Happy New Year SNAP! Friends! This is Jessica from Pen N’ Paper Flowers and I’m happy to kick off 2014 with a fun and easy DIY for you today – inspired by Chinese New Year.
When I was asked to post about something related to Chinese New Year I began researching the traditions of the holiday because honestly, I didn’t really know too much about it. As I read through the many different descriptions of the typical holiday traditions aside from the mention of fireworks, red envelopes, a thorough house cleaning and a New Year’s Eve Dinner there was one recurring detail that resonated with me…the reference to paper decorations hanging in windows and on doors during the 15 day New Year Festival.
I immediately felt inspired to get out my scissors and paper and get to paper crafting – which is one of my very favorite things. I think you’ll really appreciate the simplicity and diversity of these easy-to-make decorative florals. Instead of choosing to make red flowers - which is the color palette of choice during Chinese New Year – I, instead, selected a color palette that would blend with my home decor.
All you need is some paper or card stock, a pair of scissors and a glue gun (or tape if you prefer). I think the pictures will speak for themselves but I will include the verbal instructions as we go along.
STEP ONE: Cut a circle from a piece of paper. The size of the circle will determine the size of your flower. The piece of paper I’m demonstrating with today was approximately 7 inches by 7 inches. The circle does not have to be perfectly round so don’t fret over the little details like that.
STEP TWO: Cut a spiral from your circle starting from the outside edge working your way to the middle. As I approach the center of the spiral I’m cutting, I prefer to leave a larger middle area so I have more of a “platform” later for gluing the flower together. The spiral does not have to be cut perfectly. In fact, you can even cut the edges a bit wavy to add more character and dimension to your flowers.
Note: I only flipped the spiral circle upside down (photo 2) so you could clearly see the spiral-cut when it was finished.
STEP THREE: Start rolling up the spiral from the outside all the way to the center. Keep it as tight as you can. Once you’ve done a few of these you’ll be able to quickly roll one up in no time with your eyes closed. *wink*
OPTIONAL: After rolling up about 1 or 2 inches of the spiral, add a small dab of hot glue to make sure it still has a nice tight center when you are finished.
STEP FOUR: Stand your tightly coiled spiral cut-out upright, using the center piece as a base for your flower and then let it unravel.
STEP FIVE: Use your fingers to continue to unravel the “flower petals” to create the width you prefer. Once you are satisfied with the way it looks, lift the upper grouping of spiraled petals and add a bit of hot glue to the base. Lower the flower petals back down on the base and use your fingers to gently push the petals down into the hot glue. Not all of the petals will stick and that’s okay. You mainly want the center to be secure – although sometimes I preferred the center to pop up closer to the surface of the bloom.
TIP: The unraveling process is the key to creating different looks for your flowers. For instance, keeping the unraveling process to a minimum will create a “bud” instead of an open bloom.
I love that I was able to make 4 different sized flowers from one 12×12 sheet of decorative paper.
My initial thought was to create a strand of flowers and hang them from my windows in honor of Chinese New Year. However, I decided to tape a grouping of them to the corner of a mirror and I just love the way it turned out.
And then I decided to add some flowers to a favorite frame of mine too…
LOVE these paper flowers! They are so pretty and so simple…I think I’m officially addicted to making them. I have plans for adding them throughout various places in my home – over doorways, on mantles, bathroom mirrors, etc.
I love how versatile these are too. If you did these in white you could use paint or water color pencils for a splash of color. I think it would be fun to try dipping the edges in glue and adding some glitter too.
I also think these would be especially adorable done in mini sizes for creating cupcake toppers, food picks or even small hair accessories.
Thanks for being here everyone! I hope you are inspired to whip out your scissors and use up some of the scrapbooking paper you’ve been hoarding for the last 5-10 years! That’s what I did! Shhh!
If you loved this tutorial or simply love making paper flowers as much as I do, here are a couple of other tutorials you might enjoy: