Whether you’re a crafting expert or have never made anything by hand before, you can become a paper craft florist in just a few simple steps.

These blossoming beauties are inexpensive to make and never need watering. What’s not to love?

How To Make Paper Flowers

As you bring out the paper, scissors and glue, you’ll find many of the supplies needed for this project already in your home.

Let your imagination take over as you source additional materials to add color and flair to your paper craft. 

An assortment of colorful paper flowers in white vase in vases on a shelf.
Paper flowers are a simple craft project you can work on, no matter your skill level. Still from Skillshare Class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Build Your Supply List

Printed paper and cardstock are often a go-to for crafters, but crepe paper can help you create a more lifelike finish. You can also use satin, matte or metallic cardstock to make paper flowers. Try experimenting with other delicate choices like tissue paper or even coffee filters.

The quality of the paper you choose really does matter. The aim for any good DIY project is to last, and your handmade paper flowers are no exception.

Crepe paper, scissors, paint, and other crafting tools on a wooden desk
Choosing the right kind of paper is essential for a successful paper flower project. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

You’ll use the heaviest paper for your main flower heads. Thicker paper holds its shape better, and it’s the most flexible for beginners to work with. Medium thickness is better for petals and more intricate parts of your paper flowers. 

Doublette paper, or German crepe paper, is a special variety made from two pieces of very fine crepe paper glued together. These sheets can be different colors so, when stuck together, they create their own unique color effect.

Person holding floral wire in their hand over a crafting table with supplies.
Floral wire is ideal for making realistic flower stems. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Beyond Paper: Wires, Brushes, Adhesive and More

You’ll also want to pick up some floral wires. An 18-gauge wire is ideal for flowers with thicker stems, while a 22-gauge wire can be used for finer flowers or leafy stems.

Choosing the right supplies for your paper art can feel overwhelming. Buying a DIY paper flowers kit can help you get started and is a good introduction to this type of paper craft.

Once you have your main paper flower materials, lay out your crafting supplies. The essentials for any floral crafter are:

  • Either kitchen scissors or dressmaking shears
  • Wirecutters
  • A paintbrush
  • A foam brush
  • Spun cotton balls
  • Floral tape in a pale green color
  • Aquarium tubing
  • Manual glue – tacky craft glue, ModPodge and a glue stick
  • Hot glue gun
Artists brushing a paintbrush into a palette of chalk paints.
Painting your petals can add a lifelike depth to your paper flowers. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

If you’d like to paint any extra details onto your flowers, pull out your pastel chalk paints or sidewalk chalk. From here, you should be all set to start crafting. 

Crepe paper poppies are one of the easiest flowers to make, and even beginners can create realistic paper flowers that’ll impress anyone who sees them.

How to Craft Realistic Paper Petals

If you’ve never used crepe paper before, take a closer look before making your paper flowers. You’ll notice a grain running through the paper, almost like wood. Whenever you’re cutting, stretching or shaping any petals, always work with the grain.

Person pulling red crepe paper above a crafting table.
Stretch a sample of crepe paper before starting to test its flexibility. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Stretch out the paper and see what this does to the texture. Heavier paper, such as a 180 gram weight paper will stretch up to three times its original size, while a 90 gram or doublette paper won’t be as flexible.

Important note: Once you’ve stretched the paper, it will never go back to its original shape. Work lightly, and make small movements to avoid wasting your paper.

Two hands holding a piece of red petal-shaped crepe paper.
Lightly pulling your crepe paper will give you a more lifelike petal shape. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Next, cut out a rough petal shape, then push your thumb and forefinger into the center of the paper. Gently pull with your fingertips, while still holding onto the outside edges of the paper.

Go back and forth along the paper until you start to see a slight dip in the middle and a distinct petal shape.

Assemble the Poppy Centers 

The easiest place to start on any paper flower is the center. Moving from the middle and working outward helps you to build your paper layers evenly to create a more realistic look. 

Person painting a small cotton ball green.
Start your poppy from the middle and work outward. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Using your hot glue gun, stick a spun cotton ball onto your thinnest floral wire. Thread the wire through aquarium tubing to create a thicker stem and cut to size.

Paint the spun cotton any dark green color, then leave it to dry for around 20 minutes.

Person cutting floral tape from a cotton bud.
Wrap floral tape around your cotton bud for a pollen-like appearance. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Take your floral tape and twist it to make a thinner tape while still on the roll. Slowly wrap the tape around the bottom of the cotton ball, moving down, up, and then diagonally over the top of the ball in an X shape.

This keeps the cotton ball secured on the stem, while also replicating the look of pollen on the poppy. Repeat these movements until you’re happy with the shape and size.

Build the Stamen

Crafter pressing three pieces of pale colored crepe paper together.
Layer three pieces of crepe together to start your staman. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Makeby Emily Paluska.

Cut your lightest green paper into two small rectangles and yellow paper into one, then stretch each piece out to the maximum width.

With your glue stick, coat one side of each piece, and sandwich the yellow piece between the two green, with a small amount of the yellow sticking out the top.

Person cutting a fringe design into crepe paper.
A fringe will make the inside of your poppy look as if there’s pollen attached. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Carefully cut thin strips into the paper to create a fringe effect, leaving around a third of the paper uncut—this is what you’ll be using to stick the paper down. 

Person wrapping fringed crepe paper around a wire flower stem.
Wrap the fringe around the stem to complete the center of your poppy. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Add tacky glue to the paper and slowly attach this piece to the floral tape on your stem. Be as even as you can as you wrap the paper around until you reach the end.

Shape The Petals

Person rounding off the edges of white crepe paper with scissors.
Carefully cut out your petals by trimming the crepe into a mushroom shape. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

With your 90 gram paper, cut a rough square and then fold the paper in half. Round off the edges so you’re left with a mushroom-looking shape.

Repeat this with your next smallest squares and again with the smallest. This will leave you with three different-sized petals.

Crafter rolling crepe paper into a thin line with an accordion fold.
An accordion fold will crinkle your crepe into a realistic looking petal. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

If you’re using paint or chalk, color the flat end of the mushrooms with pale green before making small accordion folds on the paper from one side to the other until the paper looks like a fan.

Twist the paper tightly and then slowly unravel it to form your petal shape. Grab your hot glue and fasten the bottom as you pinch it to create the end of the petal.

Crafter sticking paper flower petals onto a crepe paper and wire stem.
Stick your petals onto the staman, building from the smallest to largest. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Starting with the small petals, glue the tail to the uncut piece of your paper stamen. Overlap the next petal about halfway over the first one and glue this too.

Keep working by adding petals around the stamen, first adding the opposite side petal and then filling in the gaps. Look at your paper flower from above to make sure you’re happy with the alignment.

Take Your Time with the Stems

For your paper flower stems, you’ll be using small strips of dark green crepe paper wrapped around a floral wire and tube.

Before getting too carried away with your tacky glue, remember a little goes a long way, so start with a few small dots along the paper strip—you can always add more glue later if needed.

Person wrapping green crepe paper around a plastic tube and floral wire.
Wrapping green crepe paper around the wire and tube finishes your paper flower project. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Press one end of the paper to the flower head end of the tube then carefully wrap it around. Make sure all of the tube is covered so you can only see the green of the stem paper. 

Gently pull the crepe as you move down, twisting the tube as you pull. This is the only way to keep your stem smooth, but don’t worry about perfection. After all, nature isn’t perfect! 

Vase holding three red and pink paper poppies on a wooden table.
Poppies are a simple, yet elegant, paper flower anyone can make. Still from Skillshare class Papercraft Flowers: Beautiful, Lifelike Florals Anyone Can Make by Emily Paluska.

Take your time until you reach the end, where you can then tear off the leftover paper to complete your stem and poppy.

Fill Your Home with Paper Craft Flowers

Your new paper flowers are perfect for any occasion. Hang your creations from ceilings at a party or pop them in a vase for centerpieces to last until your next get-together.

Once you feel confident with the basics, try your hand at roses, peonies, tulips, sunflowers, dahlias … whatever flowers you love most!

A woman with long vibrant blue hair models a head piece made of many colorful paper flowers.
Artist and Skillshare teacher Emily Paluska models her handcrafted paper flowers. Photo credit: Skillshare.