Paper Flowers: Make a Blooming Rosebud Topiary

Paper flowers are such fun to create, and there are so many different types and variations you can make! In this tutorial from our I {Heart} Paper special issue, designer Tracy Houser shows you how to create a beautiful blooming paper rosebud topiary. This elegant work of paper art makes the perfect centerpiece for a wedding, anniversary party, or other special occasion.

paper flowers
Tracy Houser’s rosebud topiary is perfect for special events! (Photos by Sharon White Photography)

Blooming Rosebud Topiary by Tracy Houser

Making paper flowers is something I love to do! And the new tools on the market make it much simpler. What could be more fun than to make a paper rosebud topiary with these helpful gadgets? This project is simple but time-consuming, and a quilling pen is a must.


  • Styrofoam™ disc(s) to fit flowerpot
  • Flowerpot
  • Glue, quick dry
  • Wooden dowel, ½″, 1′ long
  • Styrofoam ball, 6″
  • Decorative paper, 12″ x 12″, 27 assorted sheets (I used Anna Griffin® Christmas collections, 15 different designs.)
  • Scissors
  • Sizzix® Bigz 3-D flower die cut and machine
  • Quilling pen
  • Corsage pins (I used pearl heads.)
  • Floral pins
  • Ribbon, 1½″-wide
  • Tulle, 1 spool


1. Place the Styrofoam discs in the flowerpot and press down to secure them tightly.

2. Put glue on the end of the dowel, center it over the flowerpot, and gently push the dowel into the Styrofoam. Add glue around the base of the dowel to help hold it in place.

3. Put glue on the other end of the dowel, center the Styrofoam ball above the dowel, and slowly push down, making sure the dowel does not poke through the top of the ball. Add glue where the dowel goes into the ball as well.

4. Cut 25 sheets of paper into 6″ × 6″ pieces to make 100 squares.

5. Using the Sizzix flower die cut, cut all of the 6″ × 6″ pieces. Separate the flower sizes. (FIGURE 1)

paper flowers

NOTE: If you do not have a machine, you can cut the shapes by hand.

6. Using a quilling pen, curl the rosebuds, starting from the outside in. I curled all of the flowers before beginning assembly. (FIGURE 2)

paper flowers

7. Glue the bottom of each flower to secure the bud and let dry.

8. Using a corsage pin, gently pierce through the center of each flower. Place a dab of glue on the bottom of the rosebud and stick the bud into the Styrofoam ball. (FIGURE 3) Keep adding flowers until the ball is covered, making sure to mix in all of the patterns randomly.

paper flowers

9. Hand cut some leaves and glue them in various places.

10. Cut several ¼″ strips from the remaining sheets of paper and cover the wooden dowel with the strips. Pin the strips at the top and the bottom to secure. Add glue as needed along the strip for extra strength.

11. Add a ribbon bow under the ball and secure it, attaching it to the ball with pins.

12. Cut 6″ squares of tulle. Stack 2–3 squares of tulle, twist the stack in the center, and secure the tulle to the base with oral pins.

13. Continue adding twisted stacks of tulle until the base is full.

paper flowers

Tracy Houser is a designer for Anna Griffin Inc., who loves using paper to create 3-D centerpieces and layouts. Tracy is based in Northern California. Visit Anna Griffin Inc. online at

Want to make more paper flowers? Check out our tutorial for creating paper hydrangeas!

I {Heart| Paper is bursting with gorgeous paper art that will inspire artists of all types!
Paperplay by Shannon E. Miller features lots of step-by-step paper art techniques and beautiful, detailed projects.
Discover how to art journal in 3-D with Story Flowers (and more) in the May/June 2011 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors!


Blog, Mixed-Media Techniques, Paper Art and Zen Doodle


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