We’re making these for a Cinco De Mayo party, and we’re making lots. I found other tutorials on the web that show how to make these things, but having proto-typed, noodled, and experimented, I’ve come up with revised instructions that I think makes a nice fuller flower.
Start with crepe paper folds. The crepe paper measures about 20″x 90″. This paper from Mister Art. I’m sure you can find them other places too. They’re pretty inexpensive. 1 package (which I think is about 97 cents + Shipping) will make two 10″ flowers.
I like the flowers with a gradation of color best. If you are like me, buying a variety of colors so you can mix them up in the flower is a good idea.
- Unwrap a crepe paper fold. It’s in a plastic package like above and will come out in a rolled sheet 20″ across. Don’t unfold or unroll it yet. It’s much easier to cut across the roll first through the rolled layers… I promise. Measure and cut the roll across the folds. You’ll have two 10″ pieces now, rolled up.
- Unroll the 10″ pieces. Fold the length in half, then fold that into thirds. Cut at the creases. You’ll end up with 6 rectangles 10″ by 15-1/2″ or so.
- If you’d like a multi colored flower, do the same cutting thing with different colored paper folds, so you can mix up the stack of colors before proceeding to the next step. My favorite flowers have a gradation of about three colors. They’re for a birthday party and for Cinco De Mayo so we’re aiming for bright, warm and happy!
- Layer 5 layers of crepe paper together. You can put 6 layers together if you want to use up a pack and not leave some lonely pieces of cut up crepe paper, but if you’re making a bunch of flowers and mixing up colors, 5 layers makes a nice full 10″ flower and you’ll get a few more flowers out of several packages of paper. (Doing some math – 5 packages of crepe paper will make you 12 flowers vs. 10 flowers if you use 6 layers)
- Accordion fold about 1″ to 1-1/2″ folds starting from the 10″ side.
- Use a pipe cleaner, or floral wire to tie down the middle of the accordion folds. Use a tie down that will suffice as your stem. If you want the flowers to stand in a vase, use a stiffer floral wire. If the flowers will be laid on a table, pipe cleaners are fine. If you want to use the flowers in a garland, you can even use a short twist tie, and fasten the flowers to string later.
- Clip the 2 ends of the accordion folds through all layers into a point for petals. You can cut a rounded shape or a pointy one or do different ones for variety. Depending on how thick the accordioned paper is and how sharp your scissors are, you might want to cut part of the accordioned edges at a time versus trying to hack through the whole stack at once.
- Fan out the accordion folds on both sides of the tie down.
- Starting with the color of the petal you want in the middle of flower if you’ve used a variety, gently pull the petals apart from their neighbors. Crepe paper has a bit of stretch and give cross wise. You can give each petal a little pull on either side to open the flower up even a bit more.
- Do this for all layers, finishing one layer on each side of the wire at a time. This helps keep your flower rounded.
- Fluff up the petals and you’re done.
Now, if you decide that you want not only variety in color but also in size, then here are additional instructions for a 12″ flower.
- For a 12″ flower, cut the 20″ crepe paper fold across the roll into one 12″ segment, and one 8″ one.
- Unroll and cut the 12″ part into 4 pieces by folding the length in half twice and cutting through the folds. You’ll have four 12″x23″ approx. pieces. I don’t like to waste good crepe paper so we unrolled and cut the 8″ piece into 6 pieces. We’ll deal with those later.
- Layer 6 pieces of the 12″x23″ rectangles together and accordion fold and follow the instructions as above, starting at instruction #5 above.
If you want to use up the 8″ wide pieces, either make 8″ diameter flowers following the 10″ directions. Or layer and center the 8″ rectangles in the middle of the 10″stack of rectangles. We used 2 8″ rectangles, centered over 3 10″ wide rectangles in many of our flowers. The narrower bit does not get cut into petal shapes when you cut through the accordion layers, but the shorter center looks good nonetheless, and no one will be the wiser that you were using up the leftovers from the 12″ flower.
Oh…And, if you happen to have some pieces longer than others as you’re accordion folding, just fold the extra into the accordion. I won’t tell, and nobody will notice.They’ll be distracted from any minor errors like that by your spectacular flowers.