Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and all I am hoping for this year is a nice day with my family, and to capture some great moments with my kids on camera. I made up a couple of giant crepe paper flowers to use as photo props, but they also make for pretty decor that never fades! If you’re the type who typically sends flowers on Mother’s Day, this is a fun (and inexpensive!) alternative that your mom is sure to remember for years.
- Crepe Paper Sheets in Spring Colors (one full sheet for each flower)
- Green Crepe Paper Sheet (20 inches for each flower, so one sheet will make several flowers)
- Floral Tape and/or Green Washi Tape
- 16 Gauge Green Floral Wires
- Flower Stamens
- Craft Glue
You will need one full sheet of crepe paper (orange, pink, yellow, etc.) for each flower you plan to make. You only need 8-10 stamens for each flower, one wire from the multi-pack, and about 20 inches of green crepe. So if you’re shopping your supplies, you really just need one of everything, and you’ll be able to make as many flowers as you like.
I found that not only did I get much, much better each time I made a flower, but I also was able to complete it in far less time. My first flower took me nearly 45 minutes to complete, but by my third attempt, I finished it in just 15 minutes. I want to mention this little learning curve in case you find that on your first try, you don’t quite achieve the results you’re looking for. Trying again made all the difference in my case, and making up enough for an actual arrangement won’t be as time-consuming as you think once you get the hang of it. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Step one. Begin by adding a few stamens to the end of your wire, and wrapping it tightly with floral tape. This will be the center of your crepe paper flowers, and it also helps to hold the petals in place while you work.
Step two. Un-roll two folds of the crepe paper, so that you have a rectangular piece about 20 inches long x 4-5 inches wide. Fold it in half, lining up the short ends, then fold it in half two more times (for three times total). You are essentially folding it into a strip of eighths – from which you will cut a petal shape, and leave a strip of paper attached along one edge. Think of paper dolls for this step; you’ll be cutting four small petals, all attached by one strip of paper. (See below for a better example.) Wrap these four petals around the stamens of your flower, adding a few drops of glue at the base as you go.
Step three. Open the whole sheet of crepe paper and cut it lengthwise in half, creating two long strips about 7 feet long and 10 inches wide. Fold these long strips as you did in the first step, folding 5 times, until you have 16 layers of crepe. Cut a petal shape, leaving a strip of paper all connected at one end. Un-fold the paper, leaving you with a 7-foot length of petals all attached to one another. Wrap the connected strip around the base of your flower, adding drops of glue as you go.
Step four. With your second sheet of 7-foot crepe, fold it 4 times, creating a set of 8 wider petals. Wrap and glue this final strip of petals onto the flower’s base.
Step five. Cut a 20-inch square of green crepe, and fold it into quarters, then diagonally. At the center of the square, nip off a tiny corner to create a hole in the middle. At the opposite, outer edge, trim away paper creating a leaf shape. Un-fold the leaves, add them to the base of your flower (you can secure it with glue, if you like) and then use floral tape or green washi tape to wrap all the ends at the base of your flower, covering the brightly-colored crepe and securing it to the floral wire.
I found that floral tape did not hold well enough to suit me, and I ultimately used washi tape to wrap the base because it has better hold. I have successfully used floral tape on smaller tissue paper flowers, but I think the sheer size of these calls for a heavier duty tape. But feel free to experiment!
Step six. Finally, curve the petals by stretching each one slightly, and curling it outward. Do this for each petal, and you will find that it makes your crepe paper flowers look much more realistic, as though it really bloomed!
My daughter typically can’t be bothered to pose for photos, but after seeing these giant crepe paper flowers, she was thrilled to show them off for a few shots. So, my plan worked out perfectly! Props often help kids like my daughter get into a photo session that might otherwise be a struggle. She has something lovely to hold, and I have a way to capture her at this age, which is exactly what I want this Mother’s Day.
These giant crepe paper flowers are fun for more than just Mother’s Day, too – I think they would also be beautiful in bridal photos or as decor for a party or a shower. You can make a big statement with a big arrangement of crepe paper flowers!
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Adrianne is a writer, artist, designer, wife, and mom of 2 kids. She blogs at happyhourprojects.com where the theme is tutorials and recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Her favorite projects are jewelry-making, paper crafts, and recycled crafts. She participates annually in ArtPrize, an international art competition, and she’s the author of the book DIY T-Shirt Crafts: 50 Ways to Recycle a T-Shirt (August 2015).