April 14, 2011

Tissue Paper Flowers

I have always loved the way that sunlight shines through tissue paper flowers.  There's just something magical about them.  So, this year for my daughter's birthday (which falls near Cinco de Mayo) I decided to make some party decorations...

I had not made them since I was a little girl, but after experimenting a little bit I found that it's extremely easy to make gorgeous flowers... so easy that I kind of went into OCD mode and filled up the living room with them... but that's for another post!

You'll need:  tissue paper (six to eight layers), scissors, and wire or ribbon.  That's it!

First, start with six to eight layers of tissue paper in roughly a square shape.  My tissue paper happens to be nearly square, but if yours is more rectangular, you'll want to trim it a bit.  Don't worry about precision.  Play with it and see what results you get.

I like six layers of tissue paper the best.  So, for this flower I started with two layers of goldenrod, two layers of lemon yellow, and two layers of white.  The color on the top of your pile will be the center of the flower.

I found that for the prettiest blending of colors it works best to go either light to dark or vice versa and to stay in the order of the colors in the rainbow.  This makes the tissue paper colors blend really well as the light shines through them.  So, you could have a dark blue blending to purple.  Or a pale green blending through yellow to orange.  But, if you stick with those basics the colors all really work well together.
Next I accordion or fan fold the stack of tissue paper back and forth.  First fold up and then keep going at about 1 inch increments.
Again, this does NOT have to be perfectly measured, but if done correctly, you should have the same color on the top and bottom of your finished fan folded stack of tissues.  My stack has goldenrod (the bottom color) showing.  If yours has one color on top and the other on the bottom, don't worry... just adjust the folds slightly next time.
Next, fold your fan in half.  As you can see the edges of my tissue paper sheets do not line up perfectly.

 Hold your fan so that the bottom fold is facing you and trim off the corners at an angle.  Make sure you leave about 1/3 of the tissue intact in the center.
 It should look like this...
Now it's time to make the petals!  To make a basic flower with rounded petals, just start about an inch or two down from on one of the folded edges and cut a rounded curve, this cuts off all of your uneven bits of tissue paper.
 Start at the edges and cut towards the center.
Next, open up your fan and it should look like this.  Rounded at each end with the notches cut out of the center and 1/3 tissue left in the middle.  This part is the center of your flower.  
Take a piece of ribbon or wire and secure this center.  I used curling ribbon, but you can use fabric ribbon or a pipe cleaner or piece of wire.  Anything to hold it tight!
Open up the ends of your fan with your center color (in this case white) on top.  Begin with your center layer and carefully separate the tissue layers and fluff towards the center.

 Don't worry too much if you rip a layer.  Just get the scissors out and round out the torn edges.
 When you have finished separating all the layers your flower should look like this... que bonita!
Next up... variations with spiky petals and a pom-pom center!


  1. All the Trim, Events by DesignJuly 9, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Hi Eden,

    We are doing a blog on tissue paper flowers that we did for a Mojito-Burrito Birthday Party that my company planned. We would like to use the link to this page in our blog as a visual reference on how to make these flowers. You mentioned above to get permission prior to using your text or images, so may we link this page in our blog? My company is All the Trim, Events by Design. You can check out our website at www.AllTheTrimEvents.com.

    Not sure you often you read your comments, but I am hoping to find out if we can link this page to our blog by tomorrow. If not, we will have to resort to using another page that doesn't quite match how we made our flowers. We like your blog post the best, so hope to hear from you soon! Thanks so much!! Cassie Garrett

  2. I'm happy to have you link to my blog. Thanks!