It's amazing how you can create the most gorgeous bunch of flowers simply by folding, cutting and gluing paper. Follow the step-by-step instructions and create a stunning bouquet to decorate a corner or gift to someone special. Blooming lovely!
- Colorful origami paper in squares 15cm x 15 cm (6in x 6 in)
- Paper craft glue or hot glue gun
- Waxed thread
- Wooden skewers
- Paper clips
- Two circular objects like a bowl with a diameter of 14 cm (5.5 in) and a jam jar lid with a diameter of 6.5 cm (2.6in)
1. Create the Paper Lilies
Choose three pieces of square paper measuring 15cm x 15cm (6in x 6in) in the same color.
Place one square piece of paper on a flat surface with the colored side facing down. Fold the paper in two by bringing the lower edge upwards, but leave a space of about 0.5 cm (0.2 in) from the top, as demonstrated in the photo below. You should be able to see a thin strip of white paper at the top. Crease well. Use a bone folder or the back of a metal spoon for perfectly sharp folds.
Starting from one of the short sides, fold or pleat the paper accordion-style around 1cm (0.4in) wide. Each time you fold, crease well.
When done, unfold the paper.
Repeat the same process twice for a large lily. Make sure you keep the white strip at the top equal width on all three sheets of paper, and ensure your folds are similar dimensions. Precision is key here.
Glue the three separate pieces of folded paper together, one next to the other, to create a long strip of accordion paper. Add some paper craft glue on the edge of one end and overlap with the next piece of paper. Hold until it's firmly glued together. Alternatively, you could use a hot glue gun for faster results.
Stand the long accordion strip up, so that it forms a tube. Glue the last two ends together to close the circle.
Now, the accordion tube that will form the petals is ready!
It's time to create the stem and stamen. Cut two pieces of thread about 40cm (16 in) long to create the stamen. Try to use thread in a contrasting color to the paper you've used for the petals.
Fold the two pieces of thread in half and wrap them around the wooden skewer, which will become the stem of the flower. Glue towards the one end of the skewer, around 5cm from the top, and knot securely.
Now, make some knots at the end of each thread. Create lots of different heights for a more natural look and trim off the excess threads.
Now you are set to glue the petals on the stem. This step is so much easier using a hot glue gun, because it speeds up the process and the flower is more secure.
But with a bit of patience, paper craft glue can do the job just as well.
Add some glue along the inner bottom edge of the folded part of the paper tube, as demonstrated in the photo below.
Now carefully insert the skewer into the tube. Insert the end with the threads last.
Press the bottom half of the petals together, as demonstrated in the photo below. You need to ensure that the glue sticks to the inner side of each fold, and then the whole of the paper tube needs to glue to the stick.
Make sure the stick stays in the center of the folds.
If you didn't use a glue gun, you might need to use some paper clips to hold the petals together.
Leave the flower to dry upside-down.
Once the glue has dried, your pretty paper lily is ready to be used. You can make a smaller lily using just two sheets of paper, like the pink flower in the photos below.
2. Make a Gorgeous Lotus Bud
To make the stamen, you will need a strip of paper, so cut a 15cm x 15cm square in half.
Fold the strip of paper in half; then fold it in half once more; and then fold it in half one last time, so you have created a thin strip, as demonstrated in the photo below.
Now fold the thin strip in half width-ways.
Take a pair of scissors and make lots of small vertical cuts in the folded strip of paper. This will create a paper fringe. At this point, cut the folded edges as well to allow the 'stamen' to open up. Trim the ends a little to make the stamen shorter.
Make a small hole in the centre of the paper with a sharp pair of scissors, and then insert a wooden skewer through the hole.
Add some glue to the inner side of the stamen, fold the paper upwards and hold in place until firmly glued. When dry, gently separate the individual strips of paper to give the stamen more volume and a natural, fluffy shape.
To create the lotus bud, choose a different piece of colored paper from the one you used for the stamen. You will only need one sheet of paper for the bud.
First, put the square paper on your table surface with the colored side facing upwards. Place a circular object like a bowl with diameter of about 14cm (5.5in) in the middle of the paper. Make sure it's centered. Trace around the outline of the circle with a pen.
Now you need to fold the paper. Bring the bottom edge up to meet the top edge, and fold in half horizontally. Crease well.
Open up the paper again and take the left edge over to meet the right edge, and fold in half vertically, as pictured below. Crease well.
Bring the bottom left corner up to the top right-corner, and fold the paper diagonally. You should have a triangle, as pictured below.
Unfold the paper and fold it again on the other diagonal, so that the lower right corner meets the upper left corner. Crease well.
Unfold the paper and place a circular object like a jam jar lid with a diameter of around 6.5 cm (2.6 in) in the center of the white side of the paper and trace around it.
Carefully cut out the bigger circle. Make sure to cut inside of the pen marks so that you remove them.
Place the circle on a flat and soft object like an eraser or a piece of clay. Use the sharp end of the skewer to create a small hole in the center of the circle.
Now cut along the eight lines created by the folds. You need to cut them until you reach the inner circle. If it helps, trace the folds with a pen first, so that you can see them clearly.
Place the paper on a flat surface with the color side facing downwards.
Fold every second petal inwards.
Add a bit of glue to the upper left corner of the four petals you've already folded.
Glue each petal to the next folded one. You should fold all petals in the same direction. Make sure to glue them fairly closely so that you leave space for the second layer of petals. But also ensure that you've left enough room for the stamen to pass through the central hole, as pictured below.
Now, add a bit of glue on the upper right corner of the remaining petals.
Glue each petal to the one on its right to form the second layer of the bulb. You may find it useful to keep the petals in place with a paper clip until they dry.
Insert the stem with the stamen through the hole, glue it in place and your lotus bulbs are ready.
3. Make a Paper Lotus Bud with 16 Petals
You've just learned how to make a paper lotus bud with eight petals. Now, I'm going to show you how to create a lotus bulb with 16 petals, using a very similar technique.
First draw the inner and outer circles and fold the paper as in step 2.4 above.
Open up the paper again and take the left edge over to meet the right edge, and fold in half vertically, as pictured below.
Now bring the upper left corner over to meet the center on the right side of the paper. Do the same for the lower left corner to create a triangle, as pictured below.
Now fold once more so that the left sides of the triangle meet in the center horizontally, as demonstrated in the photo below. Crease well.
Open up the paper. The creases will serve as your guides for cutting the 16 petals.
Cut along the perimeter of the outer circle.
Now cut along the individual creases until you reach the inner circle. And don't forget to create a hole for the stem in the center of the circle.
The gluing process is the same as above, but it's just a bit more tricky since we have more petals to glue.
First, fold all the odd petals.
Add some glue to the upper right corner of each folded petal.
Glue them carefully to the next petal, going clockwise around the circle. Don't forget to glue them close enough for the outer layer to fit, but not so close that the stamen can't pass through. If you wish, you can use paper clips to hold your petals together.
Now, add a bit of glue in the upper left corner of the remaining petals. This time it's easier to first glue the petals in pairs.
Now glue each pair of petals with the neighboring pair until the bud is complete.
Now add some glue to the bottom of the stamen, insert the wooden skewer through the hole and glue it to the bud.
You've done it! Don't your paper lotus buds look amazing?
Arrange and Enjoy!
Now all you need to do is arrange your lilies and lotuses into a striking bouquet - or pop them in a vase for some everlasting colour.
In this tutorial you learned how to make large and small paper lilies with geometric accordian-fold petals and thread stamen, and two different types of paper lotus buds with a glorious fringe stamen.
If you're getting married, you could create these flowers in white and beige for lovely wedding decorations or bridesmaid bouquets. Or you could use your new paper crafting skills to create a gorgeous paper flower garland. You could also add these flower designs with paper flowers in this tutorial.
Tie all your flower creations for a special gift bouquet.
Do you enjoy crafting flowers out of paper? You might like to try another beautiful paper flower tutorial.