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Learn How to Craft Your Own Lifelike Flowers With Paper and Glue

Cut flowers are a beautiful way to brighten your home. But when you opt for the fresh-cut variety, you display them with the knowledge that, sadly, they’ll wilt. Paper flowers, however, are a clever workaround. By constructing these blooms out of paper, you’ll ensure that they’ll always be fresh—no watering required!

You can create your own paper flowers in a variety of ways. Many crafters make and release their own patterns that you can download and use. Some have written books on the subject or showcase their skills in video tutorials. But whatever your taste, there’s likely DIY paper flowers ready for you.

DIY Paper Flowers Supplies

The things you’ll need to create your own paper flowers will vary based on the type of blooms you’re making. Some flowers are more lifelike than others—from afar they could be the real thing. To achieve this look, artists use crepe paper. It’s available in a variety of colors, and its little ridges look like tiny veins. This type of paper also stretches without tearing, meaning that you can bend and curve it to form lifelike petals. If you’re looking to make a colorful bouquet that can decorate your home year-round, crepe paper is definitely the type to buy.

Try these materials for lifelike flowers:

Extra fine crepe paper in assorted colors. The 10 colors included in this pack come in a range of yellows to reds to purples to green—every hue you’d need to try paper flowers.

Paper Flower DIY

by Just Artifacts | $16.98

Crepe paper rolls in shades of yellow. From lemon yellow to ivory and yellow, this pack allows for more nuances in your leaves and stems. A selection of pinks and reds is also available for petals.

DIY Paper Flowers

by Decora | $7.28

Floral stem wire. This is the same type of material used in corsages and wedding bouquets. It’s easy to cut and is flexible; wrap it in stem tape to add a finishing touch.

DIY Paper Flowers

by Aleene's | $7.95

Tacky glue. Specially designed for paper crafts, this all-purpose adhesive is great for achieving lifelike flowers. According to artist Tiffanie Turner, “Tacky glue allows the flower petals to sit closer together in a more natural manner.”

Lifelike paper flowers can be tricky in their construction. They look beautiful, but it comes at a cost—they can be fussy and easy to mess up. There’s another style of paper flowers that are more graphic in style. They feature simple shapes and cardstock paper; the blooms appear less realistic, but they’re ideal for decoration like backdrops for weddings.

Try these materials for stylized flowers:

Cardstock paper. Since you’re not going for lifelike blooms, have some fun with the color! This bright assortment of 250 sheets of cardstock is a great way to experiment with blues, pinks, yellows, and more.

DIY Paper Flowers

by ArtVerse | $10.24

Tissue paper. Tissue paper rides the fine line between lifelike and stylized. The petals are delicate like real flowers, but when you use tissue paper, there’s less variation in color that you’d find in an actual bloom. Like the cardstock, try using a variety of colors!

DIY Paper Flowers

by CCbetter | $12.89

Hot glue. For thick paper (cardstock) or bunches of paper (tissue paper), the hot glue dries very quickly and is durable.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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