Introduction: Realistic Paper Roses

Picture of Realistic Paper Roses

There are many ways to make paper roses -- all documented online.  But..

The wheel!  I must reinvent it!

I don't know why I became fixated on making paper roses.   I thought it would be great to make some of them out of gift wrap for Christmas present decor.   I also had a strange urge to see what it would look like when burning.  (Check the last page of this instructable for the video)

(Please don't start singing that Marie Osmond song from the 70s.  I just got it to stop re-cycling in my head recently)

I came up with two ways to do it.  The better way (if you are lucky enough to have a programmable craft cutter) and the paper doll way, easier, but the results are mixed.  I will give examples of both ways of doing it in this instructable.

Step 1: The Idea

Picture of The Idea

I deconstructed a rose by removing all it's petals and laying them out in order.  There seem to be around 24 petals (with 3 or 4 of them small and mutant).  The petals gradually descend in size as you get closer to the center.

Step 2: Materials List

Picture of Materials List

Paper that will "accept a curl".  Bond paper works best!.  Thicker gift wrap with a bond paper like backing works very well.  The more wrinkle resistant the paper is, the less rose like, and more poppy like - the results will be.

or (better)
programmable craft cutter

White or wood glue

Something to be the stem.  I found bamboo skewers work very well, but for a realistic result, you may want to find something with a natural flex to it.  A bouquet of these roses on bamboo skewers feels awkward and besides bamboo skewers a very sharp and pointy and not safe for little kids.

fine tip applicator for the glue

someone requested the MaketheCut files (.mtc) so I've attached those as well for those who are interested

Also attached now are SVG files which work with other types of cutters

Step 3: Craft Cutter Method

Picture of Craft Cutter Method

If you are lucky enough to have a programmable craft cutter, laser cutter or other CNC cutting device, this method provides the most realistic results.

Cut out some bond paper using the pattern provided below.

Skip to step 5

Step 4: Paper Doll Method

Picture of Paper Doll Method

Fold two 2 inch and 3 inch widths of paper into successively increasing folds as illustrated in the first photo. 

Cut as indicated in the photos:  (video soon)

Cut in a ways from the bottom, leaving about a half inch margin.

Cut away the lower portion of the petals.

Cut around the top portion of the petal.

Unfold the petals and then snip the middles of them about 1.5 inches in from the bottom along the fold

Step 5: Gluing the Petals to Be More Three Dimensional

Picture of Gluing the Petals to Be More Three Dimensional

Starting with the smallest petal, overlap the two halves of the split and glue together.  Hold the glued sections together for about 2 seconds with two fingers.  While holding that, take a moment to add a curl to the top part of the petal. 

See this video for a demonstration:

Continue gluing the petals until you have a sort of helical shape of petals strung together as in the photo.

Step 6: Gluing the Petals to the Stem

Picture of Gluing the Petals to the Stem

Starting with the smallest petal, glue it to your stem and then apply glue along the bottom edge, wrapping the petal strand around the stem until you have glued all the petals on.

Finish up by curling any petals that need it.

There you go!   Yay, attractive flowers!

Step 7: A Rose Made of Ashes

Picture of A Rose Made of Ashes
As promised, a burning rose. 


Sarah Nade (author)2011-12-03

The burned flowers are so beautiful.

anniereets05 (author)2016-06-27

SO difficult but SO pretty. I think you should find a way that origami paper is the only material with less steps to make it pre-teen friendly

nea.savoca (author)2015-02-15

Since our business name is Ash & Rose, I could not be more interested and delighted by the Ash Rose and the Burning Rose! Thank you!

foobear (author)nea.savoca2015-02-17

Fantastic! I'm glad you were amused by it!

BobbiM1 (author)2014-10-15

Do you have a way or technique that can bond the ash rose and stop it from crumbling or breaking afterwards that you use or prefer.

foobear (author)BobbiM12014-10-15

I don't believe such a thing is possible, if you find a way, let me know that would be interesting.

unicornstarr (author)2014-04-25

Lovely is there a version is SVG format so that I can use it on my cutting machine :) please.

Thanks you

foobear (author)unicornstarr2014-04-26

I added an svg version for you on step 2

unicornstarr (author)foobear2014-04-26

Thank you so much..

violeta571 (author)2014-02-21

the burning rise looks better, I love it

Popopopper (author)2012-09-28

whooooa the burning rose is so pretty

foobear (author)Popopopper2012-09-28

yah, I love it. thank you!

ellieberry (author)2012-07-04

Great Instructable - worked really well, thanks! :D

overflow636 (author)2012-03-28

Could you post the template file for the cricut, i have a different machine available , but any vector format should work.


foobear (author)overflow6362012-06-14

eh, sorry, finally got a round tuit. I attached the .mtc files to the materials page.

curious youth (author)2012-01-20

you could use a thick gauge copper wire for the stem. it wouldnt be too expensive and you could choos alot of different coulours due to the insulation.
yes im a guy looking at this. some girls need impressing ;)

CookieMonstah123 (author)2011-11-24

This is very creative but takes time!!! i love it though wish i had somebody to do it for me!!

foobear (author)CookieMonstah1232011-11-24

Yes, it takes time. there are lots of tutorials on line for making paper roses, not quite like this one, but maybe satisfactory to many...

CookieMonstah123 (author)foobear2012-01-02

Yeah!! Um... Well i like thease roses maybe u could try making them for your hair by attaching a clip!!! LOL

blackslax (author)2011-12-01

This is great...really great.

auntylulu (author)2011-11-24

Great Tutorial!
For Stems, I cut pieces from wire coat hangers from the cleaners. They are thick and flexible enough to look like the real thing. These ones will look even better with some green leaves

foobear (author)auntylulu2011-11-24

Good idea! Gosh, I hardly ever see wire coat hangers anymore. I generally don't do dry cleaning, just too costly for me. But that's a good idea for sure.

auntylulu (author)foobear2011-11-24

I get mine from the neighbors,or from the trash. They get thrown out a lot. You can also go to the hardware store and ask for galvanized aluminum wire. It's thick and even more flexible. My profile pic is one of the paper roses I make.

foobear (author)auntylulu2011-11-26

Yours are gorgeous! do you sell them?

auntylulu (author)foobear2011-11-26

I will start soon, on Etsy. My shop name is Paperbeauties. I can let you know when they're up, if you want.

foobear (author)auntylulu2011-11-30

Just curious, yes, please let us know

ctran10 (author)2011-11-25

Just a suggestion, you can still keep the skewers, but you can go to walmart and buy some floral tape, its this thin green tape that creates a plant-like texture, easy to apply and pretty cheap.

foobear (author)ctran102011-11-26

Yes, they could use some finishing to make the stems green, some leaves and a calyx part too. The bamboo skewers are awkward to hold in a bunch as they are so stiff and straight. It's a good suggestion.

knex lord (author)2011-11-24

wait ok i am a bit confused by this it is a great instructible and i have done everything right up to the glueing and it gets very confusing the way the video is made can you explane it a bit more for me please? so i can make some great roses thanks

foobear (author)knex lord2011-11-24

Hmm. I wonder how I could explain it better. I thought the video would help. Is the video too fast? I sped it up 300%. Can you describe sort of which part is confusing?

knex lord (author)foobear2011-11-24

oh its ok now i tryed it a few more times and watched the video a lot and i got it in the end

Kryptonite (author)knex lord2011-11-25

You should post pictures! Go for it!

knex lord (author)Kryptonite2011-11-25

this is my first one i spray painted it white because i only have brown paper and i didnt want it brown i think it turned out ok

foobear (author)knex lord2011-11-26

It's looking good, you've just about got it there. Just as you're wrapping the petals around the stem, keep them closer together around the bases, then it would look fuller rather than elongated.

The Dalai Farmer (author)2011-11-25

So clever! Just one question, does the 'calix' get thicker or do you gradually glue the petals towards your hand on the stem?

Next time, could you please keep the light levels even? It makes it difficult to see when the shadows fall on the work - I'm a bit stupid and I do need to see each thing clearly!!

Thanks again - I will have a go at this today!

foobear (author)The Dalai Farmer2011-11-25

Yes, the "calyx" gets thicker, but the glue that kind of collects down there causes the paper to get mushier so it pinches together pretty well

foobear (author)The Dalai Farmer2011-11-25

Oh I see, okay. Yes, it was afternoon and the shadows were coming through the kitchen window. I will try to do a better one, since I've had a few complaints already. =)

dreamberry (author)2011-11-23

These look very realistic. Super nice! Song stuck in head is called an earworm. Best to go listen to the song to silence it.

foobear (author)dreamberry2011-11-24

Ach, do not want to listen to the song. My friend claims that singing the "Day Oh" song will clear all songs from the head. Mostly I just will them away by force. =)

susanrm (author)2011-11-23

So pretty. I can see these as a wonderful decoration for a wedding.

foobear (author)susanrm2011-11-24

Yeah I think the white ones are especially pretty. Though you could use giftwrap or other colors of paper, or even air brush them maybe. Lots of potential

1inspirit (author)2011-11-24


foobear (author)1inspirit2011-11-24

cool thanks!

tavoarcila (author)2011-11-24

Great Instructable, the videos are really explicit. My kid love to create origami things, I'll share this instructable with him to make some roses for my wife. Thank you very much.

foobear (author)tavoarcila2011-11-24

Cool, glad you liked it, thanks!

knex lord (author)2011-11-24

how long did you make the cut of paper you folded the petles from is there a certen length it has to be?

foobear (author)knex lord2011-11-24

Well, ideally, it would be as long as you could make it, so if you had some 11x17" paper, you could make pretty long strands. You want to get about 20 petals, but you could probably get away with less. What I would do if I don't have super long paper is just make several rows of them, and then, you know, you can just add more rows on as you're gluing the petals on. They don't have to be all consecutively connected necessarily...

sunshiine (author)2011-11-22

You should enter this in the office challenge contest. It may qualify!

foobear (author)sunshiine2011-11-22

oh okay, I will, thanks!

powerfool (author)2011-11-22

That was very good, the videos were *really* necessary!
In this last step, you join together 2 strands of petals. They could be one, right?

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