It may be Spring, and your gardens may be full of beautiful flowers, but if you’re like me and have a knack of killing real flowers before they even get a chance to grow, you might need to rely on the artificial kind to introduce some colour and prettiness to you home. While silk flowers are best for imitating the real thing, these rolled paper flowers are stylish and striking, and can be made in all sorts of patterns and colours. Versions of this tutorial abound online, but I’ll be adding the benefit of my numerous mishaps to spare you the trial and error – not to mention nasty burns from hot glue.
To make the flowers you’ll need thick paper (I’m using double-sided scrapbooking paper, but construction paper would work just as well, I think), scissors, pencil, hot glue gun (I’ve not tried other types of glue, but any fast drying liquid glue should do the trick) and florist wire (18 gauge is best.)
1. Turn on your glue gun to heat up. This may seem like obvious advice, but make sure your glue gun stays put on the table when you set it down, and that the wire isn’t dragging it onto the floor. Things will get a little fiddly later, and you want to be sure you gun isn’t falling over and getting glue all over your carpet.
2. Draw around a plate onto your paper, and cut it out. Then cut a spiral into the circle, like so
This doesn’t need to be neat. In fact, you can even scallop the outside edges slightly, as seen below, to give a more realistic look to your finished rose
3. Time to start rolling! Roll from the outside in, trying to keep the bottom edges as flush as possible.
4. When you get to the end, I find it helps to hold it tightly for a few seconds, just to help the paper retain its shape a little. Then, let go! Scary, I know, especially after all that rolling, but this will let your rose open out a little.
5. When you’re happy with the way your rose has settled, put some glue on the bottom tab, fold it over and stick it to the bottom of your rose.
Give the glue a few seconds to cool and stick, then, if any of your layers are moving about too much, use the glue gun to add some more between the petals, until you’re happy that all the layers are secure. If you’re not using hot glue, it helps to have a glue bottle with a long nozzle on the end, to get right into the middle of the flower. You can also neaten up some of the layers with scissors if you like. I have a habit of creating oval spirals towards the middle, which give my flowers a lop-sided look, so I trim down the offending bits after the glue is dried.
And that’s the flower done!
And the scalloped edge version
6. Next, cut a leaf shape out of some paper, and give it a little accordion fold at the bottom, to add some natural shape. Glue the fold.
7. Take your florist wire, and fold over about half an inch at the top, to form a 90 degree angle. Glue this to the underside of your flower, and then glue the leaf on to cover the join. Make sure your leaf is facing the right way!
8. Cut the wire to the correct length – kitchen scissors are best for this, or wire cutters if you have them, because the wire will ruin normal scissors.
And you’re done! There are loads of ways you can further customise these. Gently dabbing the edges of the petals on an ink pad in a complimentary colour can add subtle depth, while dusting the edges with glue and glitter is a little more bling. The scalloped flowers are particularly good for rolling some of the petals back slightly to open it up more. You can put them in a vase, or tape them together with florist’s tape to create a bouquet. And the best part is, they’ll never die!