How-To: Valentine’s Day Paper Flowers

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For this edition of How-To, I’m making two different kinds of flowers. One is officially “origami” the other one is a free-form papercraft called a rolled flower. They’re both beautiful, really fun to make, and a very unique Valentine’s Day surprise for your sweetie.

To make things a little more interesting, I’ve gotten creative with my choices in paper. I sourced paper from old magazines, printed out photos on cheap printer paper, and used a variety of patterned papers. For the origami flower, once folded, you could even write a special note in each petal creating an interactive gift. Is it a scavenger hunt? A list of things you admire? Money tucked inside? Hey, every body loves some cold, hard cash.

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For both of these designs I’ve used kabob skewers for the stems. These are the perfect length, durability, and price and easily procured at your local grocery.

I found the pattern for the origami flower from www.origami-instructions.com. They have many, many more designs available as well as some video tutorials, if you’re feeling inspired.

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I started by selecting pages from the magazines in complementary color arrangements, combining sets of papers as I saw fit. Each petal uses a 6×6” piece of paper, and each flower has five petals.

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Steps

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Lay your paper with the side you’d like to be showing down. This is the side of the paper that will be showing on every facet of the petal once it is complete.

Step 1: Fold in half diagonally and open back up.

Step 2: Fold each half in half and open back up.

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Step 3: Fold down the tip.

Step 4: Fold each half down diagonally, as shown.

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Step 5: Fold in half, keeping your folds on the outside, as shown.

Step 6: Open the fold to the left.

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Step 7: Fold up the bottom tip and tuck into the pocket.

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Step 8: Fold the left side back down. Your paper will already have a fold here, so this will come naturally.

Step 9: Fold the top corner back and forth to create a flexible fold, returning it to its original position.

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Step 10: Rotate your paper to the right, and open it up to look like a little boat.

Step 11: Keep opening and fold the bottom all the way up and flatten.

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Step 12: Open back up, and reverse the top tip so it is folded in.

You have now completed your petal! Now you get to do it four more times. Once I completed my first few petals, I challenged myself to see if I had the steps memorized. It only took one flower for me to be proficient, and then I was off! Finish using a hot glue gun. The glue gun is helpful because it dries so quickly, you won’t be stuck holding a bunch of petals together and waiting.

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The flower on the left has an accent petal made from a vintage book page. Because of the difference in paper thickness, this one turned out to be a little disappointing. The flower on the right worked out well, however this was my attempt at a six petaled flower as opposed to five, and the petals got a little bunched.

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I LOVE how these turned out. All the petals are from vintage book pages, four from black and white photos and one from a color photo. They’re also smaller, folded from 5″ square paper.

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This flower is made from photos. I printed them out at home on regular printer paper so it would be easy to fold. I think it turned out really cute! If I made another one, I could plan better placement of my son’s face so that it wasn’t folded.

I’m sure there are so many other creative ideas for this flower. Please share your creations!

Rolled Flower

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This is a really simple technique with a striking outcome! I would recommend against using thicker cardstock type paper as it is more difficult to roll without folding, other than that, the sky is your limit! I especially love the look of solid, monochromatic bunches.

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Again you will start with a square shaped piece of paper, roughly 6×6″, but you can experiment with many sizes. Cut the paper into a circle, then cut a spiral into the paper. I cut around using about a 1/2″ thickness. Truly, this is a free-form flower, so any inconsistencies will add to its charm and give it more depth and visual interest.

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Starting from the outside of the spiral, wind the paper around a pencil. You can continue with the whole spiral this way, however I found it easier to get started using the pencil, then slide it off and just use my fingers the rest of the way. When you can’t roll anymore, there will be a round bit of paper left onto which you will glue the flower.

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Use the unwound paper as a base for what will become your flower’s petals. Let your spiral unwind a bit, loosening up the petals and making a larger flower. Use a hot glue gun and quickly glue it the petals to the base. Good luck not burning yourself.

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TA-DA! Aren’t they cute?!

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To aide in the aesthetic appeal of my finished bunches, I glued some of the flower stems together, like this. I also broke off the ends of some of the skewers to make some flowers shorter than others.

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I hope you get a chance to do something special with someone this Valentine’s Day, even if it’s just your cat (who is very special, indeed). If this post has inspired you, please post photos of your creations in the comments!

Thanks and see you next time!

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