Arts·CBC Arts Makes

Springtime paper flowers to make for your mom, your friend, or yourself

It’s easy! Leah Gold shows you how to create beautiful tissue paper flowers, step by step.

It’s easy! Leah Gold shows you how to create beautiful tissue paper flowers, step by step

Springtime paper flowers to make for your mom, your friend, or yourself

CBC Arts

15 days ago
It’s easy! Leah Gold shows you how to create beautiful tissue paper flowers, step by step. 10:02

In CBC Arts Makes, artists guide you step by step through creating your own masterpieces at home.

Hi! My name is Leah Gold and I'm an artist and educator working here in Toronto. I make all kinds of things: drawings, prints, ceramics, murals. But something that I really love to do, and I really miss right now, is to work on big collaborative art projects with people of all ages and abilities at community centres or libraries — anywhere that people gather. 

Back in March of 2020 when we were first stuck at home, I started making paper flowers to brighten up our apartment. I love those first few weeks of spring, when the blooms are starting to appear everywhere and it feels so fresh and hopeful all of a sudden, so I hope this project can bring a little bit of that feeling into your home as well.

These flowers are really fun to make. They're very simple but if you get into it, you can make them as intricate as you like. When you're done, you can combine them into a bouquet to give to someone you love or just leave them as they are. 

And maybe ... if I'm making my flowers over here, and you're making your flowers out there, it's just a little bit like we're working on one giant art project together.

What you'll need

Age range: Must be comfortable with scissors. Ages 9 and up, or ages 6 and up with assistance.

Time commitment: 45-60 minutes

Materials list:

  • Tissue paper or coffee filters (four sheets per flower; minimum 20cm x 20cm) 
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Watercolour paints and brush
  • Masking tape
  • Twist ties
  • Cardboard from a cereal box or similar

Step-by-step instructions:

1. Stack four pieces of tissue paper. Secure together at two corners with small pieces of masking tape.

2. Trace a circle on the tissue paper, using a pencil and a round container or bowl that is approximately 18cm across.

3. In that circle, draw a flower shape with five petals. The petals may be rounded or pointed. Cut out the petal shapes.

4. Lay the four shapes on a piece of cardboard, such as an opened-up cereal box.

5. Use watercolour paints to paint the petals. Paint one of the petal shapes green. This will be your leaf shape. Paint the other three petal shapes with colours and patterns inspired by real flowers. You may want to incorporate things like a fade from one colour to another, stripes, and small spots. For example, for an iris, paint the inside of the petals yellow, and the outsides blue; add fine blue stripes. For a tiger lily, use gradations of orange; add small spots.

6. Allow to dry for 5 to 10 minutes.

7. Carefully peel the petal shapes off of the cardboard. Stack them on top of one another. The green shape should go on the bottom, with the other petal shapes arranged on top. Rotate the shapes so that you can see as many petals as possible.

8. Press a pencil into the centre of the petal shapes. With your other hand, pick up the petals from below and begin to gather and twist them around the pencil. When you have a small nub, pull out the pencil, and secure with masking tape. Continue wrapping the tape around itself on a diagonal, forming a small stem of approximately 8cm.

9. Lay a twist tie alongside the stem, and wrap it completely in masking tape to give the stem some flexibility.

10. Open and separate the petals of the flower. If you wish to curl them, wrap them around a pencil and roll back and forth.

11. To make a bouquet, repeat the process until you have a cluster of flowers. Secure the flowers together with another twist tie, and arrange them in a cup or small pot.

If you try this project at home, we'd love to see it! Share your work with us by tagging @CBCArts, @leaheffgold and #CBCArtsMakes.

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