When we went to the Creativation 2018 show earlier this year, paper flowers were one of the big trends we saw on display. Big paper flowers were blooming practically everywhere we looked! In this tutorial from our Paper Art special issue, Jenny Jafek-Jones shows you how to create pretty paper flower anemones. These easy paper flowers are perfect for decorating and giving.
Flower Market Anemones by Jenny Jafek-Jones
In flower symbolism, anemones represent anticipation. They are sometimes called windflowers because their name translates from Greek as “daughter of the wind,” and they bloom in almost every color imaginable. Popular in wedding and floral arrangements, they’re incredibly versatile. You’ll see them used in contemporary, whimsical, elegant, and even very “organic” styles and settings. With such lovely meaning and endless possibilities for use, they’re a favorite in my repertoire of paper flowers—as I hope they’ll be in yours.
- Wooden dowel cap, half-round (I used a 1/2″ x 1/4″ dowel cap with a 1/4″ hole.)
- Glue (I used Crafter’s Pick The Ultimate! glue.)
- Stem wire, paper-wrapped
- Crepe paper, doublette (double-sided), white and apple green, 1 fold of each, roughly 9″ x 4″ (I used Castle in the Air™ brand.)
- Binder clips, small
- Scissors, fine-tip
- Patterns: petal, leaf, and calyx, copies (Available to download here)
- Crepe paper streamer, black, one 24″ piece and one 4″ piece
- Wire cutters
Prepare the papers
1. Fill the hole on the underside of the wooden dowel cap with glue. Insert 1 end of the paper-wrapped wire stem in the hole and set it aside to dry, making sure the wooden dowel cap remains level. (FIGURE 1)
2. Secure the petal patterns to the white crepe paper with the mini binder clips, being sure to align the grain of the paper with the grain lines on the patterns. (FIGURE 2) Cut 10 petals per flower. I fold pieces of crepe paper in half so I can create 2 petals with each cut out. Set the petals aside.
3. Fold the green crepe paper in half the short way, and then in half again. Secure the folded paper on 1 short end with binder clips. Cut horizontally across the layered paper, approximately 1/2″ from the binder clips, to create a single long strip of green paper. (FIGURE 3) Set aside.
4. Use binder clips to secure the leaf and the calyx patterns to the remaining folded green paper. (FIGURE 4) Create 3 leaves and 1 calyx per flower, aligning the paper grain with the grain lines on the patterns. Set aside.
5. Fold the 24″ strip of black crepe paper in half, creating two 12″ layers. Fold it in half again to create 4 layers that are 6″ long, and secure the layers on one 6″ side with binder clips.
6. Use scissors to cut fine lines into the unclipped edge, approximately two-thirds of the way up the paper, and along the length of the folded strip, creating a fringe. (FIGURE 5) The closer the cuts the more realistic the flower bloom will look.
Make the flower
1. Unfold the black fringe strip and apply a light line of glue to the entire length, just above the uncut edge. Carefully fold the strip in half and press the layers together to ensure adhesion, creating a double-layered fringe. Set aside.
NOTE: Keep in mind that this particular type of crepe paper is thin and will tear easily if you apply too much glue.
2. Fold the 4″ black paper strip in half to create a rough square and apply glue lightly to the edges and in an “X” across the middle of the strip. Center the black paper on the wooden dowel cap, glue-side to the wood, and wrap the paper around the cap. Adhere any overhanging paper to the underside of the dowel cap, and twist any remaining paper around the stem as tightly as possible.
3. Take the double-thick black fringe strip and apply a light bead of glue just above the uncut edge along the length of the strip. Hold the strip between your fingers and add a light bead of glue to the back side. Your fingers will get sticky in this step, but having glue on both sides is necessary for the flower center to stay in place.
4. Working just below the dowel cap, gather, fold, and press the black fringe strip around the stem, keeping the bottom edge of the fringe as even as possible. (FIGURE 6) When the wrapping is complete, you should have a fluffy black circle around the wooden center. (FIGURE 7)
NOTE: If the fringe is sticking straight up, you probably wrapped it in a flat circle rather than gathering and folding as you went. If the fringe is going every which way, the bottom edge of the fringe probably did not stay even. If you are unhappy with your fringe, you will need to start over.
5. Trim the fringe to a uniform length, approximately 1/2″-3/4″ in a circle around the center of the flower. (FIGURE 8)
6. Holding a white flower petal in both hands, pinch the top center of the petal between your thumb and forefinger. In a motion similar to wringing out a washcloth or fluting a piecrust, simultaneously twist one hand forward and the other back while holding the petal. (FIGURE 9) Repeat for all the petals.
7. Pinch and hold the bottom of the petal with one hand, and use your other hand to drag the middle of the petal with your thumb to create a cupped shape. (FIGURE 10) Repeat with all the petals.
8. Apply glue to the base of a petal. Attach the petal to the stem just below the black fringe, and press firmly. (FIGURE 11) Repeat this process with 4 more petals to create a star shape. (FIGURE 12)
9. Add 5 more petals in another star-shaped layer that is offset and just below the first.(FIGURE 13)
The stem and leaves
1. Apply glue to the straight edge of the calyx. Turn your flower upside down and wrap the calyx around the stem, pulling and stretching the crepe paper slightly to cover the base of the flower. (FIGURE 14) The calyx will stretch into a five-pointed star shape when correctly applied.
2. Using wire cutters, trim the stem to your preferred length for the finished flower.
3. Take the 1/2″ green strip from step 3 of Prepare the Papers and cut approximately 14″ from it. Apply a light bead of glue to the entire length of the strip and wrap it around the base of the calyx twice to secure the paper. Continue wrapping down the stem in a spiral motion (FIGURE 15), using one hand to hold the paper strip out at an angle (similar to the bottom leg of the letter K), and the other hand to turn the stem.
4. Continue wrapping the stem to the bottom and then cut the green paper, leaving a 1/2″ tail. (FIGURE 16) Add a bit of glue and fold the remaining paper upward onto the stem, covering the end of the stem and securing the wrap to it.
5. Apply a light layer of glue to the base of a leaf and attach it to the flower stem approximately 2″ below the bloom, wrapping the base of the leaf around the stem. While pressing the base of the leaf to the stem for stability, gently pull the tip of the leaf down until the leaf is at a 90° angle to the stem. (FIGURE 17) Repeat with the 2 remaining leaves, having each overlap the base of the previous leaf slightly and radiate out from the stem.
These anemones are remarkably easy to make once you’ve made one and understand the techniques. They’re lovely in arrangements or even as singles in a repurposed tin can. They’re perfect to make and keep on hand for times you need to send a flower or gift on short notice. May your paper garden bloom and grow!
Jenny Jafek-Jones’ garden grows in a cheery Dallas, Texas, studio that houses a plethora of paper, 52 pairs of scissors, and artwork by her daughters and husband. Vsisit her website at thecrimsonpoppy.com.
Want to make more paper flowers? Here’s a tutorial for creating a paper rose and poppy!