorial
DIY Giant Paper Flowers
This tutorial will cover the basics of creating your own giant paper flowers.
For this tutorial, I will be working with small (7") and medium (10") size flowers. I will cover examples of large and giant flowers at a later time, but construction is the same for all sizes. There will be free templates available for download at the end of the tutorial. Experiment with these basic skills and templates to create your own giant paper flower display!
12"x12" or larger card stock (2 colors, petals and center)
Manila folder (for patterns)
Pencil and eraser
Sharpie or other round pen
Bone folder (optional)
Cardboard/ thick card stock for base
Hole punch or string
Choose your pattern. I designed mine on scrap paper and transferred the design onto a Manila folder for a sturdy template.
Decide how large / how many layers of petals you want, most flowers I make have 6 or 8 petals per layer. Lightly trace the pattern onto your card stock. If your petal design has a fold in it, I suggest folding before tracing and cutting, this way your petals will be symmetrical. Use the bone folder to get sharp clean folds.
Cut out your petals. You can cut 2-3 sheets at a time depending on how thick your paper is. I do not suggest cutting more than this at a time as your petals will not end up the same size, and will have fuzzy unclean edges. Once all of your petals are cut out, erase any pencil marks.
Cut a 1"-3" vertical line up the middle from bottom of each petal. The two flaps created will be glued together to give the petal a "foot" (a curve to make it stand). The longer the cut the more upright curve the petal will have. Each petal size should have the same size cut, larger petals need a longer cut than smaller ones. I suggest poking a hole in your template where the end of the cut should be, and marking it when tracing the petals. The smallest petal size may be to small to cut and create a foot. For these, create a 90 degree fold to make a foot tab.
Pull you petal back and forth over a sharp edge (like a desk or table edge) back side down 2 to 3 times. This will make the paper curl.
Note: Some patterns will not need to be curled.
Once curled, place a dot of hot glue on the top of one of the flaps. Press the second flap down on top of it to create a "foot" for the petal. Repeat for all petals. The more the flaps are crossed over each other, the more upright the petals will stand, so for a wide flower the flaps will only need to be partially crossed. Always place the same flap on top, alternating this will cause the petals to curve slightly in different directions.
This is how each petal should look once curled and footed.
Choose a base. It is okay if it is to large, it can always be trimmed down later. I use cardboard coasters (found on amazon) for small and medium flowers, and cardboard cake rounds for large and giant flowers.Use a hole punch to place a hole in the center top of the base. This will be the mounting hole.
Alternatively you can choose to hot glue a string across the back instead. Hot glue one end of the string near an edge, hot glue the other end near the opposite edge. The string should be place closer to the top rather than across the middle.
You will assemble your flower using the largest set of petals first, then continuing in descending order. Place a dot of hot glue on the bottom of the petal. And place just to the left of your mounting hole to be sure it remains uncovered from glue.
Place a dot of glue on the next petals foot and place it on the base. On the final petal, you will need to lift the unstuck edge of the first petal to place the last one against the base.
After the row has been placed you can glue down all of the unattached edges to square the petals off, or leave them unattached to give the petals some twist.
Trim the excess base off if it was to large. The base should have about 1/8" - 1/4" rim around your petals.
Start adding in your next layer of petals. The foot of these will overlap the existing layer.
Follow step 8 and add the remaining petals for the second layer.
Add the 3rd layer (and any other remaining petal layers) following step 8. Depending on size, the feet may not need to be overlapped.
Use the sharpie (or other round object) to fold back the petals and create dimension. A good rule of thumb is to back curl the front edges (not behind another petal) of the petals at a diagonal angle.
There is no right or wrong to this, fold and curl until you reach your desired look.
To create the center of the flower, fold a strip of paper in half length wise. It should be as tall as you want the final center to be when folded- e.g. A 6" strip folded in half for a 3" tall center. Mark a light line across the length of bottom 1/4" up from the open ends.
Cut thin lines from the folded side to the marked line. Repeat all the way across the paper.
Run a small line of hot glue down the open section of your center and glue the two halves together.
Place one end on your sharpie and roll, placing dots of glue occasionally to hold the spiral.
Remove from the sharpie and fluff out the feathery bits. Depending on the flower size you may need multiple strips to create a large enough center.
For another look, before gluing the two halves together, drag the paper over a sharp edge (like a desk or table) to give the center a rounder look. Glue the two sides together with a thin line of hot glue.
Fold the end over and roll the strip together, using small dots of glue to hold it together. Depending on the flower size you may need multiple strips to create a large enough center.
Place a liberal amount of hot glue on your center and press it into place, holding until set.
Mount using picture hooks and enjoy!