how to make paper flowers – the perfect brain-killer

flower on blue background

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to disconnect from everything. Watching TV or reading does not quite do it for me. There is always a little something that brings me back to my life, makes me think about my to-do list. It does not appease me or bring me to the state of mental comfort I’m looking for. In those moments, when I just need complete disconnection, I usually take a walk. But Seattle weather being what it is, walking involves being indifferent to the elements, and I’m not. I do care about the rain and the wind, and if I just had a blowout, there is no way I’m going to step outside. (I’ve gotten much better: I actually don’t blow dry my hair that often anymore. But this post is not about my hair, right?) Anyway, whenever I can’t take my beloved walk, I turn to arts and crafts. There is something very relaxing about intensively focusing on a craft project. It completely relieves me from the stress of my day and converts it into creative energy.

Kusudama flowers

I’ve been recently inspired by the beautiful paper flowers on display at West Elm. (Have you ever been in that shop? I could buy everything.) Those flowers were so pretty and delicate. I’m sort of an origami geek — I enjoy choosing washi paper and folding it into creative designs — so I thought I’d try to recreate them. This year, I even decorated our rosemary-plant-slash-Christmas-tree with golden paper cranes. Plus, non-floral bouquets will give a nice, original touch to your interior and, the best advantage, the flowers won’t wilt. They don’t need to be watered or trimmed. I’m not like Em; I’m just awful with my plants. I’m a plant serial killer and I know it.

bouquet

Let’s start with the classic but beautiful Kusudama flower. Choose some pretty origami paper. For each flower, you will need 5 paper squares of identical size to make the 5 petals. I personally chose to divide 5 7/8″ squares into 4 smaller ones in order to make small paper flowers. Don’t hesitate to combine different patterned paper to make your flowers.

squares

Lay your piece of paper on a flat surface. If the pattern is only on one side, place the patterned side down on the table. Start by folding the bottom corner to the top to make a triangle. Remember, when you fold, always crease very firmly, using the tip of your nails.

origami1

Then, fold the left and right corners up to the middle corner to make a diamond shape.

origami2

Fold the same points down. The folded edge will line up exactly on top of the outside edge of the square.

origami3

Open up the flaps you have just created and flatten the middle fold to create what should look like two little kites on top of your initial diamond. Do you feel relaxed now?

origami4

Fold the top triangles down into the fold and crease to level them with the edges of the paper.

origami5

Fold the outer edges back using the crease you made earlier and bring the two outside triangles together, in the middle, creating a loop representing a petal.

origami6

Glue the outside triangles together and maintain pressure using a paper clip or hairpin while it dries. Make 4 more of these petals and glue them all together.

Folding, creasing. Folding, creasing. Folding, creasing…

Take your time. Always wait for the glue to be dry before gluing on another petal.

Origami flower

And because a video is worth a thousand words, here is a demonstration of how to make one petal of a flower.

Now let’s be honest: although it’s very enjoyable, this is a time-consuming activity, a true labour of love. So don’t feel compelled to make a bouquet on the first try. Make one flower at a time and then go back to your normal life to avoid turning into an origami nerd like me.

Eventually, you’ll have enough for a floral arrangement. Just find some cotton branches at your local florist and glue your flowers onto the ends.

Branches

Happy folding!

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4 thoughts on “how to make paper flowers – the perfect brain-killer

  1. Superbe ! Nous en avons fait avec ma puce, 12 ans, ce matin et c’est adorable ! Instructions are very easy to follow. The tricky part for us was to glue the petals together. We used shot glasses and eggcups to maintain the petals together while the glue would harden. Really, really cute, thanks Benedicte, great post!

    • Glad you and your “puce” liked it 🙂
      The gluing part is always a little bit difficult: You have to proceed very gradually, waiting for the glue to dry between each one of the petals before adding another one. I personally used a hairpin to make the petals stick together but I like the shot glass idea.

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